911 Operator: "9-1-1. What is the nature of your emergency?"
Caller: "My neighbor ... uh, his name is Dave. He just farted in his backyard."
911 Operator: "OK, sir. Stay calm. Do you know what he's been eating?
Caller: "Let me get a good whiff. Bratwurst, I think. Maybe venison. You know how gamey venison is?"
911 Operator: "Oh Lordy! My husband made me eat pronghorn once. I was banned from book club for six months."
Caller: "Oh my God! I can see him now, out by his barbecue. He's opening a can of BAKED BEANS!!!"
911 Operator: "OK, sir. Do NOT intervene. Get your kids indoors. We have officers on the way."
Such a 911 call could happen right here someday if our city leaders — especially the old one with anger-management issues and the very natural-looking orangutan fur on his head — hears about an actual debate going on in Denver.
From a recent Denver Post story: "The Denver City Council on Monday had a lengthy discussion ... about a proposed law that would make even the smell of pot coming from someone's backyard illegal.
"The proposed ordinance ... would outlaw people smoking in their private residences if it could be seen from a public street. And it would make even smoking in the privacy of someone's property illegal if the smoke could be detected."
On that note about things being illegal if they can be seen from a public street, one might ask this question ... you know, for a, uh, a friend: "Under such an ordinance, would a 58-year-old man wearing only a Speedo and construction boots while slow-dancing with a goat be considered illegal?"
Denver, as we know, has no problems whatsoever with any type of real crime, traffic or gang-violence issues, unless you count massive public drunkenness and brawling in LoDo or regular stabbings, shootings and hit-and-run crashes. So, with nothing for its police to do, Denver is considering this new law making marijuana smoking illegal in your own home or backyard.
In 2012, Colorado voters legalized adult use and possession of pot. This caused hundreds of odd, old people (lawmakers) to work endlessly to undermine that vote. In our village, though we voted to legalize pot, the City Council (apparently terribly frightened of the mean, anti-pot mayor) voted to ban the sale of marijuana because we definitely don't need the tax revenue and because pot smoking might give the village a bad image.
Luckily, our image is being carefully preserved by the cross-eyed gun crazies, Focus on the Family, waves of Jesus loonies, homophobes and drunken soldiers terrorizing downtown each weekend under the watchful eyes of armed military police — which is why so many businesses are relocating here.
The proposed Denver law defines the open use of marijuana as being "in a manner that is unconcealed, undisguised or obvious, and is observable and perceptible through sight and smell to the public or to persons on neighboring properties."
And I think I speak for all of us when I ask, "If you ban things that stink, where will the Colorado Rockies play?"
Colorado Springs has yet to propose such a law. But considering how intrusive and idiotic the proposal is and how it disregards the legalization vote by the people, I would imagine it's just a matter of time.
From Denver City Councilor Paul Lopez, according to the Post: " ... I don't support someone looking in your window and saying, 'Hey, that guy is smoking weed in his house.' That is overreaching. You have to have someplace where you can use it, and that should be in the privacy of your home." Or backyard.
Or, if we really wanted to do something positive, at a Colorado Springs City Council meeting. Maybe if the Council and our really terrific mayor got a few whiffs of secondhand pot smoke, they'd laugh and thumb their noses at such ridiculous laws.
Which, as a bonus, would put their thumbs in a much nicer place than they are in now.
Rich Tosches (firstname.lastname@example.org) also writes a Sunday column in the Denver Post.