PERRY: Welcome to Colorful Colorado — we’re not that colorful, and these are the rules


Welcome to Colorado. There are some things you need to know.

If you’re one of the approximately half-a-million people who’ve flocked to the Aurora metroplex during the past five years, allow me to explain what’s what for you. 

If you know someone who’s come in with the recent herd, pass this on.

Most importantly, smile.

What happened to so many of you in the places you came from that you’re all so dour and miserable? 

I understand that we quit tossing “howdy” around the state after the last rush of California immigrants came through here in the 1970s.

I don’t want every stranger to rush up and water-pump my arm off when we walk by each other in the Home Depot parking lot. But for chrissake, people, lighten up. You made it to the promised land. Act like it.

Did your mamas not teach you to make eye contact with people and nod or smile or at least refrain from acting like you have an alien inside your skull, propelling your body forward with nothing left of your mind and soul other than your ability to look vacantly ahead or at your phone?

Second, what is up with your driving?

You can’t possibly convince me that somebody taught you to drive like an idiot. How and why did you figure that out for yourself? Why do so many of you keep weaving through gridlocked traffic, into medians and interstate shoulders, up the butt of one car and then another?

Where in the hell are you driving to like that that you think justifies risking your life and that of everyone around you?

Being the colossal ass hat that you are, I know you can’t possibly have any friends just dying for your company. I can’t imagine any important or significant job that would hire someone like you and be so desperate to get you to work that they command you get here “as fast as you can” and spare no lives.

Do you have to go to the bathroom? That fiery green salsa from Taco Tuesday just too much for you?

Slow. Your. Ass. Down.

I regularly drive way over the speed limit. If you’re flying by me, you’re about to become “that guy,” or “that lady,” who adds one to the number on the lighted interstate sign detailing how many have been killed so far this year on Colorado roads.

I’m talking to you, you little jerk. You are going to be No. 351 if you don’t knock it off.

Thirdly, just because we have legal weed here, it doesn’t mean you should be smoking it all the time.

You know who you are. Rather than screaming through traffic on I-225, you’re on Chambers Road in the right lane, white knuckled and driving 22 miles per hour. You’re the one who comes to a complete stop on Havana Street during rush hour traffic and looks both ways before turning right into the Safeway.

It’s dope, dude. Smoke it at home. Smoke it on a hike, at the lake. In front of the TV or in the bathroom at work. But don’t get ripped and drive to the store for ice cream and Fritos. Out here, we snag our munchies before the urge makes you do dumb things.

Fourth, everybody is welcome here, and if you’ve got a problem with that, stay home.

Colorado was originally home to a variety of native tribes and cultures. Eventually the Spanish-Mexicans laid claim to the region, hence, all the funny street and town names.

Since then, it’s been a land rush, then a gold rush, an oil rush, then a demand rush by people from all over the planet. If mingling with folks who don’t look or sound like you is a problem, there are numerous work-at-home, shop-at-home, don’t-ever-leave-your-home options available, and Oklahoma is just a few hours away.

Fifth, everybody in Colorado is an environmentalist except for you.

From the day we’re born here, we get it that our work lives, our play lives, our farm and ranch lives and our future lives depend on respecting the land and the life upon it. Some of the most ardent environmentalists I’ve ever known are avid hunters and anglers, deep-rooted Republicans who couldn’t say enough good about Goldwater and abolishing the income tax.

But, by God, they know that the delicate balance among plant and animal species is something to cherish and protect. We’ve seen what y’all have done Back East, in the South, across California and the Texas wasteland.

Nope. We’re a state of proud miners, farmers and oilmen, but we learned the hard way long ago and now know enough to clean up our mess, pick up our trash and guard our precious wilderness areas as if they were our very own lands, because they are. We don’t look at green energy and saving cutthroat trout as a liberal thing or a conservative thing. It’s a sensible, business thing, and we mean business.

Finally, nobody cares that you think you can’t get a “decent” pizza, bagel, biscuit, BBQ, hot dog, or milkshake “out here.” We know where they are, and if you smile and ask nicely, we’ll tell you.

Dave Perry is editor of the Aurora Sentinel and Aurora magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook at @EditorDavePerry.

