Figures don’t add up in numbers game

I know Durango makes all these Top 10 lists of Best This and Best That – and then it struck me: We are No. 1, but we also have Twin Buttes (i.e. “2”), and then there’s Three Springs. What’s next? Four more Bridges to Nowhere? – Rick Feeney

Everyone knows this town is a numbers game – how many jobs do you have to work to rent a three-bedroom house on East Second Avenue with a one-car garage?

So, from the first second that Action Line, a third-rate member of the Fourth Estate, started thinking about a Durango Countdown, the figures became as clear as a fifth of cheap gin from Sixth Street Liquor.

10. It stands for Ten Pin Porter made by the good folks at Ska Brewing Co. This local favorite and other adult-leisure libations will be proffered in abundance Sept. 15-16 during Durango Oktoberfest downtown.

Oktoberfest’s beneficiary is the Regional Housing Alliance, a top-notch organization that helps our community in countless ways, so plan on at-TEN-ding.

9. It’s a stretch, but consider nine’s homophone – “nein,” the German word for “no.” We live in the Land of Nein.

Plastic bag? Nein! Spray weeds in the park? Nein! A tasteful and much-needed housing development on the former Boker Lumber site? Nein!

Should the train have inflatable dinosaurs on its Animas Valley property? Nein! Would La Plata County adopt the comprehensive plan that hundreds of citizens shaped over thousands of hours and at a $750,000 cost? Nein! Nein! Nein!

8. Speaking of homophones, “eight” can be spoken as “ate” – and the Chamber of Commerce touts that Durango has more restaurants per capita than San Francisco.

Dang, that’s impressive. Until you look at the numbers.

Durango has one food establishment per every 51 townsfolk. However, “food establishments” include grocery stores, convenience stores and schools – as well as restaurants. Go figure.

7. Did you know there are seven roads with the name Aspen? There’s an Aspen Lane in Hermosa and at Vallecito. Durango has an Aspen Court, Drive and Place.

Up Florida Road, there is an Aspen Drive and an Aspen Trail. Can the people who name streets be a little more creative, please?

6. Speaking of streets, six stands for Sixth Street, a logical name for the road between Fifth and Seventh. However, a certain educational institute years ago insisted it be called “College Drive.”

So the only way one would know that Sixth Street exists is by the aforementioned liquor store. Imagine the uproar if the establishment changed its name to College Liquors?

5. There are five cycles in those infernal HAWK traffic signals: off, solid yellow, flashing yellow, solid red and flashing red. Individually, the signals are unmistakable. But together, it creates confusion times five.

4. Four-way stop signs. Why do Durango drivers have such a hard time with the concept of stopping and taking turns? Mrs. Action Line, once again, nearly got hit at Eighth Street at East Third. Sheesh.

3. This is the number of “depots” in Durango. A tourist asks: “Which way to the depot?” You can reply: “Which one ... Home, Office or Train?”

2. Durango has an extra two, as in 7-2-11 convenience stores. Most places have 7-Elevens in which shoppers can purchase heavily salted snack items and sugary carbonated beverage in 40-ounce cups. So why the extra 2?

1. Just one time, Action Line would like to see road bikers ride in single file. Just one time.

The countdown could continue, but Action Line has far exceeded 550. That’s not the highway. It’s the number of words the column is supposed to be each Monday.

Email questions to or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 80301. You can request anonymity if you second guess a first-rate zero-tolerance policy.