Television cartoon exterminator puts con in contest

As I was perusing the nominees for The Durango Herald’s Reader’s Choice awards, I came to the “Best Pest Control” category and doubled over laughing. One of the candidates was “Dale Gribble.” Someone with a sense of humor must have slipped that one in. Doesn’t everyone know who Dale Gribble is? – Dale Elliott

Our loyal correspondent and good friend Dale Elliott shares his first name with exterminator Dale Gribble. But that’s where all similarities end.

Dale Gribble is a scrawny chain-smoking, beer-swilling Texan and sole proprietor of “Dale’s Dead-Bug.”

He believes in every conspiracy theory out there. He’s so paranoid, he uses an alias when ordering pizza because he doesn’t want the delivery guy to know his real name.

With politics far right of the Tea Party, Dale Gribble considers himself to be a proud American but refuses to vote or pay taxes. From time to time, he prints his own currency stemming from his mistrust of the government.

Dale Gribble is the quintessential redneck who always wears mirrored sunglasses and a Mack trucker’s cap. He owns an astonishing number of guns, but is a lousy shot.

So the quirky, clueless bug buster would probably feel right at home in many parts of La Plata County – if there were such a person.

Dale Gribble is a character from popular “King of the Hill” cartoon, which ran on the Fox network from 1997 to 2010. The program was co-created by Mike Judge, who also came up with “Beavis and Butt-head” shows for MTV.

As an aside and further proof that there are really six degrees of separation, Mike Judge is the son of Jim Judge, professor emeritus of Fort Lewis College’s anthropology department.

Anyway, the question remains: Will the fictitious Dale Gribble become king of the hill among local pest-control professionals?

We’ll know in 18 days. Readers Choice winners will be announced Aug. 8 at an awards party beginning at 5:30 p.m. at The Irish Embassy Pub, 900 Main Ave.

Sadly, voting is now closed, so there’s no way to stuff the ballot box as they do in most Third World nations and many precincts of Chicago.

So keep your fingers crossed for Dale Gribble. We have high hopes for the low-brow interloper!

Many neighbors have complained that nudity is common at the secluded “beach” at the proposed Oxbow Park. So why doesn’t the city simply acknowledge the status quo and designate the area for topless sunbathing? You know, kinda like the French Riviera. – John G.

The South of France for the north edge of town? Sacrebleu!

As liberal and progressive as Durango believes itself to be, the City Code is as specific as it is puritan.

Section 17-102 covers matters of “indecent exposure,” flatly stating that it’s unlawful “for any female person over the age of 12 years” to appear in any public place bare-chested.

Public “nudity” and “lewd dress” are also not allowed. This applies to both genders.

You could beseech for a beach au naturel. But the City Council is extremely busy with Very Important Issues such as banning grocery bags. So our city fathers (and mothers) would likely throw a wet blanket on semi-nude recreation.

Regardless, the city wants to keep you abreast, and a public meeting about Oxbow will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Durango Community Recreation Center.

“It is not my understanding that any new proposals will be revealed at that time,” said City Manager Ron LeBlanc, who doesn’t have a top-down management style.

“The only bare spots managed by the city are in the two existing organic parks,” he said.

Ron also pointed out the naked truth: “Oxbow Park is currently in the county, so we would look to Joe Kerby and the county commissioners for advice and direction.”

If you want to frolic in your birthday suit around water, your best option is the clothing-optional Orvis Hot Springs between Ridgway and Ouray.

Email questions to or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if you ever received service with no shirt or no shoes.

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