The Skinny

AND HE GETS PAID FOR BEING THEIR BIGGEST FAN: After the UA beat Kentucky to rule college basketball, Tucson Citizen columnist Corky "I-be-a-ho" Simpson rushed up to Bobbi Olson as she stood outside the locker room. Simpson fell into Bobbi's arms in a gigantic hug and began blubbering like a dern fool. Shoulders heaving, tummy in turmoil, face in a scrunch, eyes flowing.

Pretty soon he looked up and noticed the rest of the press corps watching, and it must've dawned on him, Gosh, I'm supposed to be a reporter, a guy who doesn't coddle and snuggle and smooch with the Cats I'm writing about. So he hauled out a hanky and went off into a corner to weep on his lonesome, He did the same thing in 1994, breaking down in sobs after UA beat Missouri to go to the Final Four.

Standing with Bobbi in Indianapolis was UA President Manuel Pacheco, who was probably thanking Dame Chance for getting him the Missouri job. Get me outta this two-RV town, he was probably praying.

Also watching was a group of writers from places like New York and Boston and Philadelphia, tough guys with a vocabulary consisting of two words: "Bite me!" They don't play wiggle-lips with nobody. A spy tells us these out-of-towners made sure to check Corky's credential to see who he was, and where he was from.

Yep, it's him, the same guy who wrote six columns during the tourney blasting the media for being too tough on Acapulco Lute. Says one of our spies, "Geez. They see he's from Tucson so we all get lumped in with him. I've never been so embarrassed in my life."

WOULD YOU BUY A USED CHARTER FROM THIS GUY? We've discovered who's responsible for the most ridiculous provision in the proposed Pima County Charter--one of the most ridiculous politicians in Pima County's history, John Kromko.

Kromko bragged to the Oro Valley Explorer about his cockamamy idea to redraw supervisorial districts via a randomly selected committee of voters who wouldn't even be told where the incumbents live.

We understand why Kromko, who's been unable to get himself elected to the Pima County Board of Supes, would propose something this ludicrous. And we even grok why some of the other kooks on the Commission would go along. But why did the whole Commission endorse this plan?

We're guessing they're so eager to pass any charter that they're supporting Kromko because they're afraid that, since he once opposed the charter concept, he might bolt and not support the final document when it appears on the ballot this summer.

Which is just one more reason why no one else should support this abomination come election time.

SHOTGUN MARRIAGE--WITH REAL SHOTGUNS: The Pima County Board of Supervisors did something really slick with the open space question on the upcoming May 20 bond election. They added a $650,000 proposal for a new public shooting range in the Tangerine Road/I-10 area--which means anti-gun environmental kooks will have to eat a rifle range to get their open space, and anti-environmental gun kooks will have to eat all that open space to get a new range.

Good. Both extremes suck. Most environmentalists aren't adverse to sharing the outdoors with the shooting sports, and most shooters are in favor of maintaining the environment and promoting open space. This marriage of these two constituencies could be a happy one, even if it wasn't planned. Nice job by somebody in county government.

SO FIND A REAL JOB: Once again the Arizona House of Representatives is trying to get in the taxpayers' pants for higher per diems. An earlier move to hike the per diem to the IRS-allowed maximum of $143 a day was shot down in the Senate by Mesa Republican Rusty Bowers, so now the gold-diggers are demanding a hike of $35 a day--to $100 for those who live more than 50 miles from the state Capitol, and from $35 to $60 for those who don't. Remember, those are tax-free bucks, folks.

If these sleazy money-grubbers would spend as much time trying to raise the standard of living for the rest of us as they do for themselves, they might be worth it. They aren't.

WHAT'S IN A NAME? When Pima County taxpayers installed a traffic light at the entrance to the southernmost shopping center between Orange Grove and Ina Road, the county transportation gang decided they had to name the access road something. So they called it Price Club Drive. Oooops--Price Club is now called Costco, so we have a road named after a former business, since annexed by Marana.

