Hey, Spike! highlights an irreverent wordsmith | SummitDaily.com

Hey, Spike! highlights an irreverent wordsmith

Miles F. Porter IV
Special to the Daily
Special to the Daily

We’re all in this together, Summit County – we have an local author with growing book sales and a Denver metro paper that questions Dillon, “of all places.”

Reading Sunday’s Denver Post, this is the stuff a columnist like Hey, Spike! finds tantalizing.

And poor Dillon can’t catch a break, even when the author really lives in Summit Cove and only has a P.O. box in the little lakeside town.

The back-story:

“Last month, we asked Denver Post readers and staff to help us come up with a list of great thinkers in Colorado, folks whose accomplishments or ideas made them stand out as we looked back at the year’s events. Post editors narrowed the list of dozens down to these winners.”

Our guy, writer and health care software manipulator Joshua Flenniken, earned “honorable mention” in the book-thinking department for his first published effort, “The Pequod’s Coffin.”

There were only two mentions by the Post, Joshua’s and Peter Heller, winning with another ink-on-dead-trees effort: “The Dog Stars.”

The Post’s William Porter gushed that Heller’s book will “surely be counted as the most influential book to come out of Colorado this year.”

While Spike plans to read both, Joshua’s will be first; after all, he’s the local guy.

The metro capitol daily allowed that Joshua is “generating a ton of buzz.”

Coming in second, and adding to the buzz factor prompted Joshua’s self-deprecating, humble, humorous response after being alerted to the award by Spike:

“I didn’t realize that ‘The Pequod’s Coffin’ got a mention in The Denver Post yesterday until I got your email. Thank you very much for letting me know. While calling me a ‘top thinker’ is poor journalism at best and slander at worst, it is flattering nonetheless.”

Joshua adds this:

“It occurs to me that another possibility exists. Maybe there were only two books published from Colorado last year, mine and Mr. Heller’s.

“Anyway, I’d like to congratulate Peter Heller on winning. If you recommended me to The Denver Post as a Top Thinker of 2012, please drop me a line. I would be very interested to learn what’s wrong with you.”

Yep, it makes you want to read his book, partly named for the whaling ship, captained by Ahab in “Moby Dick,” written many harpoons ago by Herman Melville.

Here are a few more titillating tidbits to persuade you to either go buy the Black Rose Publishing’s real book or download it on your friendly electronic device. Or maybe just pass.

“Before purchasing this book, it is important for you to know what you are in for. If you are easily offended, this may not be the right book for you. Conversely, if you enjoy satirical jabs at topics generally deemed off limits, and root for protagonists who take on established institutions, you are squarely within the intended target audience …”

Here’s Joshua’s incomplete (abbreviated even more) list of people, places, things and organizations that are treated lightly or made fun of:

Conference calls, diabetes, corporate euphemisms, commercials, bosses, cannibalism, “Sesame Street,” people who say ASAP, shar peis, texting abbreviations, Texans on spring break, chemical castration, midgets, miniature bulls, homosexuals, crack whores, white people, black people, sexual harassment, rednecks, Mexicans, hippies, golf, vegetarians, North Dakota, Florida, caricature artists, mullets, women’s names that end with “i,” men named after cities, kids who crap their pants at summer camp, clowns, venereal diseases, NPR, pornography, narcissistic bus drivers, the Home Shopping Network, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientology, animal sacrifice, human sacrifice, goatees, NRA, communists, Phil Collins and choir boys.

“You’ve been warned,” cautions Joshua.

In real life, Joshua is the son of Dr. J. Jeffrey Flenniken, an archaeologist who recently moved from Arkansas to Silverthorne.

“I grew up traveling the world,” he says of his global young life. “My first job was as a ‘dig bum’ on archaeological sites. I hope this doesn’t burst any bubbles, but it was much less foiling booby traps to acquire golden idols, and much more digging up dead people’s garbage.”

Joshua moved from Washington state to Colorado in 1998 when he finished college.

Like many lured here, Joshua admits his plan was to be a ski bum for one winter. He stayed.

“Anyway, I fell madly in love with both the Rocky Mountains and a particular woman who lived in them. I have been in Summit County ever since. Through a bizarre series of events, I got recruited into a series of corporate jobs which enabled me to write this particular book.”

That woman is Amber Wood, who moved here in 1995 and is now an EMT at St. Anthony’s Medical Center in Frisco, and like Joshua, a telemarker. Both are 38 and married in 2001.


Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years.

Email your social-biz info to milesfporteriv@aol.com.

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