Trick or Treat – I’m talking about the election.

by Ted Holteen

What a week. The World Series, Halloween, Election Where to begin? I’ll skip the Series for now, but keep a close eye on this as Boston could well burn to the ground if things keep going as they are. How does that affect us? Refugees. There are already a disturbing numbah of them here (Cuckoo’s, I’m looking in your direction), and with the Patriots already penciled in for anothah Supah Bowl, I for one don’t know how much more I can take. (Great wings, though. And the Reddings seem to have disposed of that tortuous accent.) And don’t even get me started on that damn Ben Affleck. Halloween, while we may wish it only came once every 86 years, is next, so let’s start with that.

I have a proposition for our new president. (That’s a subliminal message – get it?) Like Memorial Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving, which have fixed days but not dates, how about making Halloween the last Saturday in October instead of the 31st? Man, the more I think about it, I really am smart, huh? Anyway, Mr. Kerry, mull it over. That way, I wouldn’t have to explain this three-day costumed odyssey that we’re about to undertake this weekend. It’s like Hanukkah but with better food. Until we get a constitutional amendment, we’ll just have to display the same ingenuity with our costumes that Marge Simpson did with her Chanel suit and try to get a few days out of it without seeing the same people.

First, there’s Friday. KSUT and the Abbey Theatre bring back Mingo Fishtrap, a kick-ass R&B outfit that tore it up a couple of months ago and should do more of the same. This is being touted as more of a lounge night thing, so dress to impress but leave the gorilla suits at home, for now. Or don’t. Durango as a collective tends to really embrace stupid and corny occasions, so feel free to wear whatever the hell you want. Just enjoy the music, ’cuz it’s good. Saturday. under the revised Kerry plan, this would be the actual Halloween night, and the locals are already a step ahead of the president-elect. Staying at the Abbey (that’s a figure of speech – you have to go home on Friday night), KDUR puts a new twist on their traditional Transvestite Ball. Now, it’s a Transvestite Karaoke Party. The highlight should be KDUR Program Director Bryant Liggett’s drop-dead rendition of Carol Channing’s “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend,” followed by an uncensored Wendy O. Williams medley. From there, the stage is yours. I have only one request. Please, please don’t do the Tim Curry number from “Rocky Horror.” We’re supposed to be a creative bunch here in Durango, and we can do better. I hope the weather is good on Saturday, because with all of the options in town, it makes for a good pub-crawlin’ night. In my experience, no one puts on a better traditional Halloween party than Steamworks. They’re doing their annual “Monster Mash,” and the decorations are always second to none. It’s not quite Disney’s Haunted Mansion, but they really do a good job and get everyone into the spirit without fail every year. I can’t tell if they’re having a live band or a DJ situation, but does it really matter? There’s also a highly competitive costume contest with prizes and such, so in terms of Halloween parties, the Steamworks folks would appear to be the gold standard.

The other Saturday night special that can’t be ignored goes on at Scoot ‘n Blues, where the one and only Ralph Dinosaur will shine again on the holiday that we can only assume was custom-made for him. As you may or may not know, Ralph dresses in an alternative style year-round, and on Halloween the rest of us are just playing catch up. While Ralph could easily walk away with the KDUR Karaoke prize, I’m sure he’s being compensated well enough to keep the folks at Scoot ‘n Blues happy into the wee hours of the morning Sunday.

Hey, that’s Halloween! (For now, anyway) And speaking of wee hours and mornings, Sunday is the magical morning when we return to Mountain Standard Time. How does this affect you, the barfly? Well, when they announce last call around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning, thumb your nose and order two more (be sure to tip well if you thumb your nose at the bartender), because you get a bonus hour to drink! Is it an accident that the clocks get reset at 2 a.m.? I think not.

Another important reason to set back your clock Sunday is so you don’t miss the long-awaited return of Freewill Recovery at the Summit. The boys will be playing three full sets, which if nothing else, will give them an opportunity to get the rust off after six months of inactivity. I like these guys, and they’re nice. Oxyclean the vomit off your costume from Saturday, and show up around 10 p.m. ready to rock and/or roll. In the interest of public service, I should also mention that on Sunday night, the streets will be filled with trick-or-treating children and adolescents trying to steal their candy. Please drive carefully.

Finally, we get to Election Day on Tuesday. It’s been said that this is the most important election in our lifetime, and for once, I can’t argue with colloquial wisdom. I don’t want to sound like a partisan hack, as I’ve always considered myself to be a political independent. But this is serious. My apologies for ending on a serious note with such a festive weekend ahead, but I must dust off my conscience and take to preaching. This ain’t your grandpa’s Republican Party, as bad as they were. These are neo-fascists, elitists, racists and imperialists. It is staggering that this race is as close as it would appear to be, and it is no laughing matter to consider that that means about half of the citizens in this country are in that camp. It is an international embarrassment. Here is my own race-by-race voting guide; consider the source and vote your conscience:


U.S. SENATE: Ken Salazar vs. Peter Coors. Do a Google search on “Pete Coors and the Ku Klux Klan.” Really.

U.S. 3rd CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: John Salazar vs. Greg Walcher. Walcher wants to do away with National Public Radio, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy (too many regulations!) and the National Endowment for the Arts. And you thought Scott McInnis was bad. This man, personally and professionally, is an asshole.

LA PLATA COUNTY COMMISSIONER: Wally White vs. Roger Phelps. Phelps’ fellow Republican and potential future co-commissioner Bob Lieb threatened to resign if Phelps is elected. He has since withdrawn that position in the interests of public service, but it’s very telling. I know Wally White, I consider Wally White a friend of mine. Roger Phelps, you are no Wally White.

ALL THOSE AMENDMENTS: Vote “Yes” on every one. Along the way you’ll piss off irresponsible developers and builders, tobacco companies, Republicans (I know, that’s redundant), and energy companies. Oh, well.

RESPONSIBLE GROWTH INITIATIVE: Read it very carefully and make your own educated decision. I know good people on both sides of this issue, but if you must know, after a great deal of deliberation, I’m voting for it.

Most importantly, vote. Tell others to vote. Drive them if you have to. If you are an employer, please give your workers time off to go vote. Libel, slander – bring on the lawsuits, you GOP sons of bitches.

We’ve been tricked for four years – how about a treat?




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