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Youre sooo Colorado Springs 

Observations on SUVs, strip malls and other things Springs

click to enlarge KATHY CONARRO
  • Kathy Conarro

Doesn't it seem that when friends or family members come to visit, they don't even make it to your house before noticing that life here's a little different?

"The lawns are so green. I thought you said you never get rain."

"Focus on the Family gets its own highway sign?"

"Is that common around here, people tying antlers to their Suburbans?"

So much makes Colorado Springs a truly unique place to live -- politics, culture, nature. No facet of life is exempt.

As we like to do annually, we've collected some thoughts, from Indy staffers as well as readers, on what it means to be from Colorado Springs. Enjoy.

Left or right?

You're so Colorado Springs if ...

You complain about the state of the world, but still stand behind your vote for Bush. -- JR

Whenever the county commissioners fire a civil servant, you get a warm, fuzzy feeling. -- MDY

You think Sallie Clark is a liberal. -- T.J. Conway

You think Lionel Rivera is some kind of antique electric train. -- JH

You await new revisions to the tax code with great anticipation. -- MDY

You think the Gazette is a left-leaning paper. -- T.J. Conway

click to enlarge A collectible Lionel Rivera.
  • A collectible Lionel Rivera.

You're constantly reminding your Democrat friends that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. -- MDY

At midnight, you sneak out to your car to peel off your "W" sticker because you've become angry that a family member is preparing for a fourth tour of duty in Iraq. -- MDY

Your Halloween costume of George W. truly horrifies everyone. -- MDY

You love the president more than your neighbor. -- Elizabeth Osborne and Christopher Curcio

You have more than two "Support our Troops" magnets on your SUV. -- JH

You fear asking for your annual raise because your boss will label you a bitter, malcontented socialist. -- MDY

You think Kansas is a blue state. -- T.J. Conway

You consider running for a seat on the El Paso Board of County Commissioners because you want to do something about these damn taxes -- and you're shocked by how few people in Colorado Springs publicly exercise their Second Amendment right to pack heat. -- MDY

Your concept of world peace includes nuking the shit out of anyone who doesn't agree with you. -- Elizabeth Osborne and Christopher Curcio

Your cat is a Republican and your canary is a Democrat. -- MDY

You've never voted for anyone who won, except Richard Skorman. -- JH

You've always voted for the winners, except Richard Skorman. -- JH

You've refused to drive on Interstate 25 south of El Paso County ever since it was designated the "John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway." -- TL

click to enlarge Pikes Peak is inspiring whether you walk, run or drive up.
  • Pikes Peak is inspiring whether you walk, run or drive up.

You favor TABOR but have never read nor understood the entire bill. -- T.J. Conway

All around us

You're so Colorado Springs if ...

You hike to the top of Pikes Peak to refresh your soul. -- DW

You take your friends out to a scenic vista where the deer and the antelope play and tell them, "Picture 100,000 tightly packed houses right here, each with hardly any room for a backyard and a charter school right in the middle." -- MDY

You expect schools to be delayed or closed when there's a speck of snow on the ground. -- CSB

You own an SUV to help you get through the snow, but scrape your windows with a credit card. -- CSB

The penny-pinching side of you identifies with owning a hybrid, but you'll never buy one because your redneck friends consider them "faggy." -- MDY

You play horseshoes with toilet seats. -- MS

If it rains or snows at all, you lose your mind and the ability to drive. -- Tavvie L. Shaw

Your 2005 engineering class term paper is titled, "Coal: The Wonder Fuel of the Future". -- MDY

You think you really know how to drive in the snow. -- JH

You say you're going on a fitness binge and soon will climb Pikes Peak, but eventually the feeling goes away and you drive up instead. -- MDY

click to enlarge Look, kids! Its  coal!
  • Look, kids! Its coal!

You've put your $5,000 mountain bike on a car that cost you as much, or less. -- Griffin Swartzell

Culture or something like it

You're so Colorado Springs if ...

