Unwanted Haunting at Fort Collins DMV

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Fall has hit the Northern Colorado front range; nights are colder, leaves are changing and the time for ghouls and ghosts is just around the corner. This year the Fort Collins’ Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) found itself hosting someone extra.

“Dude, he just appeared. Like: what the fuck?!?!” exclaimed one frightened, yet concerned young man, whilst waiting to renew his license. “Can’t you see to take a fucking number? I’ve been waiting for, like, hours!”

“He did just appear,” exclaimed DMV spokesperson Claudia Peterson. “He hasn’t harmed anyone or any property and just seems to float around. He does speak to people and that can be a bit disconcerting. However, we tolerate diversity in this building and as such we suggest that people ask nicely for him to move along if they don’t wish to interact. I know he has caused some controversy” she pointed to the few men and women outside with placards, “but I am in favor of showing the community how tolerant we are for ghosts who would like to exercise their right to assembly, as those people are doing as well.”

A resident psychic summoned the spirit, and amazingly, the ghost in question sat down with your somewhat frightened reporter for a few questions.  His identity shocked us as much as did his existence.  “Yes, indeed, I am Pontius Pilate. I heard about the DMV from a few other ghosts and wanted to check it out; I mean, this is great! Look at how deep the bureaucracy goes in this place.  Bureaucrats here are inventive!  You actually make people who want to pay you money, wait.  And what do they wait for?  To get a little paper that gives you permission to drive from one place to another!?!?  Caesar himself would not have come up with a racket like that!  There are things implemented here that I would have loved to have done. I mean, can you imagine what I could have done with that box thingy that allows you to see anything in the world?”

Mr. Pilate seemed equally curious about a map taped to the wall and the vehicles continuously pulling up and parking. “Do you know how many Judeans I could have just run down with that thing?” he pointed to an Escalade. “Woulda made my job easier.”

When asked why he decided on Fort Collins and the DMV he had this to say, “I wanted to give support to my fellow bureaucrats. Sometimes we get a bad rap, but I just wanted to show them that you can be a mid-level, papyrus-pushing, nobody bureaucrat and end up famous. Hell, I’m in a prayer that is said every day by a billion people that worship the guy I condemned to the worst possible death devised by Rome. I wasn’t even trying to hit that level of stardom! Just doing my job.  I ought to be an inspiration to these folks!”

Wildlife Field Work Ends in Grill-off

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Hiking at Lory State Park this last Saturday afternoon, your reporter chanced upon a merry band of wildlife biology students at the picnic tables.  Seeing the festive, joyous band of youngsters, your reporter approached and noticed they were grilling.  This, at least on the surface, seemed rather unremarkable…  Except when your reporter, otherwise having a grand old time not working, inquired about their presence.  One junior who asked not to be named sheepishly replied, “Uuuhhh… we’re wildlife biology students on field work.  We were supposed to just catalogue and classify all species of wild birds here, which we did… but we kinda got hungry and decided to do a little grilling…with a few subjects of our studies.  Seriously, why should we let perfectly good, tasty cormorants go to waste when nature gives us this delicacy?”

She went on, “You know, our prof kinda turned a blind eye to us.  Either that or she just didn’t notice the shotgun, birdshot, spices, the camping grill and the propane tank we toted along with us on our way to Lory [State Park].”  Another student interjected, “Or the keg of beer.”

Apparently the co-incidence of a field expedition at the same time of college football primetime caused resentment among the students who obviously showed tremendous ingenuity at taking matters into their own hands.  “You know, nature just gives us SO much to choose from!  Just here we have geese, ducks, rabbits and our VERY favorite: cormorants!  Here, have a try.”  Your reporter politely declined.  She continued, “C’mon, don’t be snooty!  This is better for you than the nasty chickens that Swift and Company gorges with GMO feeds and stuffs with growth hormones.”  Your reporter grudgingly tased the grilled cormorant, regretting the experience immediately.

Even though this expedition was strictly a bird cataloguing trip, it appeared that the students also had a taste for rabbit meat.  “Here!  We’re grilling a wild rabbit too.  This one’s a little tough and gamey, but it sure beats the ones that the CDC does bubonic plague research on.  They think that they dispose of them, but… hey, waste not, want not.”

Fort Collins Book Festival Welcomes Surprise Guest: Pat Buchanan

in Business and Economics/Health and Fitness/Politics by

It was an utter surprise to all attendees of the Fort Collins Book Festival when conservative Republican author Pat Buchanan crashed the party.  With a theme of “Food For Thought” this was an unusual event for Mr. Buchanan too, who up to now has not been known for being a foodie.  “This festival is great!  I thought it was going to be just pure mudslinging at me, but folks here really gave me a warm welcome,” commented Mr. Buchanan.

