Then I find out it's got a sports theme, which I had been championing for the last 10 BOTs, but nooooo ... so, I checked my ironclad contract (I don't actually have one) and decided to write about sports, too. This'll show 'em that next time, they'd better have some cocktail weenies. And barbecue sauce.
With autumn having arrived, the sports and activity season is in full swing in Tucson. For example, you should:
• Think about entering the El Tour de Tucson bicycle event. They have different distances you can ride, and it's for a good cause. A few years back, my cuñado Jesse decided to try the 111-mile course, the one that's usually reserved for the people who all look like they're Keira Knightley's cousins. Jesse was a heavyweight wrestler in high school before he put on the extra pounds, but he trained for it, signed up and went for it.
A loooong time later, he was finishing up, and race-course volunteers were trying to wave him down, telling him it was too late. They would step out in the street and wave their arms, at which time Jesse would yell, "I don't have any brakes!" and then they would jump back onto the sidewalk and count their blessings.
The only drawback about El Tour is that all kinds of people wear those skin-tight shorts. Martin Lawrence once said, "If you're weighing 250, stay the heck out of spandex." (He didn't say "heck," but you get the point.) In fact, if you're built like FLDS leader Warren Jeffs (who's reportedly 6-foot-4 and 155 pounds), you also might want to consider some kind of spandex alternative.
As for Warren Jeffs himself, where he's residing these days, he should probably wear spandex 24 hours a day.
• Get out there and play some golf before the rich, white folks come to town and jack up the prices.
My son, his friends and I play "Death Valley" golf during the summer. You can go mid-afternoon in July and play until the sun goes down for like $20. It's way cool. We play at a city-owned course that will remain unnamed (except that it's on Silverbell Road, and it's not El Rio). The fairways look like an outdoor scene from No Country for Old Men, and the greens look like William Proxmire's forehead right after he got the plugs implanted, but it's still great. We especially like the fact that they have authentic human skeletal remains pointing the way to the next hole.
• Catch a UA football game. This is their year; somebody said so on TV. They had three un-losable nonconference games to start, and even though they did lose one of them, they still had a winning record at deadline. (I'm writing this before the UCLA game.)
There's no way they should lose to UCLA, which got destroyed by BYU, 59-0. There hasn't been a score that lopsided in Utah since the Mountain Meadows Massacre. (Now watch me get all kinds of really neatly written letters that start off, "Oh yeah, what about the Inquisition?")
Is it just me, or when you hear the word "Inquisition," do you automatically start singing the Mel Brooks lyrics? "The Inquisition, what a show ..."
Anyway, they're going to a bowl game this year. It might be the Waste Management Crapola Bowl, but they're going. They're going to beat East Central Southern Tennessee State, and then we're going to party like it's 1999, which was the year after the last time they went to a bowl game.
Back then, not only did the UA go to bowl games every year; Tucson actually had its own bowl game. Tell young kids that, and you'll get the same puzzled look that you get when you try to explain to them how Patty Hearst ended up robbing banks. (Have you ever tried to tell the Hearst story without having to insert the phrase, "No, really!" about 100 times?)
I really do hope the Cats have a winning season. It's gotten so bad that independent theater owners have added a third attraction to their midnight showings of Rocky Horror and Priscilla: People show up dressed like Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock to watch Speed. The crowd goes absolutely nuts when Reeves, realizing that the evil Dennis Hopper is actually watching everything that's taking place on the bus via remote camera, looks at Bullock's sweatshirt and says, "Wildcat. Arizona Wildcats! Good football team."
Brings the house down.
• Finally, with the weather cooling off, you could have an extended-family picnic and slow-pitch softball game. Now that Tucson's ridiculous 40-year experiment with professional baseball is over, there's a pretty good field available on Ajo Way. The county will probably rent it to you. Just use the usual form, but cross out the word "ramada," and insert "TEP."