Friday, August 5, 2011

Hey! Get Yer Ass Outta That Tub!

Thought for the day:  A three-inch rain in Phoenix means three inches between drops.  (local saying)

Grand Canyon

Last week, we chilled it in Alaska, but this week we're going to the other extreme: Arizona, where it gets so hot, water condenses on your butt cheeks every time you use the commode. Where, by the way, they also say it's a dry heat, so it isn't so bad. I'm sorry. There's dry heat in my oven, too. Doesn't mean I want to climb in there. A hundred and fifteen degrees is H-O-T, I don't care how ya try to spin it.

Even the devil thinks so. Here's a poem called Ah, Arizona!  Unfortunately, the originator is unknown.

The devil wanted a place on earth
Sort of a summer home
A place to spend his vacation
Whenever he wanted to roam.
So he picked out Arizona
A place both wretched and rough                                      
Where the climate was to his liking
And the cowboys hardened and tough.
He dried up the streams in the canyons
And ordered no rain to fall
He dried up the lakes in the valleys
Then baked and scorched it all.
Then over his barren country
He transplanted shrubs from hell.
The cactus, thistle and prickly pear
The climate suited them well.
Now the home was much to his liking
But animal life, he had none.
So he created crawling creatures
That all mankind would shun.
First he made the rattlesnake
With its forked poisonous tongue.
Taught it to strike and rattle
And how to swallow its young.
Then he made scorpions and lizards
And the ugly old horned toad.
He placed spiders of every description
Under rocks by the side of the road.
Then he ordered the sun to shine hotter,
Hotter and hotter still.
Until even the cactus wilted
And the old horned lizard took ill.
Then he gazed on his earthly kingdom
As any creator would
He chuckled a little up his sleeve
And admitted that it was good.
Twas summer now and Satan lay
By a prickly pear to rest.
The sweat rolled off his swarthy brow
So he took off his coat and vest.
"By Golly, " he finally panted,
"I did my job too well,
I'm going back to where I came from,
Arizona is hotter than Hell. "

Before taking a look at some of Arizona's laws, I'd like to share one other thing with you. Various versions of this Arizona Diary have been around the Internet a time or two, but just in case you missed it, it's worth including here:

May 15th: Now this is a state that knows how to live! Beautiful sunny days and warm balmy evenings. Mountains and deserts blended together. What a place! Watched the sunset from a park lying on a blanket. It was beautiful. I've finally found my home. I love it here.

June 14th: Really heating up. Got to 108 today. Not a problem. Live in an air-conditioned home, drive an air-conditioned car, work in an air-conditioned office. What a pleasure to see the sun every day like this. I'm turning into a real sun worshipper.

June 30th: Had the backyard landscaped with western plants today. Lots of cactus and rocks. What a breeze to maintain. No more mowing for me. Another scorcher today, but I love it here.

July 10th: The temperature hasn't been below 100 all week. How do people get used to this kind of heat? At least it's a dry heat. Getting used to it is taking longer than I expected.

July 15th: Fell asleep by the pool. Got 3rd degree burns over 60% of my body. Missed two days of work; what a dumb thing to do. I learned my lesson though: got to respect the ol' sun in a climate like this.

July 25th: Dry heat, my butt. Hot is hot! The home air-conditioner is on the fritz and the A/C repairman charged $250 just to drive by and tell me he needed to order parts.

July 30th: Been sleeping outside by the pool for three nights now. $1,600 in damn house payments and we can't even go inside. Why did I ever come here?

August 4th: 115 degrees! Finally got the air-conditioner fixed today. It cost $1,200 and gets the temperature down to about 90. I hate this [expletive deleted] state.

August 8th: If another wise a** cracks, "Hot enough for you today?" I'm going to tear his [expletive deleted] throat out. Damn heat. By the time I get to work the radiator is boiling over, my clothes are soaking wet, and no deodorant works well enough!

August 10th: The weather report might as well be a damn recording: Hot and Sunny. It's been too hot to sleep for two damn months and the weatherman says it might really warm up next week. Doesn't it ever rain in this barren damn desert? $1,700 worth of cactus just dried up and blew into the [expletive deleted] pool. Even a cactus can't live in this heat.

