Colorado Springs' own March Madness 

Ranger Rich

There is March Madness in our village. This should not be confused with the NCAA men's basketball tournament that started this week and also carries the name March Madness — a catchy phrase that narrowly won out over "Attention Professors: The Tall Students With Tattoos Won't Be Attending Class for About a Month."

No, our Madness involves the animal-rights folks at PETA (People Eating Tofurkey And somehow not throwing up) who recently offered Colorado Springs a solution to the problem of garbage accumulating in our parks. They'd mix the garbage with broccoli and cabbage, call it garbroccage and sell it for $24.99 a pound at Whole Foods, next to the artificial cage-free wild Mongolian mountain ferret cheese.

No, seriously, what PETA (People Enjoying Tasty Acorns) proposed was putting its ads — a smiling woman in a lettuce-leaf bikini with an eat-no-meat message — on the trash cans that are owned by our destitute city. PETA's money would have allowed us to put the cans back in the parks and even empty them from time to time.

Background: Several weeks ago the Clever Club that runs our penniless village removed the trash cans and unscrewed a lot of streetlight bulbs. In Phase II, each City Council member will be issued an accordion, a tin cup and a monkey. (The monkey, obviously, will be the one playing the accordion.)

Anyway, the PETA thing seemed like a great idea. We get the trash out of our parks and someone else pays for it. So, just as you might have guessed, the proposal has been quickly shot down by Mayor Lionel "Einstein" Rivera.

From a city spokesperson's e-mail: "They [PETA] are welcome to participate but not with a political message or advertising an agenda. In addition the trash cans are contained in wooden structures and not stand alone. And finally the visual would need to be G rated for placement in public places especially catering to children."

(To which I would say: That not written so good.)

So there you have it. The trash cans stay in storage because our mayor doesn't share PETA's worldview. And our kids can go back to the unmaintained parks and resume playing all the old traditional games such as Kick the Plastic Gazette Bag Filled With Dog Poop, Hide and Go Seek the Soiled Diaper, Duck Duck Goose Droppings, Mother May I Play With the Shards of Glass, and Red Rover, Red Rover Don't Send the Kid With Hepatitis Right Over.

Here's an excerpt from the letter sent by PETA to Mayor NotSoSmart: "We would like to contribute some money to bring the trash cans back by paying to place an ad on them. The ads would read, 'Meat Trashes the Planet. Go Vegan. PETA.'"

Rivera initially offered a counter-proposal in which PETA would get the ad space on the cans if, in a one-time exception to their strict vegetarian and vegan dietary policies, its members would eat Doug Bruce.

PETA further pointed out that "raising animals for the table generates more greenhouse-gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, ships, SUVs and planes in the world combined."

Mayor MoralityandEthics responded by saying he personally is trying to save the environment by walking to work every day. Unless developer Ray Marshall's limousine happens by.

Speaking of the environment, our village's Earth-friendly daily "newspaper" (motto: Protecting Vast Uninhabited Spaces, Such as Our Newsroom) jumped into the PETA/trash can debate with a dazzling editorial telling us that human-caused global warming is a "hypothesis."

From the Gazette: "If you see a PETA trash can and feel the sudden urge to save Mother Earth from a theory, go ahead give up meat."

(Which is, according to the latest circulation figures, a much harder thing to give up than the Gazette.)

Anyway, it's too bad Mayor Huh? rejected PETA. Not only would the trash cans have returned, but there would be a bonus: The homeless, ordered out of our parks and public places this week by Mayor RuinTheCity and his compassionate colleagues, could have stayed. All they'd have to do when the cops came by was get naked, cover their private parts with lettuce, squat down in front of a trash can and stay perfectly still.


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