One of the Book Festival’s organizers, Tracy Echevarria-Smith granted your reporter a few precious moments of her time on this busy weekend.  She had this to say about Mr. Buchanan, “First off, we’ve been criticized for having the same authors, the same ideas and basically the same show every year.  When Pat Buchanan essentially invited himself here, we were overjoyed. Second, we have a really diverse group racially; we have a Native American chef, a Latina, an African American woman and all sorts of folks from disadvantaged and/or minority groups talking about what food means to them.  This may be a racially diverse group, but let’s face it: we all think alike, we all vote alike and we’re all progressive.  Having Pat speak makes us inclusive, in more ways than just race.  Not only that, but here’s the real advantage: it makes our foodie fest original.  We’ve seen and heard all the organic-local-fair trade people have to show and say.  Let’s hear what other people have to say.  Pat’s gonna be talking about big ag- the unignorable food provider without which we would mostly starve.  Let’s see people in Boulder top that for inclusiveness!  So, we don’t fall in love with Archer Daniels Midland or Monsanto, but are you really gonna tell me that these people who have done more to save Africa [agribusiness] from starvation than 1000 Bonos [referring to the lead singer of U2 who is also known as Paul Hewson] are evil?  Well, that’s what all the food pharisees at Whole Foods would have you believe.  Not just that, but don’t you want to hear what a white, rich, Christian man has to say for once?”

To our utter surprise, Pat Buchanan granted your reporter Ludwig Schnee a brief comment!  “Oh, I’ll tell you, I LOVE agribusiness.  It’s the most efficient form of growing food.”  When your reporter politely told Mr. Buchanan that it takes roughly 13 pounds of grain to produce one pound of beef, and that it took some 100 gallons of water to produce one pound of feed, and that lots of efficiency is lost in the process, Mr. Buchanan retorted, “Meat is therefore the best, most effective way to eat vegetables and keep hydrated.”  he added, “You eat cows, and what do cows eat?  Vegetables!  It’s like you’re going vegan, just more efficiently.  You know what else?  Fried meat is good for your heart so long as you fry it in vegetable oil.  Okay, I gotta go.  All this food talk and these books made me want to write.”  Asked what his book  was going to be about, the Republican author replied,  “It’s title is going to be Agribusiness: It Sucks Less Than You Think.”

Bernie Sanders Elected President… of Loveland Elks Club

in Health and Fitness/Local Flavor/Politics by

In a prepared speech at a press conference outside of a Las Vegas hospital, last Friday, spokesman for the Loveland Elk’s Lodge #10334458, Mortimer Moore stated, “On behalf of Elk’s Lodge #10334458 of Loveland, Colorado, we wish the Senator from Vermont a full and speedy recovery.  Furthermore, noting the good Senator’s great interest in the betterment of the lot of all Americans, our lodge has elected him honorary president.  Given his health, it appears that this will be his last and best chance at being president of anything.  What’s more?  Our lodge is less than a five minute ambulance ride from the finest cardiac nurses and surgeons at MCR.  For real- those folks work with Greeley’s meth heads all the time, so treating a guy like Bernie’s gonna be a breeze for ’em, but that’s a little off subject.”  He went on,  “Seriously, the senator needs to chill out with us and reduce his chances of another cardiac episode, and when it comes to calming down, nobody beats the Elks.  Don’t believe me?  Just come on a Friday night, and watch re-runs of the Lawrence Welk Show with us and you’ll see what I mean.”

This gesture by the Loveland Elk’s Lodge has not gone unnoticed.  The Fort Collins Lions and Tigers and Bears Club, when contacted had this to say, “Awww… Dammit!  Why didn’t WE think of that?  I’ll tell you what: we’ll dispense with our usual breakfast of coffee, pancakes, bacon and eggs for a Kosher option lox and bagels- no cream cheese or coffee-just too dangerous.”  The unidentified Lions and Tigers and Bears Club secretary proceeded.  “Oooohhhhh… so the Loveland Elks are selling the fact that they’re a five-minute ambulance ride away from the hospital?  Well… we’re only a fifteen minute hearse ride away from the Synagogue, in the event…  Y*w3h calls him.  I’d like to see them guys in Loveland give Bernie a proper chevra kadisha.”  He nervously cleared his throat.  “In any event, folks in the community’ve been giving us all manner of shit about being too white, old and Christian.  Letting a guy like Bernie into our ranks would surely contribute to our diversity and reduce our average age by several years.”

