Until it saw some stupid cow with her left tit hanging out in the middle of a Target parking lot, The Bird was squawking with glee about the new, just-passed Chandler ordinance allowing mothers to breast-feed in public.
This avian thought, "Why shouldn't moms of every stripe -- even ugly, brainless broads with too many kids and nonexistent fashion sense -- be allowed out of the house from time to time? That is, not tethered by the tit to some squalling yap back at home?"
Here's the skinny on what's going on now: These whole-milk advocates vow they are headed to the Arizona Legislature in hopes of churning the new Chandler ordinance into a cheesy statewide law that will allow nursing moms to feed their kids au naturel anywhere they please, leaving the rest of us to find a place to rest our eyes.
Um, if the mom doing the milking is a skank.
All this because a Chandler mother -- lead lactivist Amy "Got Milk?" Milliron -- was busted for feeding her infant at an East Valley public pool earlier this year. Now Milliron and her burn-yer-bra friends want more nursing rights as well as immunity from indecent-exposure laws.
"We're asking that the state put an exemption into the existing indecent-exposure law," Milliron told The Bird, "so it won't include breast-feeding mothers. We want them to be able to breast-feed in any location, not just in Chandler. Because no mother should be criminalized for feeding her baby."
Milliron claimed there's "bipartisan support" in the Legislature for the idea, but she wouldn't divulge just who on the public tit's actually aboard.
Now, The Bird doesn't disagree with Milliron; it would just like to suggest an alteration to the proposed new law, which would be this: Only mothers with round, firm, nicely shaped bosoms can be exempted from any and all indecent-exposure charges, while nursing moms with dugs (or droopy jugs) would be sent straight to Tent City.
Because, let's face it, as Janet Jackson's Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction proved, not all breasts are created equal. Formerly perky chi-chis become less so once they're asked to feed something other than adolescent sexual fantasies. The Bird's sure that guys and gals alike would be less annoyed to discover a curvy hooter crammed into the mouth of a rug-rat in the soup aisle at Trader Joe's than a droopy dirty-pillow dangling from some hoary hillbilly's peasant blouse.
The new law could allow moms with still-bodacious ta-tas to nurse full-frontal wherever they want without fear of reprisal. MILFs like Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Claudia Schiffer, Liv Tyler and Anna Nicole Smith could feel free to pop out a pink-nosed puppy or two when they're hitting the Scottsdale shopping scene. And if Britney Spears were caught at Arby's jugging just-born Baby Sean, the worst she could hope for from Snottsdale's finest would be a smattering of applause.
All current twentysomething supermodels would be exempt from protection because their eating disorders would've long ago rendered them as flat as that vacant lot across from Johnny Chu's Fate restaurant in downtown Phoenix, and because women with heroin addictions don't usually get to keep their bambinos.
To help things along, what The Bird thinks the lactivists should do is put their best funbag forward. Stage a rally on the steps of the state Capitol led by this feathered fiend's favorite boobalicious local celebrity, Jenna Jameson. She's nobody's mama, mind you, but The Bird bets the porn queen/entrepreneur would feign motherhood and expose herself royally for such a cause! Senator Ken Cheuvront wouldn't be impressed, but even the mainstream Mormons who run the place wouldn't be able to resist hooters that fine calling for quick legislative action.
Brilliant? This middle finger's mom may have had the kind of breasts that wind up in a bucket of Colonel Sanders, but it's certainly no bird brain!
For the record, The Bird doesn't care for cigarette smoke. It prefers perching on the roofs of non-smoking establishments, and avoids all closely confined areas where a quick escape from tobacco fumes is difficult. There's nothing worse than mistaking a Benson and Hedges butt for a worm!
But you'd have to be a moron not to find smoking bans evil and excessive.
The Bird's saying, if a being who eats bugs and whose bathroom is the hood of a parked car can see that smoking bans violate property rights and are forced on the public by anti-tobacco buttheads, then . . . come on, does no one else find the Smoke Free Arizona initiative an odious scheme designed to reduce us to schoolyard tattletales?
Should this initiative become law, would-be moles and brown-nosers alike can rat out any shop owner or office manager who doesn't remove ashtrays or post those "No Smoking" signs. Finking on your fellow man for daring to light up a Doral will be as easy as e-mailing or telephoning the folks at Smoke Free.
The Bird predicts that this will lead to lots of score-settling between competitive bars and businesses, since fines for flicking your Bic in a no-smoking zone are up to $500 a pop.
Get this! No less than Leland "Extinguish My Butt" Fairbanks, president of Arizonans Concerned About Smoking -- and a guy who can talk the leg off a chair about the evils of cancer sticks -- agrees with this beaky pundit that rat-finking is bad.
"I don't go for this snitching stuff," Fairbanks hollered this way. "It's a civil rights thing. I'm more for standing up for the insecure employee -- the lounge singer, the bartender, the table-clearer-offer -- who doesn't dare complain about smoke in the workplace. But what are we going to do here, hide behind trees in the park, looking for someone we can call the cops on because they're smoking?"
Yes, and right away, too, if nut-box negotiator Bill "I'd Rather Fight Than Switch" Pfeifer has anything to say about it.
