The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse thundered by Hayden, Arizona, just last month, according to the Weekly World News, that bastion of supermarket checkout stand veracity. And the folks at KOLD-TV, Channel 13, led their newscast with the story only weeks ago. A real journalistic award-winner, for sure.
Yes, it's the beginning of the end of the world, a time when the center will not hold and mere anarchy is piddle out upon the floor.
Whaddya mean, ya got proof?
We've got plenty of proof:
Ninnies and fools. Charlatans and crybabies. Nerds, oddballs and the tragically under-medicated.
It's been a truly dubious year, a loop-de-loop of adventures, 12 months of nonsense that we now note, celebrate and send off into history--however briefly--hoping never again to hear a word about frog-lickers, bodies that vanish in the night, hogs that soar from balconies, brawling city employees, and the judge who is dragging the great Barry Manilow to court claiming his Tucson concert was too damn loud.
We're not making this up. There's more:
Come to think of it, the End Times may not be so bad after all.
So here we go. Take a deep breath, grab your ankles and bend over...
Tucson Mall was partially evacuated due to mystery gas that struck at 51 stores. The source of the gas was never determined.
THE INVITATION READ: PLEASE RSVP AND REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR OWN REPTILE
Leo Mercado was suspected by Pinal County authorities of illegally possessing peyote plants he described as sacred. Police alleged that Mercado hosted frog-licking parties at his home.
YOU MEAN YOU DIDN'T SEE THE TWO STIFFS NEXT TO THE SPARE TIRE?
Several hours after towing an abandoned Ford Bronco to its impound garage, Tucson Police found two dead men in the back. Sheriff's Deputy James Watts, 49, who overlooked the bodies, was warned to be more careful next time.
TRANSLATION: GET OUT
UA Provost Paul Sypherd and President Manuel Pacheco said they were insulted by a faculty critique in which both were trashed. Sypherd was described as arrogant, incompetent and hypocritical, and Pacheco was called ineffective, invisible and weak.
I GUESS WE SHOULD'VE CHECKED THE GUEST REGISTER
A month-long search by Pima County Sheriff's deputies for Jesus Melgoza Mota ended when Mota was discovered at the Pima County Morgue, dead.
A hog-tied calf was allegedly heaved off the roof of the UA's Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. Eyewitness Claudine Villardito said: "When it hit the ground I knew it was a real animal. It had a rope around its neck, and its tongue was hanging out. It had been strangled."
In a civil trial involving former Biosphere 2 employees, it was revealed that Bill Dempster, the project's former chief engineer, carried a mini-cassette recorder in his underwear to tape talks with top project officials.
TRY TAKING A DAMN SHOWER
At a City Hall protest, homeless advocates handed out T-shirts advertising the Tucson Tramps, a homeless baseball team. The T-shirts satirized the City Council's renewal of a spring training agreement with the Colorado Rockies, under which the city would pay $3.4 million to renovate Hi Corbett Field.
"If becoming a baseball team is the only way we'll get respect, then here you go," said activist Brian Flagg.
THIS IS A CRAZY THOUGHT, BUT DOESN'T THAT SOUND LIKE CLINTON AT A SORORITY PARTY?
The owner of a 75-pound pit bull named Chase that died after being stung 2,000 times by "killer" bees said: "He was running around a tree and wrapped himself so tight. He was trying to bite at them until he just fell down and couldn't move any more and just laid there."
Former City Councilman Bruce Wheeler was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving when cops saw his car swerve into a median on Fourth Avenue. Wheeler said he'd had several beers at a St. Patrick's Day party.
SEVENTH INNING STRETCH MARKS
In an effort to get fans into the ballpark, the Palm Springs Suns minor league baseball team decided to stage nude fans night. The event, which was later dropped, was to be sponsored by the clothing-optional Terra Cotta Inn in Palm Springs.
"Our normal dress code is tennis shoes, socks and a baseball cap," said shop owner Tom Mulhall.
IT WAS ILLUSTRATED WITH A PICTURE OF EDITOR STEVE AUSLANDER IN A BLACK KEVLAR BRA, A RUBY BELLY BUTTON AND FUR-LINED HANDCUFFS
The Arizona Daily Star gave nearly an entire page of its Accent section to a Penthouse magazine-style story on a store devoted to kinky sex, bondage, and fetishes. Star writer Bryn Bailer called it a ''quirky boutique."
U.S. Customs inspectors found 155 pounds of marijuana on a bus at the Nogales border crossing. The bus was carrying 31 Mexican school children to Tucson on a sightseeing trip.
A MAN AND HIS COCK
Protesting a law that would ban cockfighting in Arizona, Frank Celaya removed his artificial leg, showed it to members of a legislative committee, and told lawmakers he had lost his limb fighting in Vietnam.
"If this is not enough for my country, to be able to come and fight chickens whenever I want to fight chickens, then what is this country coming to?'' Celaya asked.
I'M SORRY, COULD YOU SAY THAT AGAIN?
Arizona Court of Appeals Judge Philip Espinosa, 43, sued singer Barry Manilow and his production company, claiming Manilow's concert in Tucson was so loud it caused him significant hearing loss.
