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You are sooo Colorado Springs if... 

click to enlarge CREIGHTON SMITH

Even though our city may want for cosmopolitan savoir-faire, respectable politicians and a decent daily newspaper, if there's one thing we know how to do, it's make fun of ourselves.

Welcome to the Indy's first theme issue designed to highlight and celebrate those quirky realities and habits that make our city unique. We fielded many readers' submissions pertaining to religion, the ubiquity of sports utility vehicles (they're quite popular here, who knew?) and everyone's favorite footwear combo (tube socks with your Tevas?); we tried to save the most ink for the cream of the crop.

So without further ado, here's what 25 contributors and nine Indy staffers thought being "so Colorado Springs" is all about.

Arts & farts

You can't quite decide on which club to go to on Friday night: the one with white people playing the blues, the other one with white people playing the blues, or the one with white people playing the blues.

--Aaron Retka, downtown You bemoan the dearth of local live music, but can't remember the last time you actually went looking for some.

--Victoria Rios, Old North End

The classical CD playing in Starbucks constitutes a cultural experience.

-- Rob Brendle, Briargate

You think a symphony is some kind of Korean automobile.

--Owen Kramer, Old North End

Arugula, portobello, and mahi-mahi are entirely out of the question; butter-fried cow nuts are not.

-- BA

You have never eaten at a locally owned restaurant.

--Bettina Swigger, downtown

You vote for a chain restaurant in a "Best of" category.

-- Ginni Francis

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You got a chainsaw bear sculpture for its certain ... je ne sais quoi.

-- NB

Got Church?

The congregation of your church is larger than the population of many small towns.

--Bettina Swigger, downtown

Your church blesses dogs, cats and turtles, but not same-sex unions.

-- Name withheld upon request, West Side

You request anonymity in a newspaper, fearing backlash from conservative Christians. -- CD

Your idea of diversity is "Catholic."

--Susan Edmondson, downtown

Your church "proudly brews Starbucks coffee."

-- JD

Politics shmolitics

You think Democrats are communists, and you're glad that you don't know any.

-- JH

You think Republicans are crazed warmongers, and you're glad that you don't know any.

-- JH

You think Chuck Brown is a piece of meat.

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-- CD

You hate the government but love the flowers in the medians.

-- Annie, Patty Jewett

People apologize to you when they find out you're a Democrat.

-- Leigh Jordan, Shooks Run

You think "The Three Amigos" are Ed Bircham, Doug Bruce and James Dobson rather than the late '80s Denver Broncos Mark Jackson, Ricky Nattiel and Vance Johnson.

-- Grant Warrington, Erindale

The last public meeting you were at was attended by the same 100 "citizen representatives" and "stakeholders" who have been formally trained for future "leadership roles" and have appeared at every other public meeting you've attended for 10 years.

-- CD

You have nothing against gay people; you've just never met any.

-- JH

You think "liberal" in liberal arts means a political position.

-- Diane Benninghoff, Cragmoor

You look in the mirror and the reflection says "Terry Harris."

-- CD

Shooting gazelles (and other media)

You're "so happy" Rich Tosches column was canceled.

-- Grant Warrington, Erindale

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You thought Rich Tosches was a viable cultural critic.

--Bettina Swigger, downtown

You protested the termination of Rich Tosches column by wrapping a fish in the Gazette, leaving the package at the newspaper's office, and then cleaning up at the end of the protest.

-- JD

You subscribe to the Gazette for the double-lined bag.

-- Leigh Jordan, Shooks Run

Chuck Asay's cartoons are the reason you keep your Gazette subscription.

-- Grant Warrington, Erindale

Chuck Asay's cartoons are the reason you canceled your Gazette subscription.

-- Grant Warrington, Erindale

You accuse the Gazette of Bolshevik leanings.

-- Chris Selvig

You think Ed Bircham is a journalist who happens to sell office supplies.

-- JD

Eric Singer is your hero.

-- CD

You think Mike Madson is "hot."

-- NB

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You think John Hazlehurst is a "celebrity."

-- CD

The local TV news broadcasts serious coverage of the Seven Deadly Sins and Psychic Predictions for 2004.

-- CD

You've never heard of the Colorado Springs Independent.

-- JD

It's not the heat, it's the stupidity

You get seasonal affective disorder when it's overcast for two days or more.

-- Grant Warrington, Erindale

You blame things on the elevation, even if you've lived here for years.

-- Kevin Connors, downtown

You get up at 3 a.m. to covertly water your lawn.

-- JM

Back in the day...

You went to Ventucci pumpkin farm on a field trip when you were a kid.

-- Kathy, downtown

You know who the wig lady and insane jogger man are.

-- Kathy, downtown

click to enlarge CREIGHTON SMITH

You liked driving to Denver when it was the Valley Highway.

-- Diane Benninghoff, Cragmoor

You remember the Ducky Boys and the Independent skate park behind the Independent Annex on Bijou where The Users of Wicked Gravity always played.

--Yves, downtown

You say "more annoying than a Germer's commercial."

-- Chris Selvig

Only in Colorado Springs

You think Elvira is cool simply because she hails from your hometown.

--Tamara Matthews, Southgate

You associate August with flooding, the Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, and the Broadmoor Ice Review.

-- GTS

You know or are related to someone who has been in (the bands) "B Positive," "The Last Supper" or "Animosity."

