You'll recall this squawker's scribblings regarding the whole Pink Taco brouhaha a couple of months ago. Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross objected to the gynecological name of the Mexican-themed grub shack, which was setting up its second location at Snottsdale's new highfalutin shopping/condo complex the Waterfront ("Raising Manross' Hair," April 27), the chain's first location being at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Seems Manross guzzles prude juice by the gallon, and makes it her business to object to anything remotely sexual in her burg, from porn queen Jenna Jameson's strippeteria Babe's to Mexican eateries with bawdy DBAs. Which's kinda ironic considering Scottsdale's known as the boob-implant and wife-swapping capital of the nation.
Lest you're as dense as a bucket of wet cement, "pink taco" refers to ladies' naughty bits, and it's this salacious euphemism that got the mayor's proverbial panties in a twist. Herronor even went so far as to phone her ol' pal Peter Morton, scion of the Morton's steak-house chain and CEO/founder of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, about the matter.
The mogul's twentysomething son Harry Morton is in charge of the Pink Taco operation, one that's looking to expand to Los Angeles and beyond. So Manross asked Big Daddy Morton to change the name of the biz within the city limits of Scottsdale, and, naturally, this asinine request was denied. But in an attempt to make good with Da Mayor, Prince Harry decided to start calling the black-and-pink tops his server gals wear in the restaurant "tank tops" instead of "wife-beaters" (his way of bending over to the Man-ross).
The mayor didn't start a public crusade over the issue or try to block the approval of Pink Taco's liquor license, maybe because she and Peter Morton are chums from their work together on the pro-environment National Resources Defense Council (this, according to Prince Harry). In any case, Pink Taco opened its doors to the public last week, but not before roping in our Sheriff Joe Arpaio for a press conference on the eatery's patio.
Why the hell was Sheriff Joe endorsing Pink Taco? Well, because he's a media whore, natch. But there's another reason: Apparently, Pink Taco's gonna sell pairs of Sheriff Joe's pink boxer shorts at $10 a pop to raise moola both for the sheriff's posse (remember, these are the guys who had sex with prostitutes and then tried to arrest the whores) and for City of Hope, the California breast-cancer-research center.
The shameless photo-op was engineered by PR flack Jason Rose of Rose & Allyn Public Relations. Rose flacks for PT now, as he previously did for Joe during Arpaio's 2004 reelection campaign.
All the same, this voyeuristic vulture just wanted to hear confirmed pinko Uncle Joe Arpaio get all vulgar on the mic, and it was not disappointed. Wearing a pink dress shirt with a burgundy sports jacket, all Joe needed was a big red nose and matching floppy shoes to complete his buffoonish shtick a pale imitation of MTV2's ribald jokester Yucko the Clown. Almost all of the other "reporters" present were acting like their tongues had been cut out by al-Qaeda. So after Rose, Morton and the sheriff finished their initial statements, this extended middle digit asked the salty lawman how he felt about pluggin' a place that's named after a babe's honey pot.
"I never knew about that," said the confused copper. "I thought the tacos at Pink Taco were pink. I'll be surprised if they're not. [The name] doesn't bother me. What's the big deal? I didn't know about it. I don't think 99 percent of the people know [it's another way of saying pussy].
"Is it in the dictionary?" wondered Arpaio. "Does it say what Pink Taco means in the dictionary? I go by the dictionary."
Not to be deterred, this persistent pelican queried, "Well, what if this was a seafood restaurant named The Bearded Clam? Would you be okay with that?"
Joe repeated: "Bearded clam?! I'm from Massachusetts and I've had a lot of clams, but I never saw a beard. Do clams have beards on them?"
In its most serious voice, The Bird assured: "They sure can."
This flustered Joe further, but he wasn't too senile to try to turn the tables. "Heck, they call me a lot of things. You wanna talk about badmouthing people [by calling them] bad names? I get it every week from you guys at New Times."
Tweeted this anti-establishment albatross: "Sheriff, aren't you here just for the publicity?"
Apoplectic now, he responded: "I don't need pink underwear [sales at the restaurant] for publicity! If you think I need this for publicity, you've been on Mars."
More like up Uranus with irritating questions. "So, Joe, have you ever eaten a pink taco before?" The Bird inquired.
"Perfect segue," interrupted flackmeister Rose. "If anyone wants to go try the Pink Taco, you can do that by going inside."
Unfortunately for Rose, and for Prince Harry, who glared at this beak-bearing correspondent, Arpaio stayed outside and kept yapping away.
This faux falcon continued: "But Joe, you're an elected official, on county payroll. Aren't you supposed to be out, like, chasin' criminals or something?"
Grimacing, he grumbled: "I work 15 hours a day. I think I can spend an hour here!"
The Bird suggested the sheriff was making his office a laughingstock (so what else is new?) by showing up at an event like this, and standing in front of a sign that says, heh, Pink Taco.
