At Least It Wasn't Larry
Everyone knows GOP supermouth Newt Gingrich and his half-sister, Candace, are politically incompatible. An occasional mention of cyberspace aside, the House speaker generally supports his party's ultraconservative wing. Candace, of course, is active in gay-rights issues and groups. Despite those differences, the Gingrich siblings had been keeping their rivalry within civil bounds. Until the Republicans tried to kill Candace last week.

Well, someone tried to kill her, anyway. Someone told Candace, who was visiting Phoenix as part of a national gay-rights tour, that a good way to spend Saturday morning this time of year is to hike to the top of Squaw Peak. Luckily, The Flash was able to intervene Friday evening at Eddie's Grill. We explained the 109-degree facts of life to diminutive, fair-skinned, Moe-coiffed Candace. Made political small-talk. Offered to buy her a drink, as any suave, anonymous, name-dropping columnist would.

And never mentioned that Flashes would soon compare her, hair-wise, with one of the Three Stooges! (For which The Flash now formally apologizes; she really is a wonderful lady. With a capital L.)

Urine Charge
Apparently, the censorship virus has spread from the Arizona Republic to Tribune Newspapers in Mesa. Trib honchos yanked an editorial cartoon by Mike Ritter that dared to address the funniest story of the summer: Governor Fife Symington's two grown sons, caught taking a public leak in downtown Scottsdale.

Copies of the cartoon--along with word of its demise--are floating around the Mesa Tribune newsroom. The Flash hears that even Governor Symington got a copy. But not the Trib's readers.

It's hard to imagine what the Tribune's excretion police found so offensive. The cartoon, which we cannot reproduce for legal reasons, shows an elderly couple walking their dog, which has stopped to sniff a stream of water in the threesome's path.

"Look! There's no water shortage in Scottsdale," the old man cries, referring to the city's recent water dispute with developers.

The woman replies: "No, dear, that's just the Symington boys . . . "
The cartoon will appear sometime this month in the Phoenix Journalism Monthly, published by the Sun Valley chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The APEX of Cyberculture
The information superhighway is getting increasingly chaste, but there's at least one naughty cybersite still in operation, and it's right here in the Valley. It's put together by the Arizona Power Exchange, or APEX. According to its World Wide Web page, APEX is an educational support that serves the world by "(t)reating the S&M . . . and Fetish experience with acceptance, caring, dignity and respect."

Indeed, the club's orientation page often reads like a church publication, full of warnings against drugs and alcohol. The newsletter also includes information about open houses, potluck dinners and a movie night (although a recent such night was titled HOT PORN & POPCORN and promised everything from "breast suspension to cartoons"). The topic for the Father's Day meeting was "Daddy Games," because "Daddy gets to be bad, too, just ask Daddy's Boy or Girl!" An upcoming workshop offers instruction in "Genitorture." The address: http://www.xroads.com/apex Feed The Flash: voice, 229-8486; fax, 340-8806; online, flash@newtimes.com


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