This Week in Petty Drama: Pickleball, Christmas Tree Lovers, and Goofy Men

Arizona is petty as hell. This is, after all, the state that banned cities from banning plastic bags. 

But you're a regular person who has a normal job and doesn't live on the internet, you run the risk of missing out on some of the political feuds, neighborhood beefs, and social media flame wars that go down. Inspired by The Cut's "Niche Drama" vertical, we're here to help you catch up.

Here are the obscure controversies and petty disputes that you may have missed over the past week:

Some Ahwatukee residents are livid about nighttime pickleball games.

If you've never heard of pickleball, it's a mix between badminton, tennis, and ping-pong. And it has generated quite the firestorm of controversy in Ahwatukee, where people apparently have nothing better to do than get worked up about harmless recreational games.

As AZFamily.com (KPHO) explains, the Ahwatukee Recreation Center wants to install lights on its four pickleball courts. This, in turn, has brought all of the pickleball haters out of the woodwork, including a guy named Herb who says that allowing people to play pickleball at night will destroy his only opportunity for peace, quiet, and tranquility.

In response, the Ahwatukee Recreation Center issued a statement saying that it had "hired the services of an acoustics engineering firm to evaluate sound levels from the pickleball courts and provide viable options for sound suppression" and "visited pickleball courts throughout the Valley to evaluate the impact of lights on the surrounding area." Never change, Ahwatukee, never change.

An Indivisible activist issued a public apology after some Twitter drama went down.

If you've spent any time on #ResistanceTwitter, you've probably come across CaptainsLog2017, an Indivisible Arizona activist who's amassed more than 63,000 followers thanks to his weirdly spaced, emoji-heavy posts about liberal politics. Usually, he uses this platform to "signal boost" Democratic candidates, particularly those who tend to get ignored by the mainstream media due to their lack of name recognition and prior political experience.

But, on Sunday, CaptainsLog2017 posted a series of now-deleted tweets accusing of Garrick McFadden — a local attorney who's planning to run as a leftist alternative to Representative David Schweikert next year — of being an undercover operative working for the GOP. His reasoning? McFadden follows members of Arizona's Freedom Caucus on Twitter.

This is obviously a ridiculous accusation —  a lot of people follow people who they disagree with on Twitter — but McFadden responded with a lengthy Twitter thread defending himself. His campaign staffer Alex Garza also jumped in, calling the accusations "ridiculous and insulting." CaptainsLog2017 later apologized, saying that he was going to "take some time for #SelfCare and just retweet #TheResistance."

Christmas-lovers threatened to beat up a Phoenix New Times reporter.

Staff writer Ray Stern, who's an avid hiker, was climbing Camelback Mountain over the weekend when he stumbled across Camelback Santa and his highly controversial Christmas tree. He decided to film the scene on Facebook Live, because that's a thing that our corporate overlords are asking us to do now.

For some reason, this deeply enraged a douchebro in gym shorts, who told Stern, "I could take your phone and chuck it off the side. What are you going to do? There's no cops around ... Shut the fuck up, okay?" He later added, "When we get to the bottom of the mountain, I'm going to take your ass out."

The Facebook commenters also piled on, calling Stern an "instigator" and "fake news." Not one to be intimidated, Stern wrote an article about the experience, titled "Camelback Mountain Christmas Tree Supporters Don't Tolerate Dissent." As if to prove his point, those Christmas tree supporters are still sending us hate mail, days later.

A GOP operative coined the best insult of all time.

On Tuesday, conservative political consultant Constanin Querard and ABC15's Steve Irwin got into a Twitter. argument about Jeff Flake's donation to Doug Jones, a.k.a. Roy Moore's Democratic opponent.

It ended with this delightfully petty exchange:

This Week in Petty Drama: Pickleball, Christmas Tree Lovers, and Goofy Men
Twitter

With no disrespect to Steve Irvin, it's hard to think of a more charming insult than "goofy man." It's so ... family-friendly? We're planning on stealing that line and using it for the rest of the year, so good work, CQ.

Spot some petty drama that we should know about? Email antonia.farzan@newtimes.com.

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