By now, we've been inundated by so much rigmarole surrounding "Decision 2004," we're more likely to pull a trigger come November than a voting-booth lever. Since we're facing (at least) another month of political Bushwhacking, we'll Kerry on to "Word on the Street: Politics Unusual," a collective exhibition by downtown Phoenix galleries. Five art spaces will exhibit works from the event throughout October and into the fall. There's "Harvest" at eye lounge, 419 East Roosevelt, a more subtle look at politicking, with 20 mixed-media pieces, including Kate Timmerman's Bless Me Father for I Have Sinned, a sculpture of a bird nesting in slate next to a large oar signifying society's metaphorical journey across the river Styx. "Our art respects the individual's right to draw their own conclusions," says Timmerman. "It won't hit you over the head with pictures of Bush with an ÔX' through his face or anything that simplistic." Nope, for that style of political criticism, we'd head to Holgas, 821 North Third Street, where residents have created works like Tara Logsdon's painting of a flaming shrub and the message, "If we burn a Bush, maybe God will talk to us again." Subtle. See www.wots-phx.org for more. -- Benjamin Leatherman
Gas Up the Car
Let's have beans for every meal
Blame it on the beans on Saturday, October 9, at the 10th annual Grandpa Horny Fart Blossom Memorial Chili Cook-Off, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the New River Station, at I-17 and the New River exit. A $5 donation, benefiting META Services (a nonprofit organization that provides services to the mentally ill), gets you a taste of all the competing chilis all day long. For directions and details, call 602-636-4475. -- Joe Watson
Botanical Garden shows off its melons
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10/9-10/10 Squash any idea that gourd art's strictly Appalachian. Here in our community, there's a veritable calabash cult, whose followers transform nature's own Tupperware into pretty fine art. Gourds Galore! offers up a cornucopia of embellished autumn fruits from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, October 9, and Sunday, October 10, at the Desert Botanical Garden's Fall Harvest Festival. Art snobs and other skeptics who check out the displays may find little green tendrils twined around their hearts. The DBG blooms at 1201 North Galvin Parkway, next door to the Phoenix Zoo. Admission is $9 for adults and $4 for children. Call 480-941-1225 or see www.dbg.org. -- Kim Toms
Opa! to the big, fat Greek Fest
The Greeks know how to throw a good orgy. It must be the hot and tempting food that keeps people coming back for more, according to Jim Contes, chairman of the 44th annual Greater Phoenix Greek Festival. This year's festival, which runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, October 8, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, October 9, and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, October 10, at the James A. Speros Community Center, 1973 East Maryland, will have no shortage of culinary delights. There will also be plenty of booze, live music and dancing. "But no plate breaking," Contes says. "We tried that one year and it just got messy." Tickets are $2, and children 12 and younger get in free. Call 602-264-2791, extension 223.-- C. Murphy Hebert