Columns » As the Village Turns

The year that will be


Lionel Rivera
  • Lionel Rivera

Over the years I've built quite a reputation with my New Year's predictions, stunning you with blockbusters such as the one in the early 1990s when I correctly forecasted that our village would soon build a beautiful new airport. Although to be honest, I failed to foresee that the new airport wouldn't have any planes and that walking through the terminal would remind you of Stephen King's TV miniseries The Langoliers.

And a few years ago, I predicted that The Broadmoor resort wouldn't exactly lead the way in water conservation during our region's unprecedented drought. That prediction didn't seem to faze Broadmoor president Steve Bartolin, who played golf on one of his courses the very next day and on the first three holes had a birdie, an eagle and a salmon.

And just last year, I hit another home run when I predicted that there would be "some electrifying developments" within our village police department. Frankly, neither I nor anyone else could have possibly foreseen that it would involve shooting jaywalkers in the ass with those new Taser guns just to see if they worked.

Phil Tollefson
  • Phil Tollefson

So, with that long and proud track record, I once again today gaze into my shiny crystal ball and I see ... oops. Sorry. That was outgoing County Commissioner Tom Huffman's head.

Here's the crystal ball.

And I see ...

The Gazette's next deal

Eric Christen
  • Eric Christen

Fresh off the roaring success of its "Let's Throw Bibles Into The Jews' Driveways" program, the Colorado Springs Gazette strikes a deal with the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region and stuffs a kitten into each plastic delivery sack. This promotional event is a big success, too, especially among readers who have Rottweilers.

City Councilwoman Margaret Radford watches her water deal with Pueblo fall apart. Miffed at Pueblo officials, Councilwoman Radford buys a 5-foot-long, 6-inch-diameter metal pipe, drives a mile upstream and drinks the entire Arkansas River. (Looking deeper into the crystal ball, I see her stopping 12 ... 57... 268 times to use a restroom on the way home.)

Trying to keep the villagers from reading another unflattering story about him, County Commissioner Jim Bensberg stuffs 1,266 copies of the Independent under his shirt and claims he's pregnant.

Villager Jerry Rutledge, the chairman of the University of Colorado's Board of Regents and the owner of an unbelievably expensive men's clothing store, says his vote to approve CU football coach's new contract has nothing to do with the money the football coach gives him. Football coach Gary Barnett, who is paid more than $1 million a year to make sure his team is mentally and physically prepared for the savage beating it will receive from Oklahoma, says money is not important to him; points out that his butler puts the $6,700 pants on him one leg at a time, just like the rest of us.

Jim Bensberg
  • Jim Bensberg

At a news conference, D-11 school board member Eric "Let 'Em Wait Until They're 38 To Have Sex, Like Me" Christen angrily denies he's a Focus on the Family dummy. A moment later James Dobson sneezes and Christen falls off his lap.

Role of a lifetime

In keeping with an annual tradition of hating someone, Mayor Lionel "Choo-Choo" Rivera refuses to sign a proclamation that would have welcomed a group to our village, saying, "We don't need those kinds of people around here." Mensa Club members feel slighted, call Rivera "unenlightened, benighted and nescient."

Mayor Rivera spends 11 days and nights trying to find "nescient" in dictionary.

Gov. Bill Owens
  • Gov. Bill Owens

Popular Gazette editorial writer and local paper clip salesman Ed Bircham is chosen from a field of more than 300 actors who stood in line at City Auditorium and auditioned for the role of the brainless Scarecrow in a local stage production of The Wizard of Oz. (Bircham later turns down the role, saying he's not an actor and thought the line was waiting to get inside to beat up a schoolteacher.)

Gov. Bill Owens is surprised to learn of his appointment to the President's Council on Physical Fitness. President Bush later apologizes, saying he gets as "mixed up as a neutered hound dog in roomful of poodles" trying to keep Gov. Owens and legendary Olympic sprinter Jesse Owens straight in his mind. (Note: Bill Owens cannot run nearly as fast as Jesse Owens did. The exception would be whenever he is asked about the CU football scandal.)

Our village's own John Suthers, who made a name for himself by running the Colorado Department of Corrections, is sworn in as the Colorado attorney general. His introduction brings loud cheering from the 435 escaped inmates in the back of the room.

Local Utilities boss Phil Tollefson proposes yet another rate hike, says $9,000 windshield wiper blades on his Ferrari are two months old and are "going to be subject to replacement expenditure per Chart 14-B, as outlined in Paragraph 345-L of revised budget submission expenditures." City Council members approve request with a series of barks; each is rewarded with pat on head by smiling Tollefson.


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