Your reporter Ludwig Schnee contacted the Sanders campaign which duly put us on the line with the Senator who apparently has been recovering well.  The Senator had this to say, “At least I was treated by private doctors.  If I got the medical treatment I proposed for the American people, I’d be at Temple and you’d be praying Kaddish.”

Fort Collins Summer Festivals to Merge into Unending Season-Long Party

in Arts and Entertainment/Business and Economics/Local Flavor by

In an announcement today, the City of Fort Collins Party Authority (CFCPA) announced that for simplicity’s sake, all Fort Collins summer festivals will now conglomerate into one summer-long event.  Starting in 2020: A Taste of Fort Collins, the Colorado Marathon, New West Fest, Tour de Fat, Tour de Corgi, the Old Town Car Show, the Harvest Festival, the Pagan Festival, the Peach Festival, Brewfest, Octoberfest, the Fourth of July, Pride Day and some two dozen other festivities will all become one, big, giant, non-stop, celebration of everything and nothing.  This event will feature 16 stages, 1200+ bands, 116 different breweries, two farmers’ markets, ganja, young buxom maidens riding bikes in nothing more than body paint, six non-stop food truck rallies, four artisan camps and the kind of nihilistic fun that would make an episode of Seinfeld look like a Baptist seminary.

At a press conference, spokesman Fred Alborghetti commented with unusual candor, “We’re just formalizing what’s already happening.  I just got sick and tired of everybody always bitching to me asking why the roads in Old Town are all blocked, so we [at CFCPA] just rolled all these festivals into one whole, big ball-o-wax.  It just makes things simpler.  Not only that, but we get to pass off other people’s boozing as local culture.  All the while, of course, we cash in.  It sure keeps the economy going.  As I see it, it’s like our own New Deal, except it’s centered around fun, instead of work.  I never thought watching adults with too much money pursuing frivolous pleasure could be so rewarding!”

Fort Collins Police Services (FCPS) spokesman Mohammad Rodriguez had this to say about the summer-long festival. “It will definitely give us something to do. I mean, hell, do you know what it’s like to hear our guys bitch and complain about the chronic lack of action in this town?  I just hope things become a little bit more like Sturgis at the rally when the Hell’s Angels and the Mongols meet after drinking too much.  This will greatly help our downtime!”

New business owner Todd McPherson who operates an organic, locally grown, vegan pet food store and boutique on the main drag also seemed excited about the change. “Finally! Now I”ll always know where to park since the damn road closings will remain the same! Never again will I have to guess where the fuck to park my Oldsmobile.”

Random questioning of various people in Old Town also seemed to generate a positive review of the move by the Fort Collins Party Authority. “Now I can stay drunk the entire summer! Thanks for making it easier!,” gushed one young man as he stumbled down Mountain Ave. Another dread-locked Trustafarian took a hit and smiled, “Hell, yeah!  I ain’t leavin.'”

We at the Focopolitan Tribune agree with everyone and are SO there!  We can’t wait.  Your reporter, Ludwig Schnee is gonna do his best to make Burning Man seem like a trip to the mosque compared to this.

Op-Ed: City Police Disappointed with Boring Labor Day Weekend

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This weekend saw LOTS of stuff happening in town.  As always, Focopolitans and outsiders joined in on our unique brand of nihilistic, senseless fun known as Tour de Fat.  To those readers unversed in Focopolitan traditions, the Tour de Fat is a parade where thousands of strangely-costumed bicyclists ride their equally-oddly outfitted bikes a whole of maybe three miles from Downtown Fort Collins all the way to New Belgium Brewery in order to celebrate Labor Day.

Yeah I know, it makes about as much sense as Easter, when we celebrate Jesus’ rising from the dead after three days by eating chocolate eggs and hiding real ones, but that’s another story.  The kicker is that there are always thousands people around and there is always alcohol.  Yet for the umpteenth year in a row, with mobs of people, and beer aplenty, we have not yet seen major violent events and therefore no action for our city police force.