Your idea of dressing up for a night on the town means putting on your new sweats and flip-flops and heading to Wal-Mart. -- Elizabeth Osborne and Christopher Curcio

You're glad you live within a mile of a Wal-Mart. -- T.J. Conway

You desperately want a thriving music scene, only to have hopes dashed by thugs and drugs. -- DW

You wake up to obscure pan flute music on KRCC -- every damn, dirty, stinking morning! -- MDY

"Nebraska" is a bad word. -- SP

You think downtown is hopping on Saturday because it takes you five minutes to find a parking space. -- KCE

You only go to Manitou when you have company in town. -- SJG

You think Denver is full of Commies because it has light rail. -- MDY

click to enlarge We have a torrid love-hate relationship with Wal-Mart.
  • We have a torrid love-hate relationship with Wal-Mart.

You think the City Auditorium is really cool, but curse the city for not fixing it up. -- DW

You have an entire photo album dedicated to mountain photographs. -- SP

You can see the city's cowboy roots below the sprawling concrete. -- DW

You think that Texas Roadhouse is fine dining. -- Tavvie L. Shaw

You cannot comprehend how the Indy can be free when the Gazette costs so much. -- JR

Weed has replaced your 10 to 12 daily servings of whole grains. -- SP

You think all nonprofits have religious affiliations. -- CSB

When someone says "South Park," you think of the spacious fields on the way to Buena Vista. -- Griffin Swartzell

You know how to pronounce Buena Vista. -- Griffin Swartzell

You consider driving your gas-guzzling SUV a symbolic act of patriotism. -- MDY

click to enlarge c38b_cover-20077.gif

You think college dormitories are a novelty, not the norm. -- CSB

All you asked for Christmas was beer. -- SP

All you asked for your birthday was beer. -- SP

You drink 3.2 beer on Sundays. -- CSB

Your favorite colors for a house are tan, beige or light brown -- in that order. -- MDY

You've never been to Aspen, because it's too liberal, too expensive or too far away. -- JH

You saw the "evil Wal-Mart movie," yet continue to shop there. -- MS

You've heard someone talk about "living in Tweakertown" and understood them. -- Griffin Swartzell

You live in Tweakertown. -- Griffin Swartzell

Your grandparents in Maine have been to Denver more than you. -- SP

North is mountains on the left, south is mountains on the right, west is staring at Pikes Peak, and east is where all those damned liberals are coming from. -- Griffin Swartzell

You count a Public Storage space with 24-hour access among your most affordable options for an apartment. -- MDY

click to enlarge Focusing on everyones family.
  • Focusing on everyones family.

You complain about how bad corporations have made the world while shopping at Wal-Mart. -- JR

You felt finally in fashion when the Indy ran the hard-hitting Crocs headline. -- MS

You plan to meet friends for coffee and you bring your laptop, cell phone, blackberry, iPod, digital camera and Bible. -- T.J. Conway

Getting around

You're so Colorado Springs if ...

You accelerate through intersections in order to avoid striking pedestrians trying to cross the street. -- DW

You believe you must drive an expensive truck or SUV, then have almost no money left after your car payment. -- Tavvie L. Shaw

You are able to get into a strip mall parking lot in four or fewer left turns. -- MDY

You back up the entire length of a city block because you thought you might have seen a parking space open up. -- T.J. Conway

You, as the dutiful wife, stand in the street, in front of a vacant parking meter, saving the space while hubby brings the car around. -- T.J. Conway

You go 65 mph down Nevada just to cut me off, then slow down to 25 -- in a 35 mph zone. -- JR

You dart out, mid-block, between two cars, then give the finger to the guy who slammed on his brakes to avoid leaving you as roadkill. -- T.J. Conway

click to enlarge a925_cover-20077.gif

You cause a major pileup on I-25 because you were busy looking at another major pileup. -- MDY

You have a "Namaste" sticker on your Subaru Outback. -- MS

You have a natural fear of merging onto Powers Boulevard. -- Tavvie L. Shaw

You have time to practice meditation and contemplation while waiting for a light to change at some intersections, or maybe have a coffee with some good reading. -- Silvino Lyra

Heaven-sent, hell-bound

You're so Colorado Springs if ...

