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Juicy Taco Hell

The Bird chortled its freakin' tail feathers off the other day watching Arizona's daily press get played like a $2 harmonica by billionaire hucksters Peter and Harry Morton, and their PR butt boy Jason Rose, who by now should have about the same aura of believability as the kid who cried wolf.

On August 21, Rose announced a surprise news conference at the Phoenix Hyatt, where pop Peter of Hard Rock Casino fame, and his playboy son Harry, who runs the fledgling Pink Taco restaurant chain, would detail their bid to rename the new Cardinals nest either Pink Taco or Morton Stadium.

Frenzied members of the fourth estate swallowed whole the whopper that this was a $30 million deal in the making. Rose's press release promised the Mortons would unveil "visuals of a proposed logo" (a Penthouse spread, perhaps?) and let reporters "hold the $5,000,000 check" the Mortons "presented" to the Cardinals.

The fact that media morons could hold the check should've been a clue that there was no real deal from jump. A day or so later, Cards flack Mark Dalton confirmed that though Big Red was entertaining offers on naming rights from businesses, a synonym for the Fuchsia Beaver was not among them.

Admittedly, this comedic catbird chuckled over some of the off-color zingers posted on message boards such as Digg.com, including the suggestion that, if painted Larry Flynt's favorite hue and named Pink Taco Stadium, the arena might have to "close every 28 days." Then there was the one about the moniker being perfect 'cause the Cardinals "play like pussies." This before new QB Matt Leinart and the Cards kicked some preseason Chicago Bears ass, 23-16.

When The Bird rang Rose to press him on the publicity ploy, his skin was thinner than a $50 bill.

"If you think it's just some publicity stunt, tell the Cardinals to call our bluff," growled Rose, doing his best Jerry Maguire impersonation. "Call in the money, and we'll make a deal!"

Uh, that's the point, Jason, dear. The Cards never wanted your masters' dough to begin with. And The Bird's got to say, good thing. 'Cause the last thing the revamped Cards need is their stadium's name to be a euphemism for "coward."

The Bird says screw the Mortons and especiallytheir juicy Pink Taco! They get ink every time Prince Harry's spotted with the Hollywood slut du jour. Team owner Bill Bidwill and family are right to turn a cold shoulder to these Vegas carpetbaggers, even if The Bird agrees that their signature Pink Tacos are durn tasty.

If the Cardiac Cards wanna go local with naming rights, this plumed penman believes they should pick a bidness that practically screams "The Zona." How 'bout Danny's Car Wash Stadium? Or Discount Tire Stadium? Even Macayo's or Tee Pee Field, if the Bidwills wish to pay tribute to Sand Land's gringo bastardization of Mexican cuisine.

Maybe the Cards could select a Valley biz with a slammin' logo, something to spruce up their big gray bedpan in the desert, like the bull's head of Earnhardt Ford, or the sombrero-wearin', pistol-packin' panda of Chino Bandito Takee-Outee. For Cheech 'n' Chong fans out there, we might even hoist a giant spliff atop the Glendale sports edifice, and christen it Cheba Hut Stadium!

Or why not the grinning, gill-bearing icon of the Pete's Fish & Chips chain? Nothing says central Arizona quite like this fast-food outlet that has, ahem, nurtured so many Zonies from youth. Pete's Fish & Chips Stadium. You've got to admit, it's got a ring to it!

Milquetoast Mitchell

Why, oh, why are the Democrats always saddled with wishy-washy wusses like Harry Mitchell while Republicans end up with red-meat eaters like J.D. Hayworth?

AZ's pinto Dems pander to conservative voters and slither like scaredy-cats along the middle of the road, while the Hayworths and Jon Kyls of the state's political landscape barrel down the highway in their right-wing four-runners, crushing everything in their paths, leaving Congressional contenders like Mitchell as roadkill in their wake.

Such are the thoughts of this annoyed albatross upon learning that former Tempe mayor Mitchell decided to suck up to blue-nosed prudes like Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross (herself a DINO, "Democrat in Name Only") and wing-nutty organizations such as Len Munsil's Center for Arizona Policy, by coming out in support of Prop 401, Scottsdale's anti-lap-dancing ban, on the September 12 primary ballot.

In fact, this leftist lark was preparing to write a column excoriating Maricopa County Attorney Candy Thomas for wasting the taxpayers' time recording automated phone calls to Scottsdale residents asking them to vote yes on Prop 401. But then it heard that Hayworth-challenger Mitchell, without needing to take a stand on the issue, volunteered one on his Web site, stating that the initiative will "protect Scottsdale's quality of life" and ensure that Snottsdale, land of fake boobs and balding millionaires, "remains a great home for families and businesses."  