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Don Black
Don Black
19 days ago

When we decided to disable the police and run many of them out of law enforcement, we committed to allowing people to disregard all of the rules. Get used to it. No one in office or the media will speak up about the flawed police reform bill. All of the progressive efforts with high sounding ideals gave us reduced police departments with fear of doing their jobs due to vague guidelines on use of force and over zealous prosecution by politically motivated prosecutors. As I watch people run red lights from half a block away, I understand that the violators realize that there is no longer any credible police presence. Traffic units have been dissolved in order to handle patrol duties. Stopping anyone now holds an undue risk for officers. We have decided to defend black criminals even when they blatantly run and fight the police. They are no longer accountable for their criminal behavior. Most of the mass shootings are a result of rival gang members or angry young black men shooting at each other. That is never mentioned in the press. In many places, there are now prohibitions on chasing criminals, even on foot. In New York, if an officer falls on a suspect in a struggle, he can be prosecuted. In Colorado, if an officer even touches a suspect’s neck in a fight, they are being prosecuted. So, get used to all of the rules going out the window. Forget about people who are stealing your car. Forget about drunk drivers. Forget about that suspicious guy outside your child’s elementary school. Forget about that crazy homeless guy who is in your face at the store.

We must make racial statistics proportionate, even though studies and common observation show that blacks are disproportionately involved in crime. Facts don’t matter. Our leaders must appear to be advocates for social justice in spite of the fact. The damage has been done. Now, officers are judged by the popular narrative, not facts. So, we have a bunch of quickly recruited and trained young officers on the street. Their supervisors are inexperienced also. Officers are being trained to not get involved. Community policing is dead as a concept. If you think the stupid things done by officers in the past was bad, just wait. Not exactly the picture the radical groups described. We can’t afford to have just college educated officers. The long effort to recruit minority officers is even more difficult now. Are we going to drop all standards to reach those goals? That has been tried in the past and the corruption that came from that was devastating. Our leaders do not understand what they have broken. As a result, they don’t know how to fix it. Get used to the crime and the danger. With the twisted popular narrative and the leaders without courage to stand up, it will get worse. The traffic problems are nothing compared to what is coming.

19 days ago
Reply to  Don Black

When will you stop with the incessant whining and one-note song about how downtrodden the police are. Read the monitor’s report and get some real data.

Speaking of data, the majority of gun-related deaths are suicide, and mass shootings are largely the domain of disaffected white men. It is also true that for the majority of non-suicide firearm deaths, the victim and the shooter knew each other.

Joe Felice
Joe Felice
19 days ago

Wow! Someone struck a nerve, but you just said what needed to be said. Indeed, I often wonder why people are so fearful and angry, and how-much pain these things are causing to their psyches. It’s measurable and demonstrated in the ways they behave publicly, as you mentioned. People seem inordinately self-centered and out of control, with no regard for others. The new world is a tough place and not for the faint of heart. It’s become “dog-eat-dog.”

19 days ago

Oh gosh darn it!!! I hate to agree with Dave but he I s correct. Don’t bring your bummer with you. Grow up and try not to kill too many people while doing so….
I still remember being at the capital when EVERYONE WORE A STRAW COWBOY HAT AND SHIT KICKERS, Now it’s just a bunch of boring whiners…

Roy Conley
Roy Conley
19 days ago

I absolutely agree about they way people here drive, but why blame it on people from other states? I grew up in California, and although I hate driving in either the Bay Area or LA traffic, driving in the Denver Metro area is far more dangerous and stressful. If you see me on the freeway, I’ll be in the right lane (known as the slow lane in other places) doing the speed limit and trying not to get killed by the oversized pickup tailgating me or the idiot going from the left lane to the exit at the last minute. And I’ve learned that at an intersection when the light changes to green, you wait for three cars to go through on the red before you go. Yes drivers here are awful, but don’t blame it on me!

19 days ago

Nice little rant, Dave. Do you think these folk are the reason that we’re seeing $18.00 hamburgers, $20.00 spaghetti dishes, and $25.00 chicken breasts in restaurants?

BTW, please do not encourage the use of ‘Y’all’. It is creeping in from our borders and just makes the speaker sound ignorant or like a hayseed.

16 days ago
Reply to  GeneD

Y’all natives really let this place fall off.

18 days ago

I finally got to read some of the things that I here from so many people that are so fed up with people wanting to change Colorado and lot of them aren’t from. We grew up hearing that we are a open armed state it doesn’t mean come and take or change what you want. I love Colorado I was born and raised in the beautiful city please keep it that way

16 days ago

*old man yells at cloud*