If you work in LoDo or frequent the area of the 16th Street Mall, you’ve probably seen or heard this guy who wanders down the street about every other day. He’s always cursing about something, and sometimes he’s on a bicycle. I heard him walk by my office building this morning, and I could only make out two loud words, “Bastard! Bastard!” The only full phrase I’ve ever been able to understand was when I heard him yell, “Get your ass to church!” several weeks ago. This guy — he has long hair and a beard — has a pretty loud voice, but he walks fast and it’s hard to understand a full sentence. This becomes particularly difficult when he rides down the street on his bicycle, because before you can make out anything he says, he’s two blocks away. When he’s on his bike, he sounds like this: “LISTEN UP ALL Of youuuuuuu…..” And then he’s gone. The lesson here: if you are going to preach to the masses, make sure you aren’t in a fast-moving vehicle. Politicians follow this same general principle; this is why President Bush doesn’t give the State of the Union in a Chrysler Sebring convertible. Anyway, this guy used to walk by my building like clockwork; every Thursday afternoon I would hear him screaming his unintelligible scream. Lately, however, he’s been doing his walk-by yelling on more random days, and sometimes even twice a week. I was thinking about this, and I got to wondering if crazy…ok, let me rephrase…”sane-challenged” people who engage in public preaching have a plan for what they do, or if they just wing it. Does this guy, let’s call him “Preacher Pete” (because he needs a name) wake up in the morning and say, “All right, I think I need to do my yelling on 16th Street between Welton and Wazee today. Tomorrow I’ll head down 17th between California and Larimer.” At what point does Preacher Pete stop walking and change direction? Will he walk all the way down the 16th Street Mall and over to Sheridan? At some point he has to say, “Okay, that’s far enough” and turn around…doesn’t he? And when he does, does he yell on the way back, or does he figure that he took care of it on his way down? Does he take a lunch break? When he meets someone at a party and they ask what he does…what does he say? So, Pete, what do you do? I’m a public preacher. Interesting. Jim, honey, Pete here is a public preacher. Tell us, Pete, what does that entail? Well, I walk down the street in Denver and I yell very loudly about repentance and going to church. Do you get benefits? Admittedly I am making light of what is probably a serious mental condition, but I am legitimately curious about how he plans out his days. For instance, I’ve always wanted to walk by when one of those guys who stands on the milk crate yelling about Jesus finishes up for the day. Does he have a wrap-up to his rants? And in conclusion, you are all going to hell. Or does he just climb down from the crate, put it under his arm, and walk off? For that matter, how does he start the day? Does he give an opening statement? Thank you all for coming by. Today I am going to discuss why you are all going to hell. The beauty about living and/or working in a city is that you come across a variety of interesting folk, and I find it fascinating. In their own way, people like Preacher Pete make Denver a “real” city. Every real city needs “that guy,” and some have more than their fair share. So, in conclusion, Get Your Ass to Church!