Pfeifer is president and CEO of the American Lung Association of Arizona and the chair of Smoke Free Arizona, which The Bird is sad to report isn't an organization devoted to handing out complimentary bags of marijuana to state residents.
"Freedom?!" Pfeifer screeched to The Bird. "How about the freedom to breathe clean air that doesn't cause disease or death?! Fifty-two thousand people die each year from secondhand smoke, according to studies by the American Lung Association!"
But what about what experts like Robert "I'd Walk a Mile for a Camel" Levy, senior fellow for constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, have to say on the subject?
"In 1998, the World Health Organization confirmed that there is no association between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke and lung cancer," Levy wrote. And a more-recent study published in the British Medical Journal reports that "passive smoke had no significant connection with heart disease or lung cancer death at any level of exposure at any time."
Now, about that property-rights argument, Mr. Pfeifer?
"Protecting the health and safety of the majority of the community comes first and foremost," he said (long sigh). "We can't do that alone; we need input from the people we're trying to protect."
Translated, this means he needs anti-smoking rat-finks to drop a dime to him so he can get cases made against offending establishments.
The Bird would like to suggest its own initiative, one in which it's legal to smoke loudmouth CEOs who want to stamp out the principles of a free society. Now, before all you pfriends of Pfeifer get your tail-feathers all ruffled, be assured that the taloned tweeter means this in the nicest possible way.
The wailing you hear isn't a fire alarm. It's coming from Billy "Fire Down Below" Shields, president of the union that represents firefighters in Phoenix, Chandler, Tempe and Glendale.
Over the noisy keening, The Bird hears that Shields is busy battling an ambulance war so fraught with fiery infighting and favoritism that it's a wonder no one's spontaneously combusted over it. But mostly he's just crying because New Times writer Sarah Fenske revealed him for what he is in a recent cover story ("Ambulance Chasers," October 27).
Seems that Southwest Ambulance, the company that currently manages service in most Maricopa County suburbs, is organized under Shields' United Phoenix Fire Fighters. But it's facing stiff competition in several local cities from Professional Medical Transport, a non-union company run by Pat "Never Hose Me" Cantelme, a predecessor of Shields' as president of the local firefighters' union and (huzzah!) Shields' close friend.
Did The Bird mention that Shields is a labor union president and Cantelme's company is non-union? Right, it did. Never mind.
Could this be why Shields, as detailed in Fenske's New Times opus, has refused to throw his union's muscle behind the ambulance workers at Southwest, even though these poor slobs are fellow members of the International Association of Fire Fighters?
"What," Shields seems to be saying, "risk my friendship just to back union guys? Fugedaboudit!"
After New Times wrote about Shields' duplicitous ways, disgruntled members of our local fire brigade couldn't call this feathered fiend fast enough -- anonymously, of course. (The hell with making chili and swapping hilarious burning-building jokes; the new pastime for fireman is informing on Benedict Shields.)
One of Shields' own told The Bird, "We're mad at Billy for not stepping up and for not telling Pat, 'You can't do this!' He's letting Pat come in and take union jobs."
Another city employee forwarded The Bird an interoffice e-mail sent by Shields to the entire Phoenix Fire Department indicating that he's feeling the heat. Big time!
"The recent New Times article has caused much concern for all of us," Shields whined in his for-your-eyes-only electronic missive. "I want to tell you that the reporter was loaded for a story against our union and Pat Cantelme, our former president. She twisted many of my comments to fit her purpose, and used information selectively to smear Pat. She tried to imply that all of our union officers have company interests. She might as well be on the payroll of Pat's competitors."
Blah, blah, blah, Billy. The Bird guesses that in the seedy ambulance-contract world you inhabit -- a planet that would make disappeared Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa proud -- it must seem that a journalist's got to be on some enemy's payroll if she writes the truth and makes you and yours look like scumbags.
Shields, of course, doesn't offer any examples of how his comments were "twisted" by Fenske, although for all his careful neutrality, he still makes it clear whose side he's on:
"The mission of our union," he writes, "is under attack from Pat's competitors."
Billy, please, it's obviously your "mission," but the Phoenix Fire Fighters Union's "mission" isn't fucking fellow union members out of their jobs. Cantelme may be an ex-union president and your pal, but he's turned coat.
Shields tried to make nice to The Bird: "This ambulance war has been brewing for years, and it is not our war. . . . These ambulance companies will be fighting this battle for years, and the firefighters will still be working to protect and serve our communities."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
But if Pat Cantelme gets his way, a lot of union members won't be able to "serve our communities" on ambulances anymore, Billy boy.
In an attempt to shield himself from those union colleagues who think he and Cantelme are traitors, Shields said he's pledging allegiance to the president of the International Association of Fire Fighters. "Whatever he decides [regarding ambulance companies]," Shields said, "we will do."
And what lesson, besides never talk to a newspaper reporter if you've got something to hide, has the one and only Billy Shields learned in all this? "I will not go into ambulance-related businesses when I retire," Shields wrote in his e-mail to firefighters. "Period."
At least ambulance workers have something to be thankful for.