Strange Fruit

Senator Barry Goldwater's kin try to seal embarrassing letters about them from public view. Way to respect the great man's wishes!

You'd have to be irony-deficient not to catch the paradox. It's unlikely this dirty laundry would've been aired to this extent if: 1) C.C. had not exploited the family angle in Goldwater on Goldwater, while overlooking what she deemed unflattering; and 2) the Goldwater family had not moved to seal heretofore open and unrestricted docs.

The ultimate rub is Senator Goldwater himself went over much of this ground in statements to the press and in his own published memoirs. Goldy had 'tude, was his own man, and was inclined to tell folks to fuck off if they didn't like him. But some of his kids? Let's just say that fruit fell far from the tree.

Nursing Grudge

This famished fowl needed to feed last week, and decided to flap on down to Tempe's Heart Attack Grill, the embattled burger shack that boasts greasy "Bypass Burgers," fat-laden "Flatliner Fries," and a horny hospital theme featuring comely waitresses in sexy nurse uniforms.

The grill's burger-slinging beauties flirt up a storm and role-play with customers, sitting on their laps, pretending to listen to their hearts with stethoscopes, even pushing 'em out to the parking lot in wheelchairs if they sink into a fast-food coma. For lunch, there's a line out the door. And after its visit, The Bird reckons this may be another Hooters-like success story in the making. Burgers and babes. What's not to love?

Plenty, according to the restaurant's foes, who're havin' PC palpitations over the eatery's existence. Seems folks from Maryland's Center for Nursing Advocacy, a prudish national nursing-rights group, have been bellyaching about the Heart Attack Grill, using logic shakier than Michael J. Fox to declare that the sexy-nurse shtick promotes sexual harassment of their kind.

Is no sexual fantasy sacred?!

AZ state agencies have also been bullying owner Jon Basso (a.k.a. Dr. Jon) to stop referring to his saucy servers as "nurses." The pseudo sawbones says he began hearing from assistant attorney general Daniel R. Christl in August about how the Arizona State Board of Nursing had received complaints regarding the cafe. The board's beef's that state law dictates that only validly trained and licensed nurses can use said title. Christl demanded the sham surgeon refrain from referring to waitresses as nurses both at the restaurant and on its Web site (www.heartattackgrill.com).

Basso tried remedying the issue by referring to waitresses as Nurse* (note the asterisk) and a disclaimer that his gals aren't health-care practitioners. That wasn't enough of a kowtow for the AG's Office, which's requesting a face-to-face confab on the matter. By the way, both the AG's Office and the nursing board refused to comment on the issue. Figures.

"When somebody who has a title like attorney general wants to talk to you, it's kinda like a guy who's got a black belt in karate asking you to step outside," Basso tells The Bird. "The attorney general can cause problems for me. I'm a small businessman, not a wealthy guy, so that scares me."

Basso ain't budgin', however; he will continue to call his staffers nurses until he's hauled into court. He's also started using the title on signs adorning his window, only adding that he's looking for "hot" real nurses to sling burgers. He hopes this will defuse use of the term.

This rancorous rooster figures Attorney General Terry Goddard's legal beagles must be as swift as a sack of rocks to bite on this one. What's next, filing suit against Halloween trick-or-treaters dressed like nurses, or fetish types who wear vinyl nurses' outfits while whacking fannies?

Do these boneheaded barristers actually believe diners will enter the Heart Attack Grill seeking medical attention? Holy heron hockey! Most realnurses these days don't even wear white stockings, skirts and little caps, just scrubs.

Humorously, The Bird learned the whole battle with the state stems from a marital spat. Heart Attack Grill regular Jay Miringoff has visited the grub shack several times with his newly horny 14-year-old son to get a bellyful and an eyeful. This, to the chagrin of spouse Susan Miringoff, a nurse consultant for a local law firm.

Miringoff told this curious crow that he dared his Nurse Ratched wife to do something, which she did.

"I didn't think anything of it, made a joke, and my wife actually fired off a complaint to the nursing board," peeped Jay. "She was more offended that they were holding themselves out as nurses."

This isn't the first time Mrs. Miringoff has gotten her panties in a bunch. Jay related that she "used to grumble" about how Bandaids Show Lounge in Phoenix featured an exterior mural of a sexy nurse.

Though he relented, Jay was at first reluctant to speak with this magpie marriage counselor (for obvious reasons). So it's probably best if The Bird doesn't mention that Jay's in talks with the franchise-happy Dr. Jon to possibly open a Heart Attack Grill on the west side. "My buddy and I," Jay said, "are waiting for a good time to talk to my wife about it."

Killer Band

Finally, a note about a dope new band this peeper spotted on the 'Net the other day, a Phoenix rock act that's taken a cue from a local murder spree and decided to call itself — you guessed it — Baseline Killer (check it out at www.myspace.com/phoenixelitistcore).

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