Tiger and his mistresses! Gov. Mark Sanford and the Appalachian Trail! Sir Charles Barkley and his late-night blow jobs!
We're wrapping up the first decade of the 21st century in the same way we ended the last decade of the 20th: being preoccupied with the sex lives of the rich and famous.
Sure, there was more to 2009 than just keeping track of all the guys—David Letterman, Jon Gosselin, John Edwards, John Ensign and Alex Rodriguez come to mind—who were unable to keep it in their pants.
There were also the idiot criminals, the dopey cops, the foolish politicians and the ordinary Joes doing extraordinarily stupid things that kept us entertained for the last 12 months.
Once again, we've spent the year combing everything from the local daily to The Drudge Report to document the kooks, crazies and clowns who made 2009 so very memorable.
THE ONE TIME HE CAN'T COME
Tiger Woods cancelled his appearance at the 2010 Accenture Match Play Championship in Marana after his philandering exploits put his career on the rocks.
WHAT A CAD!
US Weekly's Melanie Bromley explained that one of Tiger's mistresses, Jamie Grubbs, spoke out to the magazine because she felt slighted by the golf legend.
"She had always thought that she was the only other woman in Tiger's life, aside from his wife," Bromley told Fox News. "She realized that there very well may have been other women out there, and she felt very betrayed and heartbroken by that."
BIG BROTHER EATS A BAG OF CROW
The Pima County Sheriff's Department backed off a proposal to have undercover deputies stake out fast-food drive-through windows to nab drunk drivers. A news story quoted Sgt. Doug Hanna, the DUI unit supervisor, saying the new program, called Operation WULF—Would U Like Fries—was about to go into effect.
But two days later, after news of the plan went nationwide, the department backed off, saying the idea never had sufficient support to proceed.
DIRTBAG OF THE YEAR
The punk band Awful Truth used an Arizona Daily Star photo of slain Tucson police officer Erik Hite, showing him on the ground after he'd been shot, on the cover of its album Kill a Cop for God. Lead singer David Stine said: "It's really dark humor, and as much as anybody else, we don't particularly like cops, so we made a song about it."
Border Patrol agents nabbed a 30-year-old Mexican surfer as he tried to smuggle 25 pounds of marijuana into the United States on his surfboard off Imperial Beach, near San Diego.
Leaders of the Minutemen border-watch groups scrambled to distance themselves from Shawna Forde, one of three defendants charged in the murder of a 9-year-old girl and her father, an alleged drug dealer in Arivaca.
Before the news of her involvement with the killings broke, Forde had been briefly allied with Jim Gilchrist's Minuteman Project and Chris Simcox's Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. After the killings, when it became clear this "stoic struggler" for a better America was a can of bad cashews, denials were made; Internet postings were scrubbed; and the border-security groups changed their attitudes to ... Shawna who?
THESE BUDGET CUTS ARE FREAKING MURDER
After his Wildcats beat Brigham Young University in the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl, UA football coach Mike Stoops' salary was bumped to $1 million a year. In addition, he will get a $100,000 raise every year until 2013, when he will be making $1.4 million a year.
YOU BET I'M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN ... NOW, WHO SHOULD I MAKE THE CHECK OUT TO?
The Tucson Medical Center offers a deal allowing wealthy Mexican women to have their babies at the hospital, after which the little tykes automatically become American citizens. Some of the families who accept TMC's maternity package, which costs between $2,300 and $4,600, arrive on private jets.
Mark Krikorian, of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies, said TMC's birth package amounts to "buying U.S. citizenship."
DID HE HAVE SOMEONE BUST ROCKS FOR HIM, TOO?
Charles Barkley served 36 hours at Maricopa County's Tent City jail after his DUI conviction in a private tent, supposedly for his own protection, and had meals delivered.
A BUCK AN INCH
Comcast offered Tucson viewers a $10 credit after a nasty surprise they received during the Super Bowl. The cable company's broadcast was interrupted by two brief segments from porn films, including one in which a woman was shown unzipping a man's pants, followed by a graphic act with full frontal male nudity.