Focopolitan Tribune reporter Ludwig Schnee contacted public affairs officer Mohammad Hernandez at Fort Collins Police Services who ad libbed, “Yeah, dude… we’re like… totally disappointed at this.  First off, we had a rout of the CSU football team [in the game against CU] on Saturday.  Back in the day, there’d be rioting.  But even with a brand new stadium and tens of thousands of students back for some action what do we get?  A big nothing burger without fries.  Then there was that whole Tour de Fat thing, where we were HOPING for something to happen, but people just went on their merry way, and we didn’t get anything more than a few DUIs and disorderly conduct.  It’s not like [the year AD 19] 97 when we had couch-burnings every other weekend just ’cause CSU started and the football team got spanked.  That was the shit, back then.  Nowadays, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were cobwebs on our riot gear.”  When asked what FCPS hoped for next year, officer Hernandez simply replied, “I’m just disappointed in the community.  We just need…well…more crime.  With a community as peaceful as this, we’ll be out of a job sooner than later.”

Boulder Artist Comes Out as Cisgender, Heterosexual, White Male

in Arts and Entertainment by

It was a difficult journey for Todd Dieffenbacher, the Boulder sculptor.  It started out well enough, as Todd explained to Focopolitan Tribune reporter Ludwig Schnee, “I fell in love with sculpture when I first saw Michaelangelo’s David on a family trip to Florence.  His muscles were so pronounced, and his endowment was so lifelike; I knew instantly that I wanted to pursue the craft.”  What followed was 15 years of success in the world of high arts and culture for the talented Mr. Dieffenbacher.  It included displays in New York’s Guggenheim and numerous galleries in Boulder.

Even with all the accolades that he accumulated with his art, Deiffenbacher felt something was off kilter in the homonormative world of Boulder art: he was heterosexual.  “I always knew I was straight.  I did like David, but it was actually because I like sculpture, not dudes, but you know how the art world is.  It’s just not a safe place for those of mainstream sexual identification.”  In tears, Dieffenbacher, continued, “All I want is to be accepted as a white, heterosexual, cis-gendered male!  I needed to be true to myself and I couldn’t keep on living this lie.  Nobody could believe that a guy who loved Florentine sculpture could possibly be anything buy gay, and I just played along.”

After years of trying to fit in by conforming to the metro/homo-normative strictures of the artistic community, Dieffenbacher knew he was posing.  “The turning point came when I talked to my therapist. She encouraged me to get in touch with my feminine side. And my feminine side is one of those lesbian, butchy-types, ya know; the kind that could change the treads on a bulldozer. She told me to ‘Man up, you soy boy!’ So I have. We’re just gonna have to see how the community reacts to my coming out.”

We at the Focopolitan Tribune salute the courage of heterosexual cisgendered people who have struggled with their sexuality in the face of an oppressive, closed-minded, bigoted, uninclusive world that practices and praises uniformity.

County Expands Housing Program for the Homeless

in Local Flavor/Politics by

In a 3-0 resolution passed on the 16th of this month, the Board of Commissioners voted to expand the only current program for housing Larimer County’s homeless.  The resolution expands the current facility to include 250 more beds from the 617 existing ones.  When asked spokeswoman Gail Byrd of Larimer County Corrections replied with, “This facility is currently the BEST that Larimer County has to offer our homeless, so why not expand it?  More beds are needed, so let’s just get ’em ya know… If you’ve got a winning formula, just stick to it.  I congratulate our commissioners on their foresight and the slam-dunk vote.”

Larimer County taxpayers will now foot the $75 million re-model for this iteration of public housing (that’s about $215 for each man, woman and child in the county) that will include beds, three meals a day, bathrooms, basic exercise facilities and concierge uniform services. “It’s like a home away from home, except, I guess, they don’t have a home.  Our guests call it ‘Club Larimer.'”

When asked if the expansion would still be used for traditional incarceration and pre-trial detention, Ms. Byrd had this to say. “Of course we’ll still have a detainee population, I mean, we can’t give up on them either. But we’re expanding our services to show that we are also an organizational resource for those who need it.  Nevertheless, let’s not forget that it’s criminals that ultimately keep us in a job, so this is a shout-out to the criminal community of Fort Collins.  We appreciate you: no one supports the blue quite like you! And it’s time that we show you how much you are appreciated.”

 

U-boat Restorer to Offer Rides at Horsetooth

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This year a new feature is coming to the Wings of Freedom Tour that is held the weekend after the Fourth. However, this new entry will not be featured at the Northern Colorado Regional Airport because, well, submarines cannot fly by themselves. Instead of heading to the airport, drive over to Horsetooth Reservoir for the experience of a lifetime with Fins der Fuhrer.

Ray Gilbert, 75, a former Naval submarine officer himself, has painstakingly and lovingly restored a Type IXC/40 German U-boat from World War II. He started the project when he was 30 but only finished it a couple of years ago.

