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Characters of Colorado Springs

Every culture has its supernatural creatures. The Japanese have the yokai; the Spaniards, the duende. We, in our little mini-culture of Colorado Springs, have what you see below.

Here you'll find random "characters" and anthropomorphized experiences culled from daily life in the Pikes Peak region. They're not exactly mythical, but in many cases they are associated with what most people, in most places, would find inexplicable. We hope you find them useful in deciding what to enjoy and what to be annoyed about, and welcome any additions to our collection. Send all ideas to scene@csindy.com and, as ever, thanks for reading.

click to enlarge Sword

Hi, I'm a Colorado Springs native — a creature of myth, known by few. But let's get some things straight. Cutting my head off will not give you my power. I don't know what the "Gathering" is, much less where it will be. And I am not interested in single combat. My friends tell me this kind of crap doesn't happen in Denver. If that's true, it's no wonder we leave town.

click to enlarge Yoga mat

Welcome, I'm your libertarian yoga teacher. The capitalist in me honors the capitalist in you. If you do not have your own yoga mat, I have a few for sale at the back of the room. Today, we're starting class with a pranayama exercise. Breathe deep and repeat after me: Government aid is an obstacle to enlightenment. Meditate on this while I take your payment.

click to enlarge Bible guy

Greetings, I'm the guy on the street corner reading — no, shouting — from the Bible. 'Cause this is America, I believe in free speech, and I'm certain YOU'RE GOING TO HELL IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE WHAT I BELIEVE. But hey, the good news is I wanna save you. So just listen up. I know I'm really making an impact here. See that homeless guy across the street? He's totally getting it.

click to enlarge Hail

Hey, I'm the late spring, early summer hailstorm. Just when those delicate green sprouts shoot out from your plants and seedlings, that's my favorite time to blow in and just rain a furious, biblical-proportion beating on everything. I'll even dent your car's hood, slay your roof shingles, and damn near kill those poor bastards who are out hiking or biking.

click to enlarge Sun

Hello, I'm a dry heat. You might know me as the stock response to complaints about how hot it can be around here. I'm the source of your addiction to ChapStick, and the reason your asthma's good but your skin is not. I may not always be around — see my buddy, the hailstorm down there? — but it always sounds smart to trot me out and mollify the melting. (It's a dry melting.)

click to enlarge Puke plane

Hi, I'm your flight from Colorado Springs to Denver. Come on, don't you wanna vomit? Just a little, in your mouth? I'm so turbulent at my low altitude, and I only last about as long as your bedtime bath, but hey, I beat the C-470 toll and I-25 traffic.

click to enlarge Hiker

Well hello there, I'm the youth minister taking a group of kids up Barr Trail. Gosh, it's a lovely day, isn't it? It's perfect for a day-hike to the top of the Pikes Peak. None of us have been up there before — I sure haven't. But I'm not worried. All the kids have water bottles and a snack. I know the weather can change quickly, so we got to the trailhead at 9, nice and early. What's the worst that could happen?

click to enlarge Tamales trunk

Hi, I'm the tamale lady on the side of the road. You might see me on South Nevada Avenue near Southgate, or at Fountain and Murray boulevards, or near Fillmore Street and Centennial Boulevard. It's possible that you make a better masa or juicier pork at home, but there's nothing like buying tamales from the trunk of a car. Plus, it's way less shady than purchasing a handgun or a dog roadside.

click to enlarge Drifter

Hi, I'm the overly friendly drifter outside the Maté Factor. I'm just passing through Manitou Springs on my way to South America to find a shaman and do some ayahuasca. I mean, I don't have my passport yet or any money saved, but I have some freegan friends who're letting me sleep on their floor. I can day-labor, or you could toss me some spare change or weed. Hey, do you know when the next drum circle in the park is?

click to enlarge Driver

Hi, I'm your left-lane driver. No, I'm not paying attention to my rearview mirror, so I don't see you. All my attention is focused on steering at this incredible rate of 59 mph. Also, I like to cruise next to big rigs, so you'll never get by. Have a great Sunday, every day.

click to enlarge Crash

Hey, I'm an avant-garde art student at UCCS. My visual tribute to Krzysztof Penderecki's Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima is going to put me on the map. I started out doing music, but I really got into sculpture after I saw Woyzeck at TheatreWorks. My favorite material is scrap from car crashes around the Palmer statue downtown.

click to enlarge Beard

Hey there, I'm a brewer's beard. I'm long, strong and aggressive, and there may be small animals or at least microflora living in me. Could be squirrel, bat, spider nest, or stray Brettanomyces yeast from that epic Russian River Supplication clone I just brewed. But when you see me, you know you're in for high ABV, and maybe barrel-aging.

click to enlarge Pot hole

Hi, I'm a pothole. I just wrecked your car. Like, seriously. I eat tire rods, struts, rims, tire sidewalls, and sometimes I'll even chomp on your undercarriage. The city says it needs hundreds of millions of dollars to truly address its backlog of repaving jobs. Think about that, then think about the way people hate taxes around here, and just roll away slowly.



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