Comcast spokeswoman Kelle Maslyn called the unexpected interruption "an isolated, malicious act."
THIS IS WHAT YOU DON'T WANT TO DO
Phoenix resident Samuel Benally Jr. fatally shot himself in the head while explaining to a couple of Sierra Vista residents the gun-safety rule that you should never point a gun at your own head, because you never know when it might be loaded.
WRONG ON SO MANY LEVELS
A gay man tried to poison his lesbian neighbors by putting slug pellets into their curry after he was accused of kidnapping their three-legged cat.
—London Daily Mail
HORNE BLOWS IT
The Arizona Republic revealed that state schools Superintendent Tom Horne had been ticketed for speeding six times in a year and a half—including once in a school zone. Horne said if he were a private citizen, he'd consider challenging the tickets. But given his public role, he said, "I swallow hard and I pay."
THIS CASE IS CRACKED
A man attending the murder trial of his brother caused a mistrial when he dropped his pants and "mooned" jurors outside of Cochise County Superior Court in Bisbee. Steven Kastner denied also gesturing and making threatening comments, as jurors claimed he'd done. He was barred from the courtroom, and a new trial date was set.
WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS? TIGER WOODS?
Buckeye Councilman Dave Rioux said he'd run for re-election even after a city employee complained that he had sent her text messages about getting cozy in a hot tub.
"Everybody makes mistakes, and we all move forward," Rioux told The Arizona Republic. "We learn from them and we all move forward."
BADGES OF GOLD
The Arizona Daily Star revealed that 139 commissioned officers in the Tucson Police Department, plus two civilians, earn more than $100,000 a year when base salaries are combined with additional cash benefits. The average worker's salary in Tucson is $42,517.
IF THE LORD DIDN'T MEAN FOR US TO MINE URANIUM, HE WOULDN'T HAVE MADE MUSHROOM CLOUDS SO PRETTY
State Sen. Sylvia Allen became a YouTube sensation after she expressed her support for uranium mining near the Grand Canyon despite opposition from environmentalists.
"The Earth has been here 6,000 years," Allen said. "It's been here 6,000 years, long before anybody had environmental laws, and somehow it hasn't been done away with. And we need to get the uranium here in Arizona so this state can get money from it, and it can be done safely, and you'll never even know the mine was there when they're done."
After President Obama smacked a fly to death during an interview, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals sent the president a device to catch and release any future flies he might encounter. "We support compassion even for the most curious, smallest and least sympathetic animals," said PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich.
WE DON'T NEED NO EDUCATION
While talking about his vote to cut education funding during a special session, Arizona Rep. Ray Barnes went on a rant against a series of imaginary positions in school districts.
"Now you have the superintendent, the deputy superintendent, the superintendent of communications, the superintendent of sports, the superintendent of government affairs," Barnes raged. "You've got the principal, the assistant principal, the assistant to the assistant principal! The principal of recess! The principal of discipline! The principal of sports! And I'm sure that unless we have a bisexual teacher somewhere, there's probably a principal of the girls' restroom and a principal of the boys' restroom! And that bothers me."
ASLEEP AT THE PLATE
The best part of spring in Tucson will soon be gone, thanks to leadership paralysis in our community. The Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks informed the city that 2010 will be the last year they hold spring training in Tucson. The Chicago White Sox had already departed to a new stadium in Glendale.
NOW WE CAN REVEAL THE TRUTH ... THIS WASN'T A NEWSPAPER; IT WAS A WITNESS-PROTECTION FRONT
The Tucson Citizen, with its average daily circulation below 20,000, closed its doors, and hardly anybody noticed.
Phoenix police busted the executive director of the Arizona Republican Party for reckless driving and criminal speeding when a photo-radar camera caught him allegedly driving 109 mph. If true, Brett Mecum was driving 44 mph over the posted speed limit.
