Interlude – It’s the Prairie Dogs, Dammit!

I spent the majority of 2012-13 in Denver, Colorado. I could go on and on about the weather, the mountains, the spirit of the Great American West (and I probably will at some point). But I want to tell you about a particular night I spent in Aurora, Colorado. 2013 was an off-year election. There wasn’t a lot going on politics wise in Colorado. That being said, we never stop doing what we do. Aurora was holding a city council race and a union guy was on the ballot, so we decided to put him over the top. When you think of Aurora, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the theater shooting. Most folks don’t realize just how large Aurora actually is (350k people).

We had a very tiny crew that year, so I spent some time canvassing. I was out in Aurora knocking on doors when I walked up to a house whose yard was inundated with gopher holes. I nice woman opened the door and stepped out onto the porch. I introduced myself and told her why I was there. Then I asked her the same question that I ask everyone at the door.

“What is the biggest issue for you and your family?”

She didn’t hesitate. “The prairie dogs. I know your candidate and I like him. But his opponent actually knocked on my door and told me that she’d take care of my problem.”

Yeah right, I thought. A politician is going to personally come out and eradicate a thousand prairie dogs from this neighborhood. I gave the standard talking points on why we chose our candidate and what made him better, then moved onto the next door.

I turned the corner and started working my way down the next street. About ten doors away I turned up a driveway and made my way onto a porch. One of the great things about being out on the street in beautiful weather is that you can take in all the sights. This house had hella sights to take in. The yard was full of hippie shit. I love hippie shit. There were dreamcatchers, streamers and windchimes dangling from the porch. I peered through the screen door and saw a middle-aged man walking around. I gave the door my signature “shave-and-a-haircut” tap and he hollered,

“Let me grab a beer and I’ll be right out.”

We exchanged pleasantries and I sent my opening salvo. “What’s the most important issue for you and your family?’

“It’s funny you should ask that.”

“Why is that?”

“It’s the prairie dogs, dammit!”

“Really?”

“Yeah. I just wish people would leave them alone. They’re my friends.”

It was a ‘holy shit” moment. And it just goes to show you that there are two sides to every story, and that one of them isn’t necessarily wrong.

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