Here comes another Colorado story.
I can’t help it. Circumstances have put my home state in the spotlight lately. The Rockies are crushing it. The Broncos are favorites to win the next Super Bowl. I’ve gotten plenty of 3Oh!3 in my Pandora. And two questions for Go Ask Daddy tie back to my home state.
Elementary school in Colorado is the most.
You learn about Stegosaurus and Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca. You read about cliff dwellers and the gold rush. There are units on the formation of the Rocky Mountains and tales of the Wild West. Some of those tales take on monstrous forms of animals too outlandish to have lived.
Or are they too outlandish?
The best part has to be my grandma’s kitchen. Rows of tamales at Christmas. Always a stack of tortillas and a pot of beans at the ready. Mmm.
1. Are jackalopes real?
See kids, when a pygmy deer and a killer rabbit fall in love …
I claim the jackalope phenomenon into my Colorado upbringing, but it’s the Wyomingites who ride this one for all its worth. I posed on the back of a behemoth jackrabbit as a kid. What I’d give for that picture right now. Your typical jackalope weighs no more than 5 pounds and runs 90 mph.
Which of these facts about the best animal not to be a sports team mascot is not true?
- Jackalopes in Germany are called wolperdingers; in Sweden, they’re skvaders.
- Jackalopism is a disease that causes hardened growths resembling horns on a rabbit’s head.
- A mini-monster truck obstacle course, greased pig run, and motorcycle show are just part of Jackalope Day in Douglas, Wyoming.*
*-All three of these facts are *true*. (Special thanks to Legends of America for all the jackalope facts.)
2. How long has man wanted to fly?
Probably at least since the days of jackalope attacks.
Leonardo da Vinci sketched plans for a human-powered ornithopter in 1485. I wasn’t even in college yet. Da Vinci studied flights of birds and bats. His ornithopter’s wingspan was to exceed 33 feet, a pine frame covered in pure silk.
This flying machine, equipped with foot and hand cranks for power, could never have generated enough power to take flight. But his ingenuity sparked inventors from Francis Herbert Wenham to Horatio Frederick Phillips to steam punks to the Wright Brothers.
3. Why do people want to elect black and women presidents?
Before Barack Obama, all U.S. presidents could have joined the same country club.
That’s a gross generalization. White men had a 42-president winning streak before Obama.
A president represents the citizens who elect him. Why not elect someone who thinks like you do? Or looks like you do?
As a Hispanic American, I’ll take pride in the first Latino U.S. President.
I won’t, however, vote in mi hermano just because he’s mi hermano.
I ran for class president in middle school as a sixth grader. I was a semi-popular, or popular-enough, kid to garner enough votes. I was a horrible president. I did nothing. I made the do-nothing Congress look like Katy Perry’s wardrobe changing crew.
If I had to cast a vote tonight for president in 2016, it wouldn’t be for Jeb Bush, although I like him, and heck, he says he’s Hispanic. My vote would go to Marco Rubio. Not because he’s a Cuban American or even that he’s my age.
His vision best aligns with mine. Conviction is thicker than blood.
And Maybe Nicolle Wallace will be ready in 2024.
4. Are people’s legs sometimes too long for their beds?
I had this problem once. True, Grace, it was your baby bed … but I felt like a lighter brown version of Manute Bol at bedtime.
I’ve never ever been called long-legged. I’m no one’s tall glass of water. If anything, I’m a splash of cold water in the face. I buy pants with size 30 inseam, and scuff the cuffs like a hobo. The Internet offers no assistance to those suffering from too-long-leg syndrome either.
Shaquille O’Neal’s bed is 15 feet by 30 feet. Check it out here.
5. Does your grandma just wing it?
Abuelita doesn’t JUST wing it.
Her hands are masterful. They know just how much masa it takes for the perfect tortillas.
They sculpt and form corn masa for perfect tamales. Every time. My grandma never overcooked a single tortilla or made a pumpkin empanada anything but delicious.
I’d give just about anything for a stack of her tortillas.
I’d even wrestle a jackalope for it.