Through what was called a bureaucratic foul-up, the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office charged grieving families $40 for routine copies of autopsy reports that should've cost $3.
I'D KILL FOR AN ARCH-DELUX AND FRIES
Former Biospherian Linda Leigh said the eight crew members sealed inside the glass-and-steel dome had to endure roaches and ants swarming over them, insufficient air, and crop failures that resulted in a lack of food that "made us all a little cranky."
RED MEN WALKING
Even after two men escaped out the back door of the Navajo jail in Window Rock, tribal officials failed to repair the door, allowing two more escapes that put 14 more prisoners on the street.
I'D LIKE A TRIM AROUND THE EARS, PLEASE, AND HOLD THE COOTIES
Three workers at the College of Beauty and Science in Flagstaff came down with scabies, a contagious skin ailment caused by parasitic mites, causing health officials to close the school. It reopened after students and instructors visited a doctor, and the building was disinfected.
JIM CLICK'S "THAT'S EGG-ZACTLY RIGHT, HANK" STADIUM
Tucson's City Council agreed to a clause in its contract with the Colorado Rockies, calling for the name of Hi Corbett Field to be changed to include mention of a cash-paying commercial sponsor.
TRY LOCKING THE DOOR, JIMBO
Shortly after being warned of lax security, the office of the Pima County Treasurer was burglarized by thieves who jimmied five cash drawers, making off with $500
"My question is, where were the security guards?" asked Treasurer James Lee Kirk. "If the security guards had been here, this wouldn't have happened."
OLD FOOL RE-DISCOVERS MR. WOODY AT LOCAL BOOB JOINT
In a review of the local Hooters, Star restaurant critic George Ridge wrote: "That kind of customer attention, plus those oversize cups, will keep me coming back to Hooters." He claims to have been referring to the 75-cent beer cups the chain sells.
The Pima County Republican Club was banned from its meeting place at Carlos Murphy's restaurant after employees found racist literature left behind at one of its meetings. The material included a tabloid newspaper with a headline that read, "Clinton Has a Negro Son."
BUY A MAP, TOOTS
Scottsdale Mayor Sam Campana promised to no longer call 911 to ask emergency operators for directions while driving around the town she runs.
But the Mayor, who punched 911 when non-emergency police lines were busy, said she'll continue the latter practice, calling it an appropriate use of police resources. "I only use it under duress," Campana said.
Lee Thorn, a veteran of 22 years as an instructor at Pima College, was pulled from his class by campus cops and slapped with three misdemeanor charges for downing a beer in the faculty lounge before class.
During his trial, Thorn told Judge Emojean Girard that he had a right to imbibe in the lounge, just like a judge could down a drink before hearing such a "ridiculous" case. He was convicted.
STAR: DIM AND DIMMER
As part of The Arizona Daily Star's crack political coverage, the paper missed the start time of the vice presidential debate by three hours. The paper ran a page-one correction, noting that the time was right for Hawaii.
IT DREW A HUGE CROWD ON PAY-PER-VIEW AT BOB DOBBS
Dan Shay and Scott Douthitt, two employees in the city's finance office, got into a fist fight in a stairwell at City Hall.
"I hit at him, then he rushed me," explained Shay. "We both fell down and I heard clothing rip. All I was thinking while we were grappling on the floor was that I just didn't want to lose this fight."
AND HIS POLL NUMBERS STILL WENT UP
Unsuccessful Reform Party candidate Ed Finkelstein, and Joe Sweeney, who failed in his bid to unseat gay Congressman Jim Kolbe, were cited by police for defacing Kolbe campaign signs. The two attached stickers to Kolbe's signs alleging that, "Kolbe raped a boy!"
At an assembly of students from the Navajo Reservation community of Piñon, called after several youngsters were caught smoking marijuana, Piñon High Principal Louis Jumper said, "If you're spending your money on dope dealers, you're just a dumb Indian."
LET'S JUST BE HONEST ABOUT IT AND CHANGE THE CITY'S LETTERHEAD FROM OLD PUEBLO TO MURDER, INC.
Between October 5 and October 12, six homicides occurred in Tucson, making it the deadliest week in the city's history.
Bob's Bargain Barn, a store specializing in outdoor gear, held a singles night that included live lounge music, designer coffee and Yuppie desserts.
WHAT A BUZZKILL
When teen father Peter Castro threatened to shoot his infant son in September, a Tucson SWAT team surrounded his apartment complex and used a megaphone to negotiate with him. When Castro ended the one-hour stand-off by surrendering, police discovered 30-year-old Gabriel Salazar had also been in the apartment, but had ignored the whole thing.
Tucson Police Detective Jeffrey Schnieder, a certified firearms expert, accidentally shot his infant daughter in the leg while wiping his gun dry at a firing range.
CALLING FOX MULDER! CALLING FOX MULDER!
Westside resident Jose Espinoza told Tucson police that the legendary chupacabras, or goatsucker, attacked his three-year-old son. Espinosa said the creature "had big red eyes, a pointy nose, pointy ears and wrinkled face" and "smelled like a wet dog."
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