QUITE UNUSUAL ... MOST OF THE TEETH WE FIND IN WALLETS DON'T HAVE CAVITIES
A customer who bought a brand-new wallet at a Massachusetts Wal-Mart found human teeth inside a zipped compartment. One tooth even had a filling. A Walmart spokesman said the company believes it was an "isolated incident."
SILVER SCREEN TURNS GOLD
The city spent $820,000 to have a Washington, D.C.-based company make a 12- to 15-minute video about Tucson's birthplace on the westside, part of the Rio Nuevo project. David Tang, a former member of the Rio Nuevo citizen advisory committee, told the Arizona Daily Star that the expense was mind-boggling, pointing out that the cost, if the video runs 15 minutes, would be $55,000 per minute.
NEWSROOM INVADED!! ENTITIES TAKE OVER MORNING NEWSPAPER!!
The Arizona Daily Star devoted a good portion of one May front page to a story on ghosts at the old Santa Rita Hotel downtown. Parapsychologist Amy Allan said ghosts were being kept at the hotel by a sinister Indian buried beneath the property. "He moves objects, he throws things around the room, he opens and closes doors," Allan said. "He's not evil, just upset, and kind of rightfully so."
F-A-N IS SHORT FOR ... MORONS!!!
Two Phoenix-area men were cited for criminal damage for using diesel fuel to burn "Go Cards!" and "Go Kurt!" into the Chandler front yard of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb.
The two men—Rex Perkins and Ryan Hanlon—also left a cardboard box in McNabb's driveway with the words, "Go Cards!" written on one side and "Beat Philly" on the other. The return address on the box led police to the pranksters.
IF YOU CAN COUNT TO SIX, WE'LL GIVE YOU A TICKET
A concert at Arizona Stadium featuring American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson and hip-hopper Jay-Z lost a whopping $917,000. Demand for tickets was so low that the UA's Associated Students group gave away 4,400 tickets as part of its marketing effort. This included 1,000 tickets to students who sang a Kelly Clarkson song on the UA mall.
ASUA President Tommy Bruce told the Arizona Daily Wildcat he considered the concert, which was billed as a fundraiser for scholarships, a success.
"You have to prove yourself in the industry," Bruce said. "There's a lot to be learned about what we've done."
NOW THAT YOU UNDERSTAND HOW THIS WORKS, CLARENCE, JUST SMILE AND GRAB YOUR ANKLES, AND IT'LL ALL BE OVER SOON
Sheriff Clarence Dupnik caused a huge uproar when he said as many as 45 percent of students in the Sunnyside School District were in the U.S. illegally, and that this population caused increased crime on the southside. School board member Eva Dong said she would like an apology from the sheriff, "but only if he understands how his words affected us."
Dupnik told the Arizona Daily Star: "Who am I supposed to apologize to, illegal aliens?"
NEXT TIME, DRIVE UP TO THE POLICE STATION, TOSS A BALE OF DOPE IN THE FRONT DOOR, AND THEN SET YOUR HAIR ON FIRE
Nogales radio personality Manuel Portillo, 57, was pulled over while driving on Interstate 19. When the officer asked if he could search the vehicle, Portillo agreed, leading to the discovery of almost 95 pounds of marijuana in the trunk.
THE CONFUSED MIND IN POWER
The Arizona Daily Star revealed that the city spent more than $14,000 to hold classes in using spray paint to make "graffiti art"—at the same time that Tucson's budget for graffiti abatement has been seriously cut. Councilwoman Regina Romero gave an additional $8,000 to the graffiti classes from her office youth fund, explaining, "Who are we to judge what the youth are interested in?"
AS CAPER'S GO, THIS AIN'T OCEAN'S ELEVEN
After applying for a job at a Sahuarita coffee shop, Brian Babb, 21, walked out and allegedly stole the money in the tip jar at the drive-through window. Because Babb put his phone number on the application, a store employee called and said if he returned the money, they'd forget the whole thing. But Babb refused, and police eventually arrested him.