August 14th: Welcome to Hell! Temperature got to 120 today. Forgot to crack the window and blew the [expletive deleted] windshield out of the BMW. The installer came to fix it and said, "Hot enough for you today?" My wife had to spend the $1,600 house payment to bail me out of jail.

August 30th: Worst day of the damn summer. I'm not leaving the house. The [expletive deleted] monsoon rains finally came and all they did is to make it muggier than hell. The BMW is now floating somewhere in Mexico with its new $500 windshield. nobody told me about staying out of the washes during a "flash flood" warning. That does it. We're moving back to California and buying a house next to the freeway for some peace and quiet.

It should come as no surprise to you, but Arizona also has some unique laws. Let's take a look:

  • Hunting camels is prohibited. (Didn't know there were any camels IN Arizona, did ya? The Army once experimented with camels there, and when the project was abandoned, the camels were set free, and are now protected by law.)
  • Any misdemeanor committed while wearing a red mask is considered a felony. (Green masks are okay, then?)
  • Cutting down a cactus can earn you two and a half years in prison. 
  • Donkeys cannot sleep in bathtubs. (Me neither. Too uncomfortable.)
  • It's illegal to manufacture imitation cocaine. (Um, how about the real stuff?)
  • When being attacked by a criminal or burglar, you may only protect yourself with the same weapon as the other person possesses. (Suppose I don't HAVE an Uzi?)
  • It's illegal to refuse another person a drink of water.
  • You may not have more than two dildos in a house. (Dontcha wonder what inspired this law?)
  • In Globe, cards may NOT be played in the street with a Native American. (Isn't that discrimination?)
  • In Hayden, you can earn yourself a fine by bothering the cottontails or bullfrogs. (But can ya kill 'em and EAT 'em?)
  • In Maricopa county, no more than six girls may live in any house. (Intended to deter brothels, but it probably didn't do much for sorority rushes.)
  • In Mesa, it's illegal to smoke cigarettes within fifteen feet of a public place ... unless you have a Class 12 liquor license. (?)
  • In Mohave county, anyone caught stealing soap must wash himself with it until it's all used up.
  • In Nogales, it's illegal to wear suspenders. (Guess they have a lot of "Pants on the Ground.")
  • In Prescott, you can't ride a horse up the stairs of the county courthouse. (Can you walk him up?)
  • In Tombstone, it's illegal for anyone over the age of eighteen to have more than one missing tooth visible when they smile. (You think there was a dentist in the legislature when this law got passed?)

Fort Yuma is probably the hottest place on earth. The thermometer stays at one hundred and twenty in the shade there all the time ... except when it varies and goes higher. It is a U.S. military post, and its occupants get so used to the terrific heat that they suffer without it. There is a tradition that a very, very wicked soldier died there, and of course, went straight to the hottest corner of perdition ... and the next day, he telegraphed back for his blankets.     Mark Twain

OK, boys and girls, it's that time you've all been waiting for. It's time for (ta-DA!)

The Weirdest News Stories of the Week

*** After council members in SE London voted to close the public toilets in their area, authorities hung signs informing the public of four local businesses that had agreed to open their facilities to non-customers. However, there was one minor error on those signs. Not much to speak of, really. Just the addition of a single letter. The letter A was added to one participating shop's address, which inadvertently sent the public to a private residence. You think it's annoying to get telephone calls at your house that are intended for a business? Imagine a line of people outside your door needing to answer a call of nature, and wanting to conduct a different kind of urgent business. (Kinda reminds me of the joke about the time the toilets were all stolen from a police station. It seems they never did apprehend the culprit, because alas, they had nothing to go on.)

*** Ever since a certain 47-year-old man moved into his Melbourne, Australia, neighborhood eighteen months ago, his neighbors have complained about his  actions. His first offense was chain sawing all the trees down on his property, which happens to lie within a very tree-friendly green wedge. The man was fined a rather hefty $10,000 for those actions, but the war didn't end there. Tensions have been building ever since, with neighbors accusing the man of assault, of terrorizing dozens of neighbors, and in general, of being the "neighbor from hell." The man was found guilty of numerous charges, paid his fines, and his lawyer  claims that he's working on adopting strategies to avoid future conflicts. And well he may be. But it appears he had one last job to do with that chain saw of his. (And I don't think he was trying to signal his neighbors that, in his book, they're number one . . .)

