Here comes the judge

by Ted Holteen

If it’s true that pride cometh before a fall, get ready to catch me. Every so often, while toiling in my windowless cubicle here in the sweatshop that is writers’ row at the Telegraph, I remember why I do it. The petty feuds with Chef Boy Ari, the drunken tirades of Judith “The Hammer” Reynolds, fighting with Shan over a two-day old Carvers bagel – even the old IBM Selectric on which I’m forced by Massa Sands & Mum Votel to crank out up to 5,000 errorless words a day (I have to start over if I make a mistake) can’t take the spring out of my step this week. It’s not every day that the appetites of both my ego and my metabolism are equally sated, but then Sat., June 3, isn’t just another day. It happens to be the day that the righteous babes of the Women’s Resource Center put on the single finest fund-raising event in the fund-raising event capital of the west. (I’ve worked long and hard to reach a position where I can use the word “babe” without repercussion. I hope. But I wouldn’t recommend you doing the same, unless you happen to be a babe. Or chick. Whatever.) Men Who Grill is pretty much what it sounds like, only better. Grilling teams of men cook lots of stuff (mostly meat, if they know what’s good for them, although the grilled cheese sandwich last year was a winner in its own right) in competition against each other, and the paying public (that’s you) sample as much as possible before passing out. Then the judges (of which I’m one, by the way) arbitrarily determine the winners based on a loose merit system of bribes, haggling amongst ourselves and the amount of beer drunk during the contest. It works splendidly. The teams are usually in costume, and the culinary creations are often in line with their chosen theme – for example, bearded guys in wife-beaters prepare “Road Kill” (still waiting to hear from the WRC if “wife-beater” is a sanctioned term); also ribs courtesy of The Boneheads (an early favorite, if you’re betting); mini burgers by The Sliders and smoked armadillo (?!?) are also on the menu. Men Who Grill starts at 11:30 a.m. on Main Avenue in front of the Durango Herald offices (they have windows!), with some sort of artsy carnival thing happening across the street in Buckley Park at the same time. It’s the best $15 you’ll spend this summer. Please do so. One more thing – the ladies ask that you leave your dogs at home for this event. It really is for the best – you never know what’ll end up on a grill when the competition gets hot.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think I’m going to be really busy on Saturday. For what I believe is the first time in Society Page history, I’ll not only actually attending a previewed event, but two of them. The Dolores River Festival sounds just too damn good to pass up, so I won’t. What makes it good? Well, it’s free, there’re five bands, there’s free camping on the river, free raft trips, and every brewery in the region will be there selling beer. The bands, in no particular order, are as follows: The Lindells, The Frank Trio, Chopology Accepted (a Dolores band), The Lawn Chair Kings, Cosmic Accident and the evening’s headliner from Austin, Mingo Fishtrap. It should be easy to find me – I’ll be the one in my Winnebago snacking on pilfered smoked armadillo and ribs and drinking beer listening to Sam Cooke CDs. Please don’t talk to me. I will be a bit late – the River Fest goes from 11 a.m. to about 10 at night, so there is a short overlap with the Men Who Grill bit, but the rest of you will have to look to God and follow your own heart. You really can’t lose, so relax and be at peace with your decision. Proceeds from all those beer sales (Steamworks, Ska, Dolores River Brewery, Carver’s and Durango Brewing) go to the Dolores River Coalition, a group who thinks that having a river is better than not having a river. Damn hippies. And if you’re not afraid to add a night to your urban camping trip, start things on Friday night at the Dolores River Brewery, where the very entertaining Dave Insley & His Careless Smokers will kick the weekend off with a show to compliment a fine silent auction, also benefiting those river-loving hippies. That starts at 7 p.m., again on Friday night. No word on whether Dave & Co. have found a venue yet for Saturday, but I for one would love to see them join the lineup.

Have you ever been at a play and said to yourself, “That guy sucks – I could do way better?” This raises two issues: first, you’re probably wrong. Secondly, and you probably didn’t see this one coming, you’ve now got your chance, so put up or shut up. Last week, many of you might have caught The Hammer’s write up of this summer’s “Voices in American Drama” series up at FLC. If not, please refer to last week’s issue and catch up. I’ll wait … finished? Good. Well, today (Thursday) and Saturday, the producers will be holding open auditions so that even you could end up on stage reading something dramatic in July or August. Show up at the Main Theatre Building on campus at one of the above times with a monologue (they have cold readings you can use, but I wouldn’t recommend it), and break a leg. At the very least, it should put a temporary stop to your unfounded and ignorant criticism of amateur theater. And who knows, you might even get lucky. Just make it good and don’t embarrass us.

If for some reason you don’t think that either of my suggestions for Saturday is for you, how about a day of shopping in the Bay area? Apparently it’s garage sale day in Bayfield, and so many people get involved that they actually have maps to steer you to all of them. A very exciting thing for the rubes out there, and it’s likely the only day of the year that Durangoans are truly welcome in Bayfield. Start at Mill Street and everything should fall into place. I unfortunately will not be manning my bookstore (see above agenda), but I’m sure one of those Canadian coffeemongers would be happy to help you if you’d like to take up reading stuff that’s nonfoldable.

6/6/66 to 6/6/6. Happy 40th & welcome to Armageddon, Mikey. We love you.

Keep the conversation open. egholteen@hot The campaign trail starts now – vote for Joelle or you hate America. (Seemed to work last time for those other guys…). •