"You know, the pink underwear could have been a laughingstock," he spat, a giant gob of saliva flying toward this feathered fiend. "But everyone loves the pink underwear! Even presidents have the pink underwear, okay?! Maybe they'll all come down here and eat some pink tacos!"
President Bush eating a pink taco? Hmmm. There's another bearded clam joke in there somewhere, but all The Bird could think of to chirp was: "It would certainly be familiar turf for Bill Clinton, and (from what the tabloids once said) maybe even for future President Hillary."
This fearless eagle was soaring over the west side when it spied, near 59th Avenue and Glendale, a red-white-and-blue billboard that read: "Stop the Invasion: Secure Our Borders Grassfire.org." Invasion? Could it be that foreign troops had massed at the boundaries of this great nation and were unbeknownst to this feathered symbol of freedom engaging in an armed incursion? You know, like when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, or when the United States invaded Iraq in 2003?
Alarmed, this patriotic bird of prey sped home to hop on the computer, look up this Grassfire.org, and learn just where this invasion was occurring, so it could aid in the defense of our beleaguered homeland. But to this caustic canary's chagrin, it discovered that Grassfire.org was just another one of these howlin'-at-the-moon wing-nut organizations that supports everything from censorship of the Internet and outlawing abortion to abolishing the income tax and passing gay-bashing constitutional amendments. A real political gadfly, Grassfire began back in 2000, and has gone from aiding Dubya's 2004 reelection to opposing the nomination of Harriet Myers to the Supreme Court to now pushing the most extreme and unrealistic response to the issue of illegal immigration.
Grassfire wants to round up all of the undocumented workers in the U.S. and deport them, militarize the border to stop the flow of migrants, refuse citizenship to those children born in the U.S. to illegals, and so on. To spread its message and raise cash for the cause, Grassfire has purchased billboard space in several states, from West Virginia to California, all with the same anti-immigrant message. The Glendale billboard is the first in Arizona, but Grassfire is planning to erect more.
Now, The Bird doesn't give a javelina's patootie if Grassfire wants to put up billboards, though it does find it interesting that for its first AZ billboard, Grassfire chose Glendale instead of, say, 16th Street and Thomas Road. Kind of reminds this plumed pundit of the 1960s South, where the Ku Klux Klan would march through the white part of town, instead of where most African-Americans lived. Deep down, all bigots are cowards, afraid of anyone who doesn't look exactly like their sorry white-trash asses. And as The Bird soon discovered, the Grassfire bigots ain't much different from the crackers in the Klan.
What this taloned scribe finds absurd is Grassfire's use of the word "invasion," which's not only dead wrong, but freakin' inflammatory. It's a term that's come into vogue with tireless immigrant-bashers such as CNN's Lou Dobbs, who actually like to imagine that we are at war with the impoverished masses risking their lives to enter this country for better wages and a better life for their kids.
Why, just the other day, The Bird was watching White House press secretary Tony Snow swat away a query from a right-wing correspondent who wondered why, oh, why, President Bush as commander in chief didn't act to repel this "invasion" along America's southern border.
Snow, himself no lefty, having worked as a talking head for FOX News, noted that the reporter was using a militaristic term to describe a situation that's not militaristic. Then Snow pointed out the obvious: The U.S. is not at war with Mexico. "The president has made it very clear that Mexico is not the enemy," he stated.
The Bird wanted to challenge Grassfire on its use of the word "invasion," so it rang up Grassfire president Steve Elliott. The confab was civil, up until The Bird asked Elliott about the phrasing on his billboards.
"We think the term very accurately represents what is happening in our country right now," asserted Elliott, becoming more and more agitated as he spoke. "When you talk about one and a half million people coming illegally every year to this country, when it's very clear you have people from other countries who are not associating themselves with this country, sending money back to their own countries, waving their own flags, speaking their own languages, it definitely characterizes it as an invasion."
So The Bird picked up its closest copy of Webster's, and read the definition to Elliott: "An act or instance of invading or entering as an enemy, especially by an army."
At that point, Elliott freaked out. He asserted that the use of the term was accurate (no matter what ol' Webster had to say about it). He snapped that if The Bird had any further questions, it would have to submit them in writing. Then he slammed down the phone.
Nutty. This avian's obviously a bird brain, but it thought that spokesmen like Elliott were known for their ability to argue their points of view without getting so flustered that they run and hide like simpering cowards. When The Bird called him back again, he hung up again.
The Bird loves it when bigots prove it right. Not only is there no "invasion" of the United States by Mexican immigrants, but hayseeds like those at Grassfire.org are so yella-bellied that they'd rather hide behind their billboards than come out and fight like the tough guys they claim to be.
Kinda like the way the Klan hides beneath hoods. No huevos beneath those sheets.