Pussy Posse

Signs of the times: The feathered fiend asks the sheriff if he's ever eaten a pink taco and invades the mind of a Grassfire.org bigot

You'll recall this squawker's scribblings regarding the whole Pink Taco brouhaha a couple of months ago. Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross objected to the gynecological name of the Mexican-themed grub shack, which was setting up its second location at Snottsdale's new highfalutin shopping/condo complex the Waterfront ("Raising Manross' Hair," April 27), the chain's first location being at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Seems Manross guzzles prude juice by the gallon, and makes it her business to object to anything remotely sexual in her burg, from porn queen Jenna Jameson's strippeteria Babe's to Mexican eateries with bawdy DBAs. Which's kinda ironic considering Scottsdale's known as the boob-implant and wife-swapping capital of the nation.

Lest you're as dense as a bucket of wet cement, "pink taco" refers to ladies' naughty bits, and it's this salacious euphemism that got the mayor's proverbial panties in a twist. Herronor even went so far as to phone her ol' pal Peter Morton, scion of the Morton's steak-house chain and CEO/founder of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, about the matter.

The mogul's twentysomething son Harry Morton is in charge of the Pink Taco operation, one that's looking to expand to Los Angeles and beyond. So Manross asked Big Daddy Morton to change the name of the biz within the city limits of Scottsdale, and, naturally, this asinine request was denied. But in an attempt to make good with Da Mayor, Prince Harry decided to start calling the black-and-pink tops his server gals wear in the restaurant "tank tops" instead of "wife-beaters" (his way of bending over to the Man-ross).

The mayor didn't start a public crusade over the issue or try to block the approval of Pink Taco's liquor license, maybe because she and Peter Morton are chums from their work together on the pro-environment National Resources Defense Council (this, according to Prince Harry). In any case, Pink Taco opened its doors to the public last week, but not before roping in our Sheriff Joe Arpaio for a press conference on the eatery's patio.

Why the hell was Sheriff Joe endorsing Pink Taco? Well, because he's a media whore, natch. But there's another reason: Apparently, Pink Taco's gonna sell pairs of Sheriff Joe's pink boxer shorts at $10 a pop to raise moola both for the sheriff's posse (remember, these are the guys who had sex with prostitutes and then tried to arrest the whores) and for City of Hope, the California breast-cancer-research center.

The shameless photo-op was engineered by PR flack Jason Rose of Rose & Allyn Public Relations. Rose flacks for PT now, as he previously did for Joe during Arpaio's 2004 reelection campaign.

All the same, this voyeuristic vulture just wanted to hear confirmed pinko Uncle Joe Arpaio get all vulgar on the mic, and it was not disappointed. Wearing a pink dress shirt with a burgundy sports jacket, all Joe needed was a big red nose and matching floppy shoes to complete his buffoonish shtick — a pale imitation of MTV2's ribald jokester Yucko the Clown. Almost all of the other "reporters" present were acting like their tongues had been cut out by al-Qaeda. So after Rose, Morton and the sheriff finished their initial statements, this extended middle digit asked the salty lawman how he felt about pluggin' a place that's named after a babe's honey pot.

"I never knew about that," said the confused copper. "I thought the tacos at Pink Taco were pink. I'll be surprised if they're not. [The name] doesn't bother me. What's the big deal? I didn't know about it. I don't think 99 percent of the people know [it's another way of saying pussy].

"Is it in the dictionary?" wondered Arpaio. "Does it say what Pink Taco means in the dictionary? I go by the dictionary."

Not to be deterred, this persistent pelican queried, "Well, what if this was a seafood restaurant named The Bearded Clam? Would you be okay with that?"

Joe repeated: "Bearded clam?! I'm from Massachusetts and I've had a lot of clams, but I never saw a beard. Do clams have beards on them?"

In its most serious voice, The Bird assured: "They sure can."

This flustered Joe further, but he wasn't too senile to try to turn the tables. "Heck, they call me a lot of things. You wanna talk about badmouthing people [by calling them] bad names? I get it every week from you guys at New Times."

Tweeted this anti-establishment albatross: "Sheriff, aren't you here just for the publicity?"

Apoplectic now, he responded: "I don't need pink underwear [sales at the restaurant] for publicity! If you think I need this for publicity, you've been on Mars."

More like up Uranus with irritating questions. "So, Joe, have you ever eaten a pink taco before?" The Bird inquired.

"Perfect segue," interrupted flackmeister Rose. "If anyone wants to go try the Pink Taco, you can do that by going inside."

Unfortunately for Rose, and for Prince Harry, who glared at this beak-bearing correspondent, Arpaio stayed outside and kept yapping away.

This faux falcon continued: "But Joe, you're an elected official, on county payroll. Aren't you supposed to be out, like, chasin' criminals or something?"

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