When I heard about a guy in our village named UFO Phil and his plan to build an alien spacecraft-refueling station atop Pikes Peak, I had the same reaction as you: Boy, this list of City Council candidates just keeps getting more fascinating.
Turns out, though, UFO Phil has no political ambition. This makes him one of an estimated nine people in our town not running for Council or mayor. Phil would, however, like to bring a being from another galaxy to a City Council meeting, which would be a first. Unless you count Sean Paige.
Seriously, even though UFO Phil and his alien pals are not seeking local office, odd extraterrestrial life forms are still represented in the at-large Council race. I'm talking, of course, about Ed Bircham, from the solar system Krypto-Kinetic-Kaolinite or KKK, and Doug Bruce, who emerged from beneath a rock in the galaxy Azzholius, where the beings are called Azzhols.
Anyway, UFO Phil — his real name is Phil Hill — wants to construct a gigantic Egyptian pyramid fuel station on our famous mountain. You think the artist Christo has a few obstacles trying to stretch a couple of bedsheets over the Arkansas River?
"I contacted the city of Colorado Springs and the U.S. Forest Service about the hydrogen pyramid on Pikes Peak," UFO Phil said during a Sunday morning phone call. "Initially, they did not seem to take me seriously."
And yet people still pretend to listen when Mayor Lionel Rivera talks.
Briefly, here's the plan, which Phil says is based on secret blueprints and schematics given to him by the aliens: The pyramid atop Pikes Peak will be 755 feet tall and will be built with limestone blocks, each weighing 2.57 tons. Phil says 2.3 million of these stone blocks will be needed.
Phil says the massive structure can be built by just 60 men, which sounds like a lot of work, but I remind you that just last Tuesday, in only eight hours, 386 Colorado Springs city employees, working as one, filled a medium-sized pothole and unscrewed another street light bulb.
But before work begins on the alien fuel station, a few earthlings are demanding some paperwork be completed. I would like to share excerpts from UFO Phil's actual letter to the Forest Service and, more importantly as it pertains to the area of humor, portions of the Forest Service's actual reply:
Dear Mr. Jeff Hovermale of the U.S. Forest Service:
I wish to construct a stone pyramid atop Pikes Peak based on extraterrestrial technology. It would mirror the Great Pyramid of Giza when it was in pristine operating condition some 4,600 years ago.
Sincerely, Phil Hill/UFO Phil
And the response:
Mr. Phil Hill:
The Forest Service must evaluate proposals to meet minimum requirements applicable to special uses per 36 CFR 251.54(3) (pre-application initial screening) criteria. An initial consideration of the pyramid-shaped power plant proposal would likely find the proposed use would unreasonably conflict and interfere with the Forest Management Plan and existing authorized uses on Pikes Peak.
Thank you for contacting the U.S. Forest Service and enjoy the National Forest.
Jeffrey B. Hovermale, U.S. Forest Service, Pikes Peak Ranger District
Because while constructing a hydrogen-producing Egyptian pyramid atop Pikes Peak seems like a great idea, if we ignore 36 CFR 251.54(3), the next thing you know we're ignoring 36 CFR 251.54(2) and maybe even 36 CFR 251.54(6) and frankly, I don't think any of us want to live like that.
It might not even matter, because this week Phil got a new idea.
"I think I can build it without any permits," he said.
A cynic might have responded by saying, "Sure, if you quietly slip our mayor an envelope stuffed with $100 bills before he leaves office!" But I'm not like that and instead I guided the conversation toward alien abductions. I'm glad I did.
"I get abducted almost every day," Phil said. "They seem to take one day off each week."
Which makes it a lot like the mating habits of the Kardashian sisters. Although to be fair, the Kardashians are young and sexy and, well, they're only human.
Not like Doug Bruce. That Azzhol.