Wait, This Really Happened? The 15 Most Absurd Arizona News Stories of 2015

As the saying goes, kids say and do the darndest things. And in Arizona, apparently the same goes for politicians, celebrities, civilians, school boards, judges, and even giant inflatable pumpkins.

With the end of the year upon us, we bring you the 15 most absurd news stories of 2015.

15. Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar boycotts the Pope because he might talk about — gasp! — climate change. (Stephen Colbert made fun of the decision.)

14. Delegates of the Arizona Legislature debate — yes, as in there was an actual debate on the floor —  whether God gave Americans the right to bear arms. 

13. The former head of security for the Rockbar in Scottsdale is arrested for allegedly urinating through a mail slot of the Atelier kitchen and bath showroom.

12. Who cares about human rights? Apparently not PETA spokeswoman Pamela Anderson, who says Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jails are awesome for offering inmates meat-free meals. 

11. Terry Rambler, San Carlos Apache Tribe chairman and frequent critic of the Washington Redskins football team’s name and mascot, wears "blackface" for Halloween.

10. Local Maricopa County Republican Aaron Borders makes a media stir after claims he was hired by the Donald Trump campaign were denied by Trump's campaign manager.

9. We learned this year that Phoenix leads the nation in morons shining lasers at airplanes, according to the FAA.

8. Arizona lawmakers pass more legislation outlawing homelessness, and this time their target is panhandling

7. Gilbert Public Schools says biology textbooks must have an anti-abortion, pro-abstinence sticker on the cover. 

6. Conspiracy theories abound as paranoia about the Jade Helm 15 military exercise makes people wonder whether it's just practice for a real-life martial-law scenario.

5. Planned Parenthood of Arizona is dropped from the State Employee Charitable Fund Campaign because “the SECC Executive Policy Committee determined Planned Parenthood of Arizona is not the best fit with the mission or standards of the campaign."

4. Arizona brings the anti-environmental movement to a whole new level when it becomes the first state to enact legislation banning a ban on plastic bags

3. Arizona kicks 1,600 people off welfare, and state leaders say it will inspire people to get jobs. 

2. That time a 25-foot tall, 350-pound inflatable pumpkin escaped from a Halloween display at the Peoria Sports Complex and terrorized the city for an hour. 

1. A judge decides former-Minuteman leader and accused child-molester Chris Simcox can cross-examine his alleged child victims, ages 7 and 8, one of whom is Simcox's own daughter.
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Miriam is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Miriam Wasser