Never mind that Scottsdale has but two — count 'em, two — strip joints, Skin Cabaret and Babe's, and that the Scottsdale City Council only passed the original ordinance restricting these clubs after porn star Jenna Jameson bought an interest in Babe's and announced plans to upgrade the stripateria. Still, Milquetoast Mitchell wants to protect Scottsdale from the scourge of unfettered mammaries!

Actually, the Scottsdale initiative doesn't out-and-out ban strip clubs. That would be illegal under the Constitution. But by insisting on a four-foot distance between the stage and patrons, and by forbidding patrons from directly tipping the dancers, Manross and her City Council lackeys mean to put both places out of business.

Supporters of Prop 401 point to so-called harmful "secondary effects" from such sexually oriented businesses. But in the case of Babe's and Skin, they're imaginary. The Web site Yeson401.com holds the two clubs responsible for "600 calls for service" to the Scottsdale PD "from 1998 to 2005." Do the math, people. That comes out to approximately 3.5 calls per month, per club. A pittance. Of course, no comparisons are offered to the non-striptease nightclubs that proliferate in the area.

Jamie Capobres, vice chair of the Yeson401.com Coalition, has even sunk so low as to exploit the brutal 2005 slaying of Skin Cabaret dancer Georgia Thompson as a harmful secondary effect of the club's existence. The 19-year-old Thompson was fatally shot outside her Tempe apartment, 10 miles away from Skin. And the Phoenix PD has linked the homicide to the Baseline Killer. Her death apparently had nothing to do with her place of employment, but that doesn't matter to a propaganda-slinger like Capobres.

Ditto Candy Thomas and Manross. Their sole goal is to impose their own sexual squeamishness on the populace and thereby subvert the Bill of Rights.

But aren't Dems supposed to defend the Bill of Rights? Realistically, The Bird doesn't expect a pinto like Mitchell to have any cojónes in an election year, and come out against a lap-dance ban. But he could have kept his mealy mouth fucking shut rather than ally himself with the Christian right.

Sometimes this beak-bearing scribbler thinks it's best to have a wing-nutty GOP-er in office than some Janus-faced Demmy like Milquetoast Mitchell. At least with the former, you know exactly what you're getting.

Punk Playa Hatas

The Bird's been hearing carping aplenty from the Valley's self-appointed music mavens concerning New Times scribe Benjamin Leatherman's cover story on Phoenix performance artist and musician Ryan Avery ("Hi, My Name Is Ryan," August 3). After the profile ran, various whiney wanna-bes decried the 19-year-old as a talentless teen unworthy of such inkage.

Take the brain trust of local losers on the AZPunk.com message board, which heaped tons of hard-core dissing on the pudgy-faced prodigy. Within hours of the story's hitting newsstands, members began their favorite activity of being punker Pontius Pilates and debating whether Avery — now on his two-year Mormon mission in Portland — deserved the coverage.

One quote from "Senior Punk" poster Santatouchedmy summed up all the pissing and moaning.

"Obviously he does not work for anything," simpered the Senior Punk. "He clearly never attempted to learn how to play music. . . . It is one thing if he has a shitty band in Phoenix, but to give him all this undeserving credit is seriously absurd! Forgive me if I sound childish, but how fucking unfair!"

Sounds like someone needs his diapers changed.

These cyber crybabies are so caught up in passing judgment from behind their sticker-laden 'puters about who's punker than thou that they've forgotten how the entire genre originated. Punk rock flourished because weird-looking loons and social rejects like Patti Smith and The Ramones, who had little in the way of musical training (much less talent), sought to break free from the overproduced pop of the late '60s and early '70s.

Why, this rancorous rooster believes Avery's closer in spirit to these legends than Santatouchedmy and the other punk pussies pontificating on the Web. That's right, Ryan Avery's more punk than AZPunk.com!

This posse of poseurs won't be happy to learn that the Mormon performance artist's become an even bigger Latter-day Superstar over the past few weeks. Other misfit Mormons flocked to his few remaining shows before he blew town, and one fan even created a page on the online encyclopedia Wikipedia in his honor.

Cooler still, two Salt Lake City filmmakers — Paul Eagleston and Stephen Rose — hightailed it to Phoenix after reading the article to create a documentary on Avery.  

Eagleston, who claims he's tight with fellow Mormon auteur and Napoleon Dynamite creator Jared Hess, said Avery's offbeat story makes for great cinematic fodder.

"As misfit Mormons ourselves, we relate to his situation," Eagleston says. "We relate to someone who has interests off the beaten path and decides to go on a mission."

They want to help Avery land a part in an upcoming Hess flick when Avery returns to the Valley in 2008, and they hope to use the director's name to get their documentary into some big-name festivals.

"We feel like the subject matter would befit Sundance," Eagleston says. "If only we can get it done on time."

Eat your hearts out, message-board weenies! Or as Ice-T spat long ago: Don't hate the playa, hate the game, dawgs.


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