Now what? Rename the road Costco Boulevard? How about the other merchants in the shopping center? Maybe they should call it Petsmart Avenue, or Goldberg and Osborne Road.

Considering how often we have corporate takeovers and mergers, it's time to think about making some provisions regarding these corporate suck-up jobs. After all, will we have to foot the bill for name change for the U S West Sports Complex at Hi Corbett Field after U S West gets absorbed by some other megacorp? Maybe we can save everyone some trouble and just name everything after Microsoft now, since Bill Gates will own everything within the first decade of the 21st century anyway.

STILL ONLY SEVEN CENTS AN ISSUE: We're cheap bastards. We subscribed to the weekend deal for The Arizona Daily Star--you know, Friday, Saturday and Sunday only. The rest of the time, we figured, we could read it in the office.

Except for the worthless Sunday edition (Motto: "Almost Nothing Interesting Again This Week!") we were happy with this arrangement.

Unfortunately, despite our paying only the weekend rate, The Star soon began arriving at our humble domicile every single day of the week.

Sure, we could have called and told them something was wrong. But like we said, we're cheap bastards, and, well, you never know when you might need some extra newsprint for the pot-bellied pig to crap on--the Tucson Citizen's OK for small puppies and medium-sized rodents, but only the Star can handle this town's heavy-duty pig crap.

So for months we got every issue of the Star, although we'd only paid for the weekend deal. We figured it was a bonus for having to put up with that drab Sunday issue.

Then the guy from TNI called. (TNI, for the uninitiated, is the sales arm of Tucson's daily newsprint oligarchy composed of Gannett and Pulitzer.) He asked us how we liked our paper. We cannot tell a lie, so we confessed we were getting way too many.

He said that was no big deal, and asked if we'd like to continue the arrangement--we pay only for the weekend deal, and TNI continues to send us a paper every day of the week. It works out to about seven cents an issue--precisely, it turns out, what the damn thing is worth!

Who says market forces don't work? We just hope tens of thousands of other Star subscribers can take advantage of this major price cut, too. And don't worry--as long as there's plenty of pig crap to go around, it looks like the Star will always be delivered to our doors.

AND NOW FOR THE FAKE NEWS: KOLD-TV, Channel 13's coverage really stomped the bejesus out of boring pseudo-rival KGUN-TV, Channel 9, during the gala Wildcat homecoming motorcade and rally last week. KVOA-TV, Channel 4, was humming along as usual. But KOLD looks like the up-and-coming TV news operation in this burg these days. They're trying fresh approaches on the showbiz side and occasionally hustling for interesting stories. Well, at least more interesting than the other guys'. Hey, it's TV news after all.

CABLE TROUBLE: We hear TCI's much-ballyhooed survey of what its viewers really want from their cable TV is coming out soon. Our spies also tell us the survey's heavily biased against Public Access. Here's a hint TCI: Get rid of those stupid shopping channels before you drop Public Access.

And how 'bout dropping that incredibly boring Home & Garden TV channel? For crying out loud, how many shows about recovering your favorite footstool can a normal person sit through? And their gardening shows are designed for audiences who live somewhere other than the sizzling hell that constitutes summer in Tucson.

TAKE YOUR PICK, BUT DON'T COME WHINING TO US: First we've got Danny Eckstrom at odds with his fellow Democratic Pima County Supervisor Raul Grijalva...Hmmmm. And then we hear rumors that Jim Kolbe, should he choose to run again, doesn't really want to be bothered with much of anything but Tucson...Hmmmm. And strange rumblings out of Washington, D.C., that the next Census could mean a new congressional district for southern Arizona...Hmmmm. Which leads us to suggest the best possible representative for any new district around these parts would be...

...None of the above.

The best possible choice, as far as we can see, would be Tucson City Councilman Steve Leal. He's smart, slow to anger, politically savvy, knows how to build bridges, and has no major political or emotional baggage problems.

Of course, it would never work. Who ever heard of putting the best person for the job in Congress, anyway? TW

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