Cafe Society

Eavesdropping on Dems on the 16th Street Mall

The 16th Street Mall today was the same mess it’s been for a week: ugly T-shirts, people selling ugly T-shirts and bewildered delegates and staffers haggling over a final-day discount on said ugly T-shirts.

I dropped in to see my buddy Biker Jim at Biker Jim’s Gourmet Dogs in Skyline Park, and even though he was out of Obama Lamba Ding Dongs (“Sold like hotcakes, dude. Have I showed you my sign? Check it out. My sign painter did a good job, huh? Course, the first one he did, he misspelled ‘sausage’ but whatever…”) I still managed to score an excellent jalapeno-cheddar elk sausage with sriracha and mustard.

The man had to get through a city health inspection last night in the midst of all the Democratic National Convention craziness so, needless to say, he’d had something of a long night.

Ducked into the MySpace Café/Corner Office for a beer. At the bar, the talk was all about Obama and the Big Dance (“Can’t get in? Dr. King gave his speech fifty years ago today and Dr. King’s speech was free! What do you mean I can’t get in to see this man talk!”) and comparing hangovers from last night’s parties. Everyone was trying to cut last-minute deals for Invesco seats or arranging last-minute meetings—cursing loudly and openly into their phones like some scene out of The Player: “No, fuck him if he doesn’t want to have lunch!”

Beyond that, there were general discussions of the week, of cabs and parties and speeches and access. Some of it was about who was worth seeing, who wasn’t.

“Jesus, why do I want to see a delegate? I don’t even want to see Keith Olbermann. And I love Keith Olbermann. What they should’ve had was a Keith Olbermann kissing booth. Or even Rachel Maddow. I would go gay for Rachel.”

Funny thing is, that last one was from my wife. I’m fairly sure she was kidding. -- Jason Sheehan

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun