Oh, 2014: The year the Democrats got smacked. Sony got hacked. Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller cracked.
A saguaro went on the attack. And, if you're anything like us, you didn't end up with jack.
While other, more reputable publications will recap the big stories of 2014, we're once again remembering the little ones: The ladies who went into healthcare biz by injecting a "non-approved FDA substance" into the butts of girls who wanted more junk in their trunk. The federal government's decision to spend $680,000 per home on housing for Border Patrol agents in Ajo. Actor Steven Seagal's brief flirtation with a gubernatorial run in Arizona. (Looking back on how that race went, we wish he had done it.) Congressional candidate Adam Kwasman's Comedy Central moment, when he mistook a bus of laughing YMCA campers for undocumented Central Americans.
In short: It's all of the buffoonery we witnessed, read about or saw on the TV news.
And so, in memory of Esquire magazine's late and lamented Dubious Achievement awards,
we give you the Weekly's year in review.
WE'VE HEARD SOME OF THESE COUNTY PEOPLE DON'T EVEN FLOSS
The Pima County Board of Supervisors put off a vote to no longer hire smokers and to penalize workers already in their employ who smoke or use tobacco products. Prospective employees would be tested for nicotine, and those who test positive would have to be tobacco-free for a year before reapplying. County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry predicted the move could eventually save the county more than $1 million a year on health care costs.
THE TEE HAS MYSTERIOUSLY VANISHED
A woman sued Playboy for half a million bucks claiming severe injuries when comedian Kevin Klein hit a golf ball off a tee jammed into her butt. At a golf tournament in L.A., the babe in question, Liz Dickson, posed for a photo by lying on her stomach and letting Klein take a full swing on the teed-up ball.
WE PROVIDE JUICE BOXES AND JUMPING CASTLES, THEY BRING THEIR OWN 9 MILLIMETERS
A report by Townhall claims at least 16 of the unaccompanied undocumented minors held at the Nogales placement center this summer were members of the brutal MS-13 street gang. Citing an internal Border Patrol executive summary, the news site said the gang members left graffiti on the walls of the center's restroom.
BUT NOT AS SAD AS ADAM AFTER HE FINISHED LAST IN THE GOP PRIMARY
A Republican candidate for Congress in Arizona's District 1 saw a busload of children heading to a YMCA camp and mistook them for migrant children on their way to a holding shelter nearby. Tea Party fav Adam Kwasman attended a protest in Oracle at which he snapped photos of the bus and tweeted: "Bus is coming in. This is not compassion. This is the abrogation of the rule of law."
Told by reporter Brahm Resnik that they were campers and not undocumented children, Kwasman said, "They were sad too. I apologize. I didn't know."
HERE'S LOOKING UP YOUR ADDRESS
Police in Sanford, Florida, arrested a man walking around a Walmart with an iPod inserted into a hole in his shoe to videotape up women's skirts. Customer Lillie Kent was in the toilet paper aisle when a suspicious man "appeared to be attempting to sneak up behind her." The alleged perv was a 40-year-old software engineer.
OREGON 51, ARIZONA 13: NOW THAT WAS A CRYING GAME
UA football coach Rich Rodriguez said: "My family teases me that I never go to a movie. Well, about 15 years ago I went to see "The Crying Game" and it was the biggest waste of three hours in my life. I didn't go back to the movies for 10 years in protest."
GREAT IDEA! THEY'LL EAT THE TOURISTS WHO PAY THE BILLS!
The Tucson-based environmental group Center for Biological Diversity petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to return grizzly bears to the Grand Canyon and other areas of Arizona and the Southwest. The plan would allow for the introduction of up to 4,000 grizzlies.
THE DUCEY DOUBLE STEP
In an interview after he won Arizona's governorship, Republican Doug Ducey acknowledged it will be difficult to keep his promise to balance the state's budget without tax hikes or borrowing. The former Cold Stone Creamery honcho ruled out rescinding tax cuts, but said he might have to raid some state funds, use creative accounting maneuvers and, yes, borrow some money to bring the budget into balance.
HE DELIVERED VERY EFFECTIVE NOOGIES, TOO
Brad Lee Davis, 33, of Oklahoma was accused of murdering his stepfather by giving him an atomic wedgie. During a drunken fight, Davis allegedly got hold of the elastic waistband of 58-year-old Denver St. Clair's underwear and pulled it over his head and around his neck, asphyxiating him.
HAS ANYONE SEEN THE MUSTACHE?
An analysis by the Arizona Republic and a government transparency group showed that Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva missed 13 percent of votes in the House of Representatives in 2013. The paper said the Congressman "missed more votes than at any time in his career, earning him the 13th-worst voting record in the House and placing him behind all but one member of the U.S. Senate."
SHE PROCEEDED TO ASK IF HE'D TAKE HER ORDER FOR CHINESE TAKEOUT
Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller called 911 to complain about a Tucson Weekly story and asked the dispatcher if he could do something about taking the story off the Web.
"I'm just a dispatcher, ma'am," the befuddled operator said. "I can't do anything."
WE WERE DIETING ANYWAY
City inspectors found nearly 100 violations at the Tucson Convention Center, one third of them the responsibility of concession and catering contractor, Aramark. The lapses included rodent droppings and dead cockroaches near a soda fountain and dead mice in a concession area. The company passed two earlier Pima County Health Department inspections and a spokesman said, "The issues raised in the audit were addressed and receive our continued attention."
HEY, MOM, TWO JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES ARE AT THE DOOR!!!
TUSD Superintendent H.T. Sanchez and Mayor Jonathan Rothschild walked door-to-door to the homes of school dropouts to encourage them to continue their educations. The effort is part of a program called Steps to Success. The mayor said, "It is my hope that reaching out to students will let them know that education is important and that they are important—to us and this community."
A WEE BIT WITHDRAWN
The CEO of a group that advocates for those with shy bladders criticized a DirecTV ad in which actor Rob Lowe portrays a man who cannot urinate with others in the room. Steve Soifer complained: "The portrayal is making it look ridiculous, that this guy is a loser for having a problem."
OH, NO! ... NO, NO, NO! ... GOD HELP US, NO!
Actor Steven Seagal, a member of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's 3,000-strong civilian posse, said he is considering running for governor of Arizona. The 61-year-old martial arts expert, who has been deputized by sheriffs in three other states, says he wants to increase border security.
HIT AND RUNS
Oro Valley resident Persis Draper, 92, told the Arizona Daily Star she fled the scene after hitting a pedestrian with her car because she had an attack of diarrhea.
"The diarrhea started up again after the accident happened," said Draper, 92. "I was going to stop, but then the diarrhea came and I didn't stop."
IF WE SAW THIS THING, WE'D NEVER SLEEP AGAIN
During a routine inspection, Nogales customs officials seized a mask covered in dry chicken blood and feathers. The owner of the mask said it had been prescribed as a sleeping aid by a Mexican natural healer.
MUSIC IS HER LIFE
An 18-year-old Mexican national was busted at the port of Nogales for allegedly trying to smuggle almost 5 pounds of methamphetamine into the U.S. inside an accordion.
BREAKING REALLY BAD
Methamphetamine is surging across the Arizona border. In fiscal 2012, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reports that its officers seized 1,722 pounds of meth being smuggled into this country. During the first 11 months of 2013, the figure was 2,897 pounds, about 70 percent of that in Nogales.
SLOUCHING TOWARD APPOMATTOX IN THE DRUG WAR
Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Marine General John F. Kelly, head of the U.S. Southern Command, said he lacks the resources to go after the illegal drugs flowing into the U.S. from Latin America. In spite of the billions spent in the war on drugs, Kelly said he is able to interdict only 20 percent of the drugs leaving Columbia.
As for the remaining 80 percent, Kelly said he has to "sit and watch it go by."
TEMPTATION DOES COME YOUR WAY
Pastor Mark Connelly had to resign from Gilbert's Mission Community Church after confessing that he'd had a number of extramarital affairs.
AT LEAST CONGRESS COULD AGREE ON THE "NO SOCIAL
SECURITY FOR NAZIS ACT"
The federal government has paid out millions of dollars in Social Security benefits to former Nazis and SS guards who were persuaded to leave the U.S. on the condition they could keep their benefits. The Associated Press reported that those receiving benefits included SS troops who guarded Nazi camps where millions of Jews died, a rocket scientist who used slave labor in his research, and a Nazi collaborator who contributed to the deaths of thousands of Jews.
THE PINOCCHIO KINGS
USA Today reported that the Obama administration misled the public in its assurances that 2,200 people it freed from immigration jails in 2013 had only minor criminal records. When then-Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton was asked prior to the release if any of the candidates were charged with or convicted of murder, rape or sexual abuse of a minor, he said flatly, "They were not."
In fact, the newspaper reported some faced charges of kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide.
FIASCOES! FIASCOES EVERYWHERE, I TELL YOU!
Arizona Republican Gary Kiehne, a candidate for Congress in District 1, said: "If you look at all the fiascoes that have occurred, 99 percent of them have been by Democrats pulling their guns out and shooting people. So I don't think you have a problem with Republicans." Kiehne later apologized, saying he has since learned the information on which he based his comments was inaccurate and incorrect.
BEWARE THE SNEAKY SCRIBBLER
Former State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal admitted that he trolled left-leaning political websites by commenting under made-up names. Writing as Falcon9 and Thucydides, Huppenthal called those who receive public assistance "lazy pigs" and wrote that there is "no aspect of (Child Protective Services) nationwide which protects children."
Arizona voters sent Huppenthal packing in the August primary.
THE LITTLE FAMILY BUSINESS WE CALL TUSD
TUSD hired Olga Gomez as a principal without knowing she was the mother-in-law of Adelita Grijalva, Board President. Grijalva, daughter of former board member and current Congressman Raul Grijalva, recused herself from the vote but didn't tell other members on the board of her relationship with the candidate. Board member Mark Stegeman said, "Hiding such information predictably creates the impression that the decision would not survive scrutiny."
COOL. INDOOR TOILETS
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which includes Border Patrol, spent more than $680,000 per dwelling to build houses for agents in Ajo, southwest of Tucson. The average cost of a home in that town is $86,500.
GETTING THE BOOT
A Pima County judge sentenced former UA football hero Max Zendejas to six years' probation for damaging an East Sixth Street restaurant he leased from the school. The Attorney General's office accused him of going through the restaurant after it closed and stripping it of a walk-in refrigerator, ceiling fans, an air-conditioning system and even kitchen sinks.
IS IT TOO LATE TO CHANGE THAT TITLE?
Bulls seriously gored American writer Bill Hillmann, author of "Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona," as he ran among them at a long-running Spanish festival made famous in Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel, "The Sun Also Rises." Hillmann was trying to use a rolled-up newspaper to lure an angry bull away from others in the crowd when he was gored.
THE MUSTACHES STAY
An ASU professor of women and gender studies offered extra credit to female students who agreed not to shave their armpits and legs for 10 weeks. Male students received the same credit if they shaved all body hair from the neck down. Prof. Breanne Fahs said the experiment helps students learn about societal norms by violating them.
HAVE THE FEDS APPROVED THAT WORD?
A fifth-grade teacher in Tucson earned the wrath of high-ranking Arizona Department of Education officials for expressing his dislike of Common Core, the effort to establish federal education standards. When Brad McQueen spoke and wrote against the standards, the bureaucrats tried to blackball him from work on any state tests and attacked him in emails. One such email called him a "f*cktard."
WE DON'T GET AROUND MUCH ANYMORE
Out of 53 cities studied, Tucson is the 15th most traffic-congested in the country. A Dutch company studied the matter and found that Tucson has more congestion than Philadelphia, Dallas, San Diego and, yes, even Phoenix.
LIKE WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH BIG BUTTS ALREADY
The FBI said they were hunting for two Mexican women who came to Tucson to do unlicensed medical procedures to make butts bigger. Ivonne Clarisa Ceballos Tapia and Perla Guadalupe Rubio Prado are alleged to be performing procedures that "enlarge the buttocks area via injections of a non-approved FDA substance."
IT'S OVER, ROVER
To clear the streets of Sochi, Russia, of stray dogs before the start of the Winter Olympics, the government hired a test control company to shoot the animals with poison darts that causes them to suffocate. With hundreds of dogs already killed, activists were driving around the Olympic campus in a "dog rescue" golf cart, scooping up endangered pooches and delivering them to a shanty town dog shelter on the city's outskirts.
BIEBER IN THE SKY WITH A BLUNT
NBC News reported that marijuana-loving pop singer Justin Bieber and his father were "extremely abusive" to a flight attendant as they traveled in a private jet from Canada to New Jersey. Multiple sources reported that despite pressurized cabins, the pilots wore oxygen masks to avoid inhaling marijuana smoke and failing subsequent drug tests, putting their licenses at risk.
WHEN HER TOP BLEW THE SHOE FLEW AND HARK, WHO KNEW TWAS A JIMMY CHOO
A Phoenix woman heaved a shoe at Hillary Clinton while the former first lady and likely 2016 presidential candidate was delivering a speech at Mandalay Bay hotel-casino in Las Vegas. With her hands in the air, 36-year-old Alison Michelle Ernst was hustled out of the ballroom by security guards.