***  In Stockholm, Sweden, a gentlemen with an interest in chemistry and physics was arrested for admittedly trying to split atoms in the comfort of his own home. This do-it-yourself hobbyist scavenged radium from the hands of old clocks, americium from household smoke detectors, thorium from Coleman gas lantern mantles, and good ol' depleted uranium-238 from a U.S. supplier. He even had a bit of a meltdown when he cooked americium, radium, and beryllium in a 96% sulfuric acid solution on the top of his stove, and it "exploded up in the air." After months of experimentation, which Richard Handl blogged about, he began to wonder about the legality of his endeavors. So he contacted the Swedish Radiation Authority, and they, in turn, contacted the police. Thankfully, there were no explosive reactions from his neighbors when they found out what he'd been cooking up in his kitchen, and allegedly, Mr. Handl will be sticking to theoretical physics from now on.

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


  1. Great post Susan. I love when you do these - I know they are a lot of work, but thanks because they are so much fun.

  2. Hi, Skippy. Thanks. I'm glad you enjoy them. I have fun researching all that weirdness. (wonder what that says about ME?) Enjoy your weekend in the country.

  3. Another post of explosive wierdness. Can you put a camel in your bathtub? I just love these posts of odd facts.

  4. I have been to Arizona once. It was in the fall and the temperatures were not as extreme. I especially liked Sedona. The red rocks are magnificent and unlike anything I have ever seen. I also found the desert lovely, but can't say I would want to live there. This summer the temperatures here in the east are mimicing Arizona's and it has been brutal.

    Every place has its +s and -s, and when I am facing 12" snowfalls and temps in the teens in January, I could imagine myself living in the Southwest.

  5. Love your crazy law posts!! Don't you wish you knew the stories behind some of these posts ... say, the suspenders or the dildos, or why you can't play cards with a Native American in the street? I can't help but think there's a book in there somewhere!

  6. Ha! Don't think I'll be moving to AZ anytime soon.

    I would love to know what precipitated some of that legislation. Really makes me wonder.

  7. I love the new title. I laughed my "a**" off. Too funny.

  8. Hi, Delores. I like that. Explosive weirdness. That's me.

    Hi, Starting Over. One of my friends left here and moved to AZ 7 years ago or so, and she loves it there. She's an artist, and never runs out of beautiful subjects there to paint. But she's also the one who sent me the pic of the melting ice cream truck I used in an earlier post. It's brutally hot there, but like you say, it hasn't exactly been cool and refreshing here this summer either.

    Hi, Dianne. Hmmm, good idea about using some of these nutso laws as a basis for a book, especially if we get to make up the backgrounds for them. I'm sure the real reasons are pretty mundane. Stupid, but mundane.

    Hi, Linda. You and me both. It's plenty hot enough here in Georgia.

    Hi, again, Skippy. Not sure why you think the title is new. It's the same one I started with, but I'm glad it made you laugh.

  9. Susan..... I try never to drink tea when I read your posts. I either choke or have tea coming out my nose. A 2-dildo house, huh? Weird, weird,weird stuff out there but you're the genius to dig it up. I have to run now and walk. (does that make sense?) but I want to re-read this when I get back. I'll need another laugh. Love it.

  10. We do so appreciated the great effort you put into your epistles. Keep up the great research and writing.

  11. What an amazing post !!!!

    As for the "at home" atom splitting, I cant see the problem with a "recreational" magic mushroom - CLOUD :)

    RJR Daydreamer

  12. Hi, Manzie. Glad to make you laugh, dear lady. (But you're right not to waste that tea ... precious stuff!)

    Hi, Musical Gardener. Thank you, dear sir. I appreciate the encouragement.

    Hi, RJR. Thank you. Yeah, I'm all for do it yourself stuff, and scientific experimentation, but what in the WORLD was that dude thinking???

  13. What a wonderful and varied world we live in, and still there's always some nutter who wants to make an Atom Bomb in his kitchen! Cheers!