Best Of 2009

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Fool's gold 

Our most notorious 'taxpayer advocate' earns an unusual Triple Crown

Colorado Springs' Claim to Shame
Person We Can't Believe Lives Here
Public Fool

Douglas Bruce (douglasbruce.com)

The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right. — Mark Twain

Don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that perhaps our village would be better off if a crackling, 50,000-degree bolt of lightning were to stop six feet short of hitting the earth because Doug Bruce's large puffy head got in the way.

It was just a thought.

(Footnote: My other big thought recently was whether the women on David Letterman's staff — and perhaps I could have done a better job right there in choosing my words — at least had enough self-respect to put a bag over his head.)

Which brings us back, somehow, to Bruce: longtime slumlord, former county commissioner and quite briefly (thank you, Jesus), a state representative. Bruce was ousted from that job a while back after kicking a news photographer in the shin during a prayer session, later explaining that he lashed out violently with his foot only because he thought he'd seen a tiny, helpless kitten scamper by.

(I will now attempt to balance out my harsh criticism of Bruce by saying something nice about him. Here goes: Unlike that Gov. Sanford guy, at least Doug doesn't have a mistress in Argentina. Or anywhere else for that matter.)

Along with kicking people, here are some of Bruce's other achievements:

• He once inferred that El Paso County Commission colleague Sallie Clark was a witch, saying that a house fell on her sister. (Bruce then jumped from the second-story window of the administration building, flapped his wings, flew into the forest and snatched a little dog named Toto.)

• After being appointed to the vacant state representative seat by El Paso County Republicans who were apparently drunk at the time, Bruce showed up four days after the start of the state's legislative session. He said that would make him eligible to serve four full terms. (Due to a rare burst of intelligence by county voters, he came up about 3½ terms short.)

Because of that commitment to excellence by Bruce, loyal Indy followers have awarded him the rare Triple Crown, voting him No. 1 in three categories: Public Fool, Colorado Springs' Claim to Shame and Person We Can't Believe Lives Here.

(A surprise loser in all three categories was ex-pastor, newly repaired heterosexual and all-around good guy Ted Haggard. I tried to reach him for comment a few nights ago, but the phone kept sliding out of his hand because of all the massage oil.)

Anyway, Bruce apparently swept to easy victories in the three big categories. Highly efficient county clerk Bob Balink, who helped in the tabulation process, said vote-counting was still underway at press time but promised that every ballot would definitely be counted by the year 4000.

In the meantime, we're left to count something, too — our blessings. Because there are, according to U.S. Census studies, several million cities and towns in the world. For example, there are 11,464 settlements just in the small West African nation of Cote d'Ivoire (literally, "My coat is made from an elephant's teeth"). And the U.S. has some 167,000 cities and villages where a person might live.

Doug Bruce picked this one.

Yippee.

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