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Best Of :: People & Places

BEST KIDDY-DIDDLER

Now, there's a lot of competition for this honor. We've read of pedophiles in Arizona who've each accosted scores of children. But Warren Jeffs, prophet of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has not only had sex with minors himself, he's required multitudes of his followers to commit the crime since he took over as Polygamyland's top dog from his dad. Between Rulon and Warren, the Jeffses have forced young girls into sexual slavery for a couple of generations now. Which is why the FBI had the junior Jeffs on its Most Wanted list since August 2005, and why he was eventually nabbed on a highway in southern Nevada this summer and sent to face charges first in Utah and then in Arizona. His polygamist community of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, straddles the state line. Here's how Jeffs' nifty little religion works: Church doctrine holds that the prophet marry loyal male followers to as many "wives" as the prophet deems appropriate. What power! Girls as young as 14 have been required to submit to this rule and bed down with guys old enough to be their grandfathers. Some men those Jeffs really likes, naturally have been granted scores of brides. If men and women do not submit to this doctrine, they are banned from the community, stripped of their families and denied entrance into the "Celestial Kingdom." Anybody who's been paying attention knows what this is it's Mormon heaven, in which even mainstream Mormon men (who eschew polygamy while in the flesh; the Salt Lake City-based church now forbids it) get to do the wild thing with multiple wives in the afterlife. And we thought those terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center were crazy for thinking their actions would merit them a passel of virgins to bang in the wild blue yonder! But back to Jeffs: When we got a gander of him on TV in his jail jumpsuit, we realized he was lucky to be born into polygamy. A guy that skinny and scary would never get laid any other way.

BEST GARDEN BAR
House of Tricks
Jackie Mercandetti

The Tricks' garden has Eden beat, no contest. Built around two old houses in downtown Tempe well off the beaten beer-spilled path of Mill Avenue the trellised, bricked, vine-covered spot is the perfect place to sit at the bar or relax at a table, with a good glass of wine. And one more thing we can guarantee: No one in Eden knew how to cook the way the Tricks do with menu temptations like marinated quail with a coffee honey vinaigrette or pistachio-crusted rack of lamb. Paradise.

114 E. 7th St., Tempe, 85281
MAP
480-968-1114
BEST PLACE TO GET NAKED
El Dorado Hot Springs

According to the Bible, our ancient ancestors Adam and Eve grew ashamed at their nudity in the Garden of Eden after sampling forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge, and thusly, mankind was forever cursed with a sense of body modesty. Well, you can finally feel good about dropping trou outside the confines of your residence (without getting thrown in the cooler) inside the confines of El Dorado Hot Springs. This picturesque mineral-water spa located 45 miles west of the Valley is a clothing-optional compound with a bounty of bathing pools and tubs filled with natural H2O pumped straight from a subterranean spring. Five private areas located inside fenced areas and historic buildings including a small post office where old-school civil servants soaked their letter-carrying carcasses back in the day allow you to take a dip away from the prying eyes of the public for only $10 an hour per person. If you're feeling a bit more exhibitionistic, there's also a semi-private pool for $7.50 an hour per person. Cell phones and cameras are forbidden, however, so you needn't worry about any saucy pics of your skinny-dipping adventures getting posted on the Internet.

41225 W. Indian School Rd., Tonopah, 85354
MAP
623-386-5412
BEST APPLETINI

The appletini is the quintessential frou-frou cocktail. Flirty. Tasteful. Fun. Grilled Expedition at Desert Ridge Marketplace offers an appletini that's shaken, not stirred, and garnished with a Granny Smith apple slice. Its house special martini isn't exactly a trade secret just vodka with a splash of sour apple liquor but the restaurant's bartenders manage to get just the perfect combination of sweet and tart. This is an apple that will definitely sink its teeth into you.

BEST GARDEN OF EDEN IN THE DESERT
The Wright House

Phoenix summers are hell. By August, the only flowers left alive in this town are on night-blooming cactuses. Wright House proprietors Peggy and Michael Wright must have made a pact with Satan's gardener, because somehow their lush landscaping manages to stay green and flowering nearly all year. The property houses three buildings a historic cottage house, an English ballroom and a recently added French villa that can be rented for weddings, special occasions and private parties. Wrought-iron fences and delicate gazebos are covered with ivy and fragrant jasmine. Stone walkways snake through country gardens planted with roses and perennials bursting in vibrant shades of fuchsia, pink and saffron. The best part? There's not one goddamned cactus on the lot.

636 W. University Dr., Mesa, 85201
MAP
480-833-0902
BEST PLACE TO PISS OFF GOD
Apollo's Greek God Revue on Sundays

For those of you who specialize in committing the most profane acts of immorality, now you can royally piss off God in a variety of ways at Apollo's Greek God Revue. As if the infamously sassy GLBT clientele that frequents Apollo's wasn't enough to get on the Lord's bad side, now guests can further annoy the Most High with the overt idolatry of Dionysian-loving tranny sing-alongs, the likes of which some fundamentalists might say could invoke the wrath of God with more urgency than the folks in those little towns called Sodom and Gomorrah. To add injury, the party happens every Sunday night, a day typically reserved by the rightest of the right for spiritual fasting and meditation. Perhaps the guys at Apollo's view their wacky Sunday night Greek drag extravaganzas as worshipful in their own way. Since the Lord hasn't struck them down yet, be sure not to miss a week; that would really light up this already fabulous party!

5749 N. 7th St., Phoenix, 85014
MAP
602-277-9373
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BEST KIDDY-DIDDLER: Warren Jeffs

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