Colorado Springs or bust 

Ranger Rich

Today I will write about cleavage, which is defined as a space created when certain things are pushed together by the owner of those things in an effort to avoid having to buy her own drinks.

And despite that insensitive sentence, I want you to know that I have nothing against anyone's cleavage. If I did have something against someone's cleavage, I believe it would be very distracting and would make it almost impossible for me to type. Frankly, I have trouble concentrating when a blue jay lands on the branch outside my window.

The point here is that our village is in the news because of cleavage. Seems a local advertising executive, with help from his grandmother and a 4-year-old, has decided that Colorado Springs is no place to be showing cleavage. And by cleavage I mean puppet cleavage.

The ad exec doesn't mind actual human cleavage, as pointed out (and I do mean pointed out) by a pair (and I do mean a pair) of his own company's billboard ads for a casino. On those billboards, which we will describe in more detail later, an actual woman is bending forward and revealing so much cleavage that I had to turn my car around and go back and look at it. Six times.

So human cleavage is OK. What will cast us into the furnace of fire where there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth is puppet cleavage, which experts believe is very bad and can lead to more harmful things such as putting the carrot and two lumps of coal in a funny place on a snowman.

The story broke last week when Gazette entertainment editor Warren Epstein put down the giant bucket of free popcorn he receives each day from local theater owners and wrote about a Tony Award-winning musical called Avenue Q — appearing at the Pikes Peak Center later this month — in which female puppet Lucy the Slut shows cleavage.

The bus bench ad with the cleavage was rejected by Lamar Advertising person Jeff Moore, who told Epstein: "If I have to explain it to my 4-year-old or my grandmother, we don't put it up."

That business philosophy not only saves us from spending eternity in the ghastly pit with Lucifer the cloven-hooved Father of Lies, but also saves Moore [who happens to be married to an Independent employee] the expense of hiring real consultants.

Moore was asked to further explain: "It's the fact that it's cleavage," he said. He added, "I just know that in this market, we prefer to walk a little more conservatively."

He was referring, of course, to our very unjust reputation as a village full of evangelical loons and Jesus wingnuts. And I mean that in a nice way. I would never, for example, offend anyone by telling this joke: A Colorado Springs conservative Christian rolls down his car window and shouts, "Get the hell out of the crosswalk you dirty, no-good, homeless bastards. I'm gonna be late for church!"

Speaking of the homeless, my second-favorite Lamar billboard is an anti-abortion rant with the slogan: "A person is a person, no matter how small." That billboard rises 50 feet above the village's largest homeless gathering along Monument Creek — an actual billboard preaching respect for all people anchored among the tarps and tents of the homeless camp that, by the way, our village leaders recently declared illegal.

Just as Jesus would do — if He were a cold, heartless idiot.

But the winner in the No Cleavage Hypocrite Festival stands along Highway 24. It's Lamar's billboard for Bronco Billy's Casino which, unlike the one-visit Avenue Q musical, provides Lamar with a steady flow of cash. Not that a thing like that would affect Lamar's moral decision-making.

On the Highway 24 billboard, the perky, young woman in the slinky yellow dress with just one shoulder strap is leaning forward and tossing the dice and there, as plain as day, her things are pushed together and, Good Lord ... cleavage!

I just hope nobody's 4-year-old kid or grandmother rides by. Because they shouldn't have to see a 54-year-old guy sitting in a lawn chair on the side of the road with binoculars around his neck and a beer in one hand.

And a Muppet-brand Miss Piggy hand-puppet on the other.


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