You consider drinking Diet Coke "eating healthy." -- JR

When you go for a run, you will be crossed by the "screaming runner." -- Silvino Lyra

You've sent your rsum to NORAD after taking getting a degree in homeland security at one of those universities that advertises on TV, but haven't heard back yet. (Fingers crossed.) -- MDY

If the high fat content of Denny's "Moons Over My Hammy" makes you feel numb all over -- in a good way. -- MDY

You own 14 pairs of sunglasses. -- SP

click to enlarge Fashion validation via the Indy.
  • Fashion validation via the Indy.

Things were a lot better when you first came to town. -- JH

You are shocked, absolutely shocked, when it rains. -- KCE

You ordered a "Tofurky" for Thanksgiving and Christmas. -- MS

You've failed twice to meet dress code at Eden Niteclub. -- MS

As far as you know, you've never met an actual gay person. -- JH

You're just beginning to figure it out: You're gay! -- JH

You're a sourpuss for a whole week when the Broncos lose. -- CSB

You wear your winter-fur boots to King Soopers. -- MS

You pack a suitcase when driving from the west side to Powers. -- CSB

You like it here! -- Atomic Elroy

The season is winter, and you're wearing flip-flops and complaining about how cold you are! -- Tavvie L. Shaw

You're scared to go to Manitou because of the witches. -- CSB

click to enlarge a2cc_cover-20077.gif

Every time you consider starting a creative project, you go to a mall in hopes of killing the strange urge. -- MDY

You seriously consider that the residents of the north side may have been body-snatched by alien life forms. -- Elizabeth Osborne and Christopher Curcio

You enjoy the smell of horse manure deposited on Tejon after any parade. -- T.J. Conway

You wait patiently, fifth in line at the grocery store, as an 82-year-old person pays a charge of $1.50 with a check. -- Silvino Lyra

You secretly nurture the weeds in your yard, growing them right up to the maximum height allowed in the city code -- just to spite your nosy, pain-in-the-ass neighbors. -- MDY

You drag an oxygen tank around everywhere and are STILL smoking. -- Tavvie L. Shaw

Your Y2K foodstuffs included trail mix and Celestial Seasonings tea. -- Griffin Swartzell

You think finding a garbage can to toss your fast-food package in is too hard, so you just throw it out the car window instead. -- KCE

On any given night, you can name at least 15 people in any downtown bar. -- SJG

click to enlarge b551_cover-20077.gif

You're so Colorado Springs if '

Your car is in such bad repair that you begin to pray for your own safety; this situation miraculously leads you to attendance at New Life Church. -- MDY

You cringe when you see two men holding hands, and believe SpongeBob is sent from the devil. -- JR

You recognize that there are more churches in town than east-west turn lanes. -- Elizabeth Osborne and Christopher Curcio

You've never been to a church that didn't have a multimedia service. -- JH

You read the Independent, and worry your name will appear on a list of subscribers at Focus on the Family! -- Elizabeth Osborne and Christopher Curcio

You think demons will steal your soul if you go downtown. -- JH

You're going to write a letter to Focus on the Family because you've recently noticed that the names "Santa" and "Satan" suspiciously contain the same letters -- and both of them wear red! -- MDY

You have had so many Bible studies at Starbucks, they have replaced their windows with stained glass. -- T.J. Conway

You know the difference between Odd- and Evan- Gelicals. -- T.J. Conway

To you, God is a four-letter word. -- MDY

You were raised to love Jesus and to hate queers and Jews. -- Elizabeth Osborne and Christopher Curcio

You think you'll be converted by the right-wing Christians if you go to Briargate. -- JH

You lobby to change the name of Garden of the Gods to Garden of the One True God: Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior, Amen. -- MDY

You camped out at the theaters a week before Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was released. -- MS

You can recite at least 20 pages of the Bible from memory, but can't remember to use your turn signals. -- Griffin Swartzell

You wear Broncos colors to church. -- MS

You actively seek out a church that sells popcorn and soda in the lobby before the service. -- MDY

You consider becoming a Catholic for the free wine. -- MDY

Indy contributors: Michael de Yoanna (MDY), Kathryn Eastburn (KCE), Sarah Jane Griesemer (SJG), John Hazlehurst (JH), Sally Piette (SP), Jen Rieger (JR), Matthew Schniper (MS) and Carrie Simison-Bitz (CSB).

  • Observations on SUVs, strip malls and other things Springs

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