-- Yves, downtown

You say, "It's changed a lot since I've been here," no matter how long you've been here.

-- Kevin Connors, downtown

You have 25 different WWJD bracelets to go with all your outfits. -- JM

You work for a nonprofit that has some combination of the words "family" and "values" in its name.

-- Grant Warrington, Erindale

click to enlarge CREIGHTON SMITH

You've received an inter-office memo stating that Western wear is appropriate attire for the week of the Rodeo Parade. (And you already have something in your wardrobe that fits the bill.)

-- GTS

You live on the West Side, and you have a broken washing machine in the front yard.

-- JH

You live in the Broadmoor, and you don't know how to use a washing machine. -- JH

When people ask where you're from you reply, "originally?"

-- Kevin Connors, downtown

You know how to pronounce Cache La Poudre Street.

-- Bettina Swigger, downtown

You KNOW the pronunciation for the street is WIL-a-METTE.

--GTS

You complain about General Palmer's statue.

-- Diane Benninghoff, Cragmoor

This sporting life

The Dragon Arms firearms complex is wholesome family fun.

>-- CD

You paid more for your mountain bike than your rent.

--LeAnne Carrouth, Middle Shooks Run

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You remember when hiking the incline wasn't a crime.

-- Monika Kaufman, Skyway

You go to work when you are sick and take a day off when you feel great to hike and/or ski.

-- Monika Kaufman, Skyway

You leave your ski rack on all year even though you used it once in 1990. -- Frank, downtown

Springsters, provinical? Let us count the ways

You live east of Circle Drive and believe that Manitou Springs is somewhere up by Denver.

-- Chris H

You think Colorado College is a community college.

-- Lori Ann Summers, Divine Redeemer

You think downtown is "funky."

-- LeAnne Carrouth, Middle Shooks Run

You believe bad people will be condemned to eternity in Boulder.

-- Grant Warrington, Erindale

You've never been to Boulder.

-- JD

You drive to Denver on Saturday afternoon because "the malls are better."

-- Rob Brendle, Briargate

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You've never been to Denver's 16th Street Mall.

-- Eliz Carter, North West side

You live downtown and have never been to Academy Boulevard --JD

You live on Academy Boulevard and have never been downtown. --JD

You live on Fort Carson and never leave the base.

--JD

You think you get "fresh fish" at Safeway.

-- CSB

A quick glance south

Pueblo folk scare you like the Gauls.

--BA

You feel superior to Pueblo.

-- LeAnne Carrouth, Middle Shooks Run

You vacation in Pueblo. --JH

The towns are pronounced Pye-eb-la and Byoo-nee. -- CD

Fashion crime blotter...

You think your new Tevas ARE dress shoes.

--Monika Kaufman, Skyway

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You shop at Wal-Mart for the styles, not the prices. -- JH

You could use your belt buckle for a sundial.

-- LeAnne Carrouth, Middle Shooks Run

You wear a mullet without any sense of irony. --JD

Your closet is like the four food groups: fleece, thermal, microfiber and nylon. -- CSB

You see a biker on a motorcycle adorned head to toe with antlers and don't give it a second thought.

-- Jennifer Tarbox, Denver (formerly Skyway)

Uhh, OK...

A tiny part of you dies each time a McDonald's, Wal-Mart or Starbucks is taken over by one of those ruthless mom and pops.

-- Aaron Retka, Downtown

The word "butte" doesn't make you giggle, even a little.

-- BA

You have to look up the word 'ethnic' and your spell-checker replaces it with 'Ethernet.'

-- Rodney Wood, Pueblo

You woke up, got outta bed, dragged a gnome across your head ...

-- CR

You just know Uma Thurman would really like you, if you could just figure out how to meet her.

-- JH

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You have no idea who Uma Thurman is.

--JH

If you believe Sartre is any of the following:

a breath mint

a biblical figure

a Punjabi proselytizer

-- CR

You have no idea where the actual Colorado springs are.

-- Bettina Swigger, downtown

Road rage

You and the driver you just cut off both sport a fish on the back of your car.

-- Rob Brendle, Briargate

You understand why Kelly Johnson turns into Briargate and why Austin Bluffs turns into Garden of the Gods.

-- Bettina Swigger, downtown

You think that everyone else is a crappy driver when they won't move out of your way as you cross four lanes of traffic in one block to turn left, as you chat to your "baby daddy" on the cell phone, with a holographic bordered sticker that says "Hottie" or "Playa" on the bumper of your '92 Ford Escort that was due an oil change in 1999.

-- Frank, downtown

You think Pueblo people should make the drive to meet you, but resent that Denver folks expect you to drive to them.

-- Diane Benninghoff, Cragmoor

Your "Broncos Maniac" sticker competes for bumper space with an American flag, a Jesus fish, a "These Colors Don't Run" decal, and at least six "I Stop at Lube Stop" stickers.

-- Aaron Retka, downtown

It never occurs to you that Airport Road should access the airport.

-- Chris H.

You buy a Hummer to be patriotic.

-- Chris Selvig

And, of course...

You're sooo Colorado Springs if you don't think we're talking about you.

--CSB

Independent staff contributors include Brian Arnot (BA), Noel Black (NB), Cara DeGette (CD), John Dicker (JD), John Hazlehurst (JH), Jeff Moore (JM), Craig Richardson (CR), Gina Schaarschmidt (GTS) and Carrie Simison-Bitz (CSB)

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