OKEEEY ... HOW WAS SHE GOING TO DRIVE AWAY?
An 18-year-old Tucson woman was sentenced to two years in prison after she tried to carjack a man in the drive-through lane of northside Walgreens pharmacy. Tiffany Twist tapped on the man's window with a gun and cussed at him as she told him to give up his car. The man pulled his gun and shot her three times. Twist is legally blind.
DID THEY USE THE CONE OF SILENCE, TOO?
University of Houston basketball coach Tom Penders claimed ESPN altered a video of one of his players, Aubrey Coleman, stepping on UA star Chase Budinger's face during a game at McKale Center. "They doctored it up," he said. "They put this X-ray vision thing in as if Aubrey was looking down, which painted a very poor picture of what actually happened."
DON'T THEY MEAN HOPPED OUT?
Police: Man Skips Out on Paying for Prosthetic Leg
—The Associated Press
THEY'RE TOO DEPRESSED TO EAT SURFERS
Shark Attacks Drop; Expert Cites Ailing Economy
THE TYKE WAS COVERED IN MUSTARD
Missing Baby Found in Sandwich
YOU HAVE TO PULL ON THESE ITTY-BITY HOOTERS
Scientists Learn to Milk Mice
HE WAS A LITTLE FELLER
California Man Held in L.A. in Stolen Violin Case
—The Associated Press
TODAY URANUS ... TOMORROW OOOH-LA-LA
Virgin Sees Space Tourism as Just the Beginning
IF IT'S REALLY INVISIBLE, HOW CAN THEY TELL?
Invisibility Cloak Edges Closer
—BBC web site
THE FUR FLEW
Was Attack on Inflatable Bunny a Bias Crime?
—Courier-Post (Camden, N.J.)
EASY, MR. PRESIDENT
Gay Soldier Appeals to Obama
AND A SONG IN HIS HEART
Airport Police Arrest Man With Testosterone in His Luggage
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
YOU SILLY MONKEY
Tickling Apes Reveals Laughter's Origins
FOR EVERYONE WONDERING WHY NEWSPAPERS ARE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS ...
Cold Front Causes Chilly Weather
—Frederick News-Post (Md.)
Did Madoff Turn Wife Into Swiss Bank Account?
—Crain's New York Business
FOR PROOF ... LADIES AND GERMS, WE GIVE YOU MR. GLENN BECK
Neanderthals 'Had Sex' With Modern Man
—Sunday Times (London)
Man Who Froze to Death Had Sleep Aid Ambien
Hooker Named Lay Person of the Year
—Bowie County Citizens Tribune (New Boston, Texas)
THE SECRET SERVICE SAVED THE FORMER PRESIDENT WITH A GARDEN HOSE
El Mirage Man in Need of Ride Lights Bush on Fire in Surprise
—The Arizona Republic
Cross-Dresser Wanted in Tucson Bank Robbery
—Arizona Daily Star
WE ALL FEEL THE PAIN
Circumcision Cuts Hurt Country People
—The Border Watch (Mount Gambier, Australia)
OH, NO! ... GRAB MY SHAMWOW!!
Biden Spills Beans on Automaker's Full Line of New Vehicles
DOESN'T NEWS HAVE TO BE, LIKE, UNUSUAL?
Langley Man Loses Testicle After Random, Vicious Kick by Woman
THEY SIT IN THE TUB WITH THEIR SOCKS ON
National Geographic to Film Rednecks in Bath
—Peoria Journal Star
Open House Slated for Sewer Project
THIS ITH THERIOUS
Police: Army Deserter—Wearing Thong—Arrested in Boulder
—Daily Camera (Boulder, Colo.)
LUDWIG LOVES BETTING THE PONIES
Beethoven Likely to Miss Kentucky Derby
—Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.)
SECOND PRIZE: THE BROOM STICK
CBS Sweeps Offer Unique Prize: A Colon Exam
USE A DUST RUFFLE
New York Democrats Say Power Vacuum Threatens Party Candidates
—The New York Times