“Yes, it did take awhile to complete; took a bit of money to do so also, and my wife was infinitely patient for the entire length of the project. It’s not like you can just fit the sub in your garage and start restoring. Heck, I even had to learn German in order to read some of the manuals that I found.”

While Mr. Gilbert attempted to find parts through contacts within both the United States and the European Union, most times it came down to using his own machinist, his best friend, Norman New, who was also at hand for the submarine’s voyages in Horsetooth.

“We took her out yesterday,” commented Mr. New, “and she’s running just fine. We don’t go too deep or too far just because we don’t have much of a crew and everything was restored according to strict standards. In other words, this baby does not run with an app or just a push of a button so we don’t want to push her too hard.”

So, does this mean that she will be available for rides to the public during the weekend tour? “Of course, that’s why we brought her out here!” exclaimed Mr. Gilbert.

The two are offering two types of rides: the full experience and the day-cruise. The full experience will have the submarine being submerged fully so that riders will get a feel for what it was like to be in a U-Boat, while the day-cruise will be riding outside. The latter will also perambulate the entire reservoir while the former will be half-out and then back. In between, to refit and refresh the sub, they will be doing short tours.

“To be able to accommodate both the submarine requirements and the fact that we will have civilian riders, we will be taking small groups. We will have a few more crew members as well but not a full complement,” said Mr. Gilbert.  “It squeezes real tight in a U-boat.  Besides that, some of the civvies just don’t pay attention!  Once when I was trying to submerge, someone flooded the batteries instead of the ballast tanks.”  A large plume of toxic chlorine gas ensued, ending tour operations for that day, Mr. Gilbert explained.  “Well, at least nobody got asphyxiated or badly injured.”

There is understandably a price difference between the two experiences as well as the tour. The day-cruise will be $2200 a person while the full experience is $5000 per person. The tour, which will feature the bridge, sleep quarters, gallery and radio room, is available at $430 per person. There is an age limit of 14 or older for all experiences and a legal waiver the size of a Papal Encyclical.

Surprisingly, there are already waiting lists for the two types of rides. “And we’re almost full for just the tours,” said Mr. New.  “I’m gonna have to get creative about the realism of the rides- ya know. Of course, U-Boats back then had no showers or laundry, so I’m thinking of adding a super BO and mold realism feature.”

Last question? “Of course, the guns work,” replied an exasperated Mr. Gilbert, referring to the 20 mm mount on the conning tower. “And we got the ammo for it too, in case the bomber pilots decide to play a re-enactment on us.”

Boulder Honors President With Naming of New Landfill

in Environment/Politics by

American presidents are widely honored.  They have all manner of things named after them- from bridges and highways to whole cities and even a state.  They are also honored with the biggest, most important warships in the US Navy- aircraft carriers.  But earlier last week, the city of Boulder went a step further.

In a grand show of respect and admiration, the Boulder City Council voted unanimously to name the new city landfill after Donald John Trump.  Boulder Mayor Suzanne Jones in a speech celebrating the passage of the bill honoring Trump with the landfill had the following to say, “For 40 years, I’ve served as Executive Director of [the recycling non-profit] Eco Cycle, and I’ve dealt with all manner of trash: compostable organic matter, recyclable metals, plastics and such, but in all my career of trying to salvage human waste, I’ve never seen such an irredeemable pile of useless, pointless refuse quite like our president.  Therefore, it behooves us Boulderites to honor him by naming our trash pile the Donald John Trump Boulder City Landfill.  Because we all know that, when it comes to trash, nobody beats Donald Trump; he turned multiple business ventures into trash, he had a reality TV show that was pure trash, and now he is turning our constitution and our very country into trash.  This president needs to be honored!”

The measure has been widely applauded in Boulder city and county.  The municipalities of Niwot, Lafayette and Longmont all passed symbolic laws in support of Boulder city’s honoring of The Don.  Lafayette resident Heidi Papadopoulous had the following comment, “With a name like that, I’d even volunteer my 40 acre horse ranch for the site!”

Focopolitan Tribune Reporter Ludwig Schnee actually contacted President Trump at his Mara Lago resort in Florida on the first try over the phone.  In a brief conversation, the president told Mr. Schnee, “I’m honored.  I guarantee you that this landfill is gonna be the best, the most beautiful landfill ever made!  Ever!  Just tell that mayor in Boulder to send the royalty check for the use of my name in the mail to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, DC!”

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