LIVE, LOCAL, REALLY DUMB
The city of Nogales said farewell to former Arizona Gov. Raul Castro, 98, who was moving to a care home in San Diego. In its story on the event, KOLD-TV ran background video of the brutal Cuban dictator of the same name. Dressed in a military uniform, the weasel-faced maximum leader, Fidel's brother, was shown angrily pounding a podium as he delivered a speech.
Three months after approving an expensive paid holiday for city workers in honor of Cesar Chavez, City Manager Richard Miranda proposed cutting 92 jobs and $25 million from the budget to correct the city's economic mess. Chavez often complained bitterly about illegal aliens crossing the border and driving down wages for union jobs.
NEXT HE WANTS TO BE BOND. JAMES BOND
Scott Fistler, a former Republican who already lost in two tries at elected office, legally changed his name to Cesar Chavez to run as a Democrat in the heavily Democratic 7th Congressional District. Chavez's grandson, Alejandro Chavez, filed suit in Phoenix to get Fistler's name removed from the primary ballot.
REVENGE OF THE SUCCULENT
A 15-foot-tall saguaro toppled over in Green Valley, crushing a carport and damaging an SUV, a vintage Cadillac and a golf cart. Residents rushed outside to find their carport ripped away from the house by the renegade giant.
ARE THEY GOING TO BE UNICORNS?
A volunteer monitoring Border Patrol's checkpoint on Arivaca Road southwest of Tucson told the Los Angeles Times that being stopped reminded him of checkpoints he was required to go through as a construction worker in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I have flashbacks when I go north of Arivaca," said Bob Bertolini. "'Are they going to be Iraqi soldiers? Al Qaeda? Are they going to blow me away?'"
DROPPING YOUR PANTS STILL WORKS FOR US
Trade groups for circus clowns sounded the alarm on a budding national clown shortage due mainly to an aging population not being replaced and changing comedic standards. "Our audience expects to be wowed," said David Kiser, director of talent for Ringling Bros. "No longer is it good enough to just drop your pants and focus on boxer shorts."
THE OFFICIAL END OF WESTERN CIVILATION
The group Campus Reform reported that UA students were assigned to plan a school-wide "Condom Olympics" for a class called "Sex, Health and AIDS." Events included a condom-wrapped egg toss and an appearance by Mr. Condom, a giant walking condom. Professor William Simmons said he didn't like term papers or exams and preferred an "action learning assignment," saying, "Hopefully this will get students knowing what condoms are."
ONE DOWN, NINE TO GO
In January, People magazine reported that police investigating the theft of copper wiring from a truck in Glendale, Arizona, found a ghastly piece of evidence—the tip of a human finger. A check of prints from the wayward digit turned up 29-year-old Joshua Goverman, who pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft. Police Sgt. Jay O'Neill said investigators "retrieved the finger, put a Popsicle stick into it and rolled a print. It was kind of humorous."
Goverman contributed to his undoing by posting on Facebook a photo of his hand with the missing finger.
SOMEBODY DIDN'T GET A NAP
Republican Congressman Michael Grimm of New York, a former Marine and undercover FBI agent, threatened TV reporter Michael Scotto, who had the temerity to ask Grimm about an investigation into his campaign finances. The episode occurred during an interview on a balcony of the Capitol building following the president's State of the Union address.
Grimm, who later apologized, told Scotto: "Let me be clear to you. If you ever do that to me again, I'll throw you off this (expletive) balcony. ... I'll break you in half. Like a boy."
WARNING: STOP READING NOW. SERIOUSLY, DON'T GO ANY FURTHER!
Suburban Phoenix police arrested a 65-year-old Sun Lakes woman for allegedly trying to murder her husband by putting fecal matter into his IV line. Rose Mary Vogel was taken into custody on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder after a nurse found her handling her husband's line, which was found to contain a brown substance. The Associated Press reported that lab tests identified the substance, a trace amount of which was also found in the needle of an otherwise empty syringe in Vogel's purse.
HONEST TO GOD, YOU HAVE TO STOP READING! DO NOT READ THE NEXT ITEM! PLEASE HEED THIS WARNING!
The lingerie clad ex-wife of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy was arrested in New Mexico when she allegedly pulled a gun from her vagina and used it to threaten her boyfriend in an argument about space aliens, according to the smoking gun website.
Jennifer McCarthy's boyfriend told sheriff's deputies that she exited their residence during the space alien argument and returned, went into her bedroom and emerged "wearing lingerie and a silver handgun in her vagina." The episode continued with McCarthy doing the same thing with the gun that a former president, who will remain nameless, did with an intern and a cigar. She was charged with aggravated assault on a household member.