Bruce's life on the inside 

Ranger Rich

Our own Douglas Bruce, a convicted tax cheat and winner of the 2010 Pillsbury Doughboy Look-Alike contest, says that one day when he was in Denver County Jail, he was forced to bend over naked in the shower so guards could check for contraband.

I have now made myself queasy and need to dash outside for some air...

OK, I'm back. And I hereby vow not to make any more references to Doug Bruce being naked in prison or bending over in the shower or hiding anything in his rump or buttockal region. Although I will say that guards reportedly found something up there. It turned out to be Doug's head.

The point here is that Doug, author of the state's controversial budget-slashing act known as TABOR and a guy who has had more ups and downs than John Edwards' zipper, was released from jail last week after serving just 104 days of his 180-day tax fraud sentence— because of good behavior.

Former Rocky Mountain News photographer Javier Manzano says he had a premonition about the good-behavior release when his left knee began to ache. (Manzano's knee, you recall, got in the way of Doug's cloven-hoof in 2008 during the morning prayer of the Legislature. Doug was there because El Paso County Republicans handed Doug a vacant state representative post, knowing that what our village really needed was one more nut to represent us.)

Anyway, minutes after his release, Doug was blasting the jail conditions. This from a decades-long slumlord who, according to a Gazette story, once had a set of tenants living in a four-plex with no heat, broken water pipes and 14 other code violations. (They were forced out just before Christmas, when the building was declared uninhabitable.)

Here's what the Man Without a Soul had to say about the jailhouse food: "They served refrigerated rolls at least twice a day. I've never seen that."

Other things he's reportedly never seen include a ray of sunshine and a naked woman without an air valve.

Doug said he lost 47 pounds during his jail days and was briefly being considered for an appearance on the popular TV show The Biggest Loser — but was later told the show doesn't take professionals.

More about the food: "They served what they called gravy," he said, "which I considered to look and taste like sewage." (Note: If I saw something that looked like sewage I wouldn't eat it. I can be a fussy bastard like that.)

Doug, campaigning for the 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Award, also said the jail had double standards about weapons. "They allow black inmates to have picks for their hair that could poke someone's eye out," he said.

Speaking of King, Doug said he read books about the late civil rights leader, Nelson Mandela and Gandhi so he could appreciate his own persecution. (He was about to read a fourth book about self-important people with crazy and delusional thoughts, but one of his cellmates ate it.)

Our village's daily newspaper, the Denver Post, said Bruce worked in the jail's kitchen and laundry room and also scrubbed bathrooms. (Judging by his dental appearance in post-jail photos, he scrubbed the bathrooms with his own toothbrush.)

From the Post: "Bruce also said an inmate threatened to send him home in a body bag." Prison officials are looking for the inmate who made that threat and hinted that possible punishments might include better food, cold beer and some sort of a trophy.

Bruce, a one-time El Paso County commissioner who was elected to that office in 2004 (campaign motto: "Vote for Doug Bruce or He'll Kick You in the Knee While You're Praying"), is now back in our village. He said he's planning his own Welcome Home party. No one is expected to attend.

He will now serve six years of probation and will likely spend much of it crying about what he claims were the jail's cheap and lousy food and the deplorable living conditions.

TABOR budget restrictions can be funny that way.


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