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Odd predictions for next year 

Ranger Rich

A year ago I gazed into my crystal ball and predicted a leader would emerge as a cold, ruthless despot and bully, forcing his will upon the people as they huddled in fear, whispering about him behind his back and making quiet jokes about his hair color.

I was talking about North Korea, but as Douglas Bruce likes to say, "If the shoe fits ... use it to kick a photographer in the shin during a prayer session."

And so in 2012 our village endured its second year of Mayor Kim Jong Il, I mean Steve Bach, an astute businessman who found the money to turn our streetlights back on. Sure, the streetlight money might well have come from leasing our hospital, but no one is perfect. (I don't know every detail of the hospital deal, although having seen for some 20 years how our city is run, I — like most of you — just assume we got screwed.)

But that, as readers of the Gazette like to say, is old news. Let's see what 2013 holds for this lovely place we call home, Colorado Springs — the Minimum-Wage Capital of America.

Let's start with the Gazette and its new owner, billionaire Philip Anschutz, whose formative experience with newspapers consisted of rolling one up and using it during house training on the head of his poodle, Sir Brantley Edmonds of Lancashire. (Sir Brantley now growls and hides under the kitchen table when he sees the Gazette. Just like us.)

Anyway, Anschutz became the 876th owner of the Gazette in the past two years, following among others the National Rifle Association, China, the Thrifty Nickel and most recently Darlene and Monica, both 8, who bought the paper with money from their lemonade stand.

In 2013, I predict the Gazette will undergo a major transformation from a five-page newspaper filled with totally meaningless stories to a 40-page newspaper filled with fairly meaningless stories — and one story each day that staff has produced on its own. (Tomorrow's main headline: "Romney Remains Confident, Focuses on North Dakota.")

Other predictions for 2013:

• Mayor Bach sells the Martin Drake Power Plant and Colorado Springs becomes energy-independent, the first city in America powered entirely by homeless people running on gigantic hamster wheels.

• Director Quentin Tarantino makes a movie about Colorado Springs drivers in the winter. Dbuick Unchained tells the grisly tale of Ed, who prematurely removes the tire chains from his 1978 LeSabre and skids off the road 42 times in 30 minutes during a raging half-inch "blizzard."

• By June, traffic at our village airport dwindles to just one takeoff and one landing per day — to and from Denver. On a positive note, the airport receives $2 million in federal funds with its new designation as the National Antelope and Coyote Refuge.

• Led by Focus on the Family, our village adopts a Right to Life policy based on the belief that life starts at the moment a guy walks up to a woman in a bar and says, "Want to climb a Fourteener?"

• In an ongoing crusade to outlaw things they don't like (see last week's column), City Council and Mayor Steve Jong Il impose a downtown ban on people who use a cane. Also banned is any public mention of Barack Obama.

• Not banned in the downtown area but officially Frowned Upon are men wearing Italian shoes, men or women who have vacationed outside of the United States, and people who have been to college and have "crazy ideas."

• In tribute to longtime U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn, the town commissions a statue similar to the one in the middle of North Nevada Avenue with village founder Gen. William Palmer astride his majestic stallion, Tippy. To save money on the new sculpture and to avoid redundancy or "doubling up," the horse Lamborn sits on does not have an ass.

Rich Tosches (rangerrich@csindy.com) also writes a Sunday column in the Denver Post.

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