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Electric shocks knocks man off feet in Tucson park

Tucson parks are sizzling – and not in a good way.

A man was blasted by an electric jolt Saturday at Golf Links Sports Complex, according to a report in the Arizona Daily Star. John Cole Jr., a 30-something guy who was fetching a softball, was knocked down and hospitalized, but he survived.

Eight-year-old Deshun Chance Glover, who was also jolted at a city park last summer, did not.

Electric shock hits man in Midtown park, Arizona Daily Star

Saturday’s incident follows the death last July 25 of 8-year-old Deshun Chance Glover, who was killed when a puddle he was standing in near Hi Corbett Field became electrified during a sudden thunderstorm. An investigation by the city of Tucson blamed the death on an improperly insulated splice in a cable and a faulty circuit breaker.

Last month, the City Council agreed to pay the family $1.75 million — the largest city settlement in recent history.

Saturday’s incident occurred in dry June weather after Cole went to fetch softballs hit during a soft-toss practice session for the Desert Shootout girls fast-pitch tournament, his father said. The younger Cole could not be reached for comment Monday.

The city shut down the park’s fields temporarily but reopened them without electricity while it investigates the cause. Night games at the 54-acre complex at 2400 S. Craycroft Road have been re-located.

After he retrieved the balls, Cole was thrown to the ground by the electric shock as he passed between a chain-link fence and a light pole near the field, his father said. The shock also knocked the wind out of him.

That’s pretty scary. Also reminds me of problems other cities had with corner lampposts shocking dogs. New York City dogs were repeatedly shocked while they stood waiting on the corner to cross the street. A dog in Scotland was killed when he peed on a faulty lamppost. Still others are reported on the site StreetZaps.com.

Ouch.

What may be scarier about the two Tucson park situations is they are not thought to have the same cause. That means no fell swoop of a solution will correct it.

Does this make you want to avoid city parks altogether?

Will you make any changes to protect your family, pooch and yourself at a city park?

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Projectile vomiting in the meat aisle

A bloody slasher flick during dinner or watching an eyeball operation while eating grapes is not the kind of stuff that fazes me.

It’s hard to gross out someone who habitually takes photos of dead and rotting things.

But a cell phone conversation I overheard in the lunchmeat aisle at Fry’s Food Store made me pretty sick.

Unpurchased meat/Ryn Gargulinski
Meat left unpurchased/Ryn Gargulinski

A woman was loudly discussing projectile vomiting just as I happened to be staring at some slimy pink meat.

She was wearing one of those colorful scrubs shirts that indicates work at a clinic, so I was glad to learn, at least, she was talking about a patient and not discussing the topic for kicks.

Since she then mentioned isolation and kennel, we can only hope she worked at a veterinarian’s office.

She moved on to loudly discuss projectile stuff coming from the other end. I quickly scampered into frozen foods without buying that meat. And I also steered clear of the peanut butter.

What’s the most disturbing phone cell conversation you overheard?

What do you do when confronted with loud, disgusting conversations?

Should there be a ban on cell phones in the meat aisle?

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Odd Pueblo: Hunky Egyptian left at the altar

Just as he was packing his tomb to move to his new home, the hunky Egyptian guy who has been seeking a cozy refuge was left in the lurch.

Magic Carpet Golf’s remaining statue, the giant sphinx, still remains.

“I just got word from the party that had committed to the sphinx and they are now backing out,” said Tucson artist Charlie Spillar, whose efforts to find homes for the gads of giant golf course statues earned him honors from the Tucson Mayor and City Council.

“Oh well, I knew it was an expensive venture. Now I have to start my search again. They had their contractors look at it and determined it was just too expensive to move and they could probably build a new one cheaper.”

Building a new one may be cheaper, but it wouldn’t have the value as a chunk of kooky Tucson history. The statues at Magic Carpet Golf, 6125 E. Speedway Blvd., were created by Lee Koplin some 30 years ago and have amused kids and adults alike for decades.

Spillar said the sphinx seemed to be taking it well, or at least the big guy kept a stony face through the emotional upheaval.

Do you want the sphinx? E-mail Spillar at cspillar@q.com

Photo by John Meyer
Photo by John Meyer

Read Spillar’s update on the giant tiki head statue.

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What's with all the rollovers?

OK, Mitch. This one is for you.

Avid TC.com reader and commenter Mitch posed a question through my e-mail:

I’m from Santa Cruz – You know, Highway 1, Big Sur, 1,000 foot cliffs straight down to the waters edge.

My question is: How come we never have any “rollovers” in our news?

Yet, I’ve been (in Tucson) five years and every day there is a rollover.

He also noted many of the rollovers happen on Interstate 10:

There’s one road, its wide, paved AND a straight shot from here to Phoenix, How do Tucsonans do it?

The thing was constructed so a 747 could land on it for Pete’s sake. (Who IS Pete by the way)?

To answer Mitch’s inquiries:

1. Why aren’t there rollovers in Big Sur?

There are few, if any, rollovers in places that have highways abutting sheer cliffs that drop to the sea, such as your former Highway 1 in Big Sur and my former Highway 101 in southern Oregon, for a simple reason.

The vehicles don’t have time to roll over when they lose control. They simply smash, crash and then dash through the guardrail right down with a splash into the water.

No room to roll/Photo by Ryn Gargulinski
No room to roll/Photo by Ryn Gargulinski

2. Who is Pete?

The “Pete” from the term “for Pete’s sake” goes back to the Bible, according to Phrases.org.uk, which offers this explanation:

“For Pete’s Sake” – The phrase is simply a polite version of a common and profane expression involving the name of Christ. We’d surmise that the original ‘Pete’ was St. Peter.” From “Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins” by William and Mary Morris.

The explanation is kind of boring, as I was hoping Pete was a tad more mysterious. But it also falls into line with a phrase I used to think I heard as a kid in church. When congregation members said en masse, “Thanks Be To God,” I actually thought they were saying “Thanks Peter God.” I thought it cute God had such an earthy name like Peter.

Any other rollover theories out there?

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Unemployment and death are such ugly words

Every other day another traditional term gets rewritten into something politically correct. Not only is it silly, but it takes the reality out of situations by masking them with flowery language.

People are no longer unemployed, as pointed out by former TC staffer Renee Schafer Horton in the previous post, they are “dislocated workers.”

Folks don’t die, they “pass away,” “proceed to eternal rest,” or “go sit in the palm of Jesus’s hand with angels singing in their ears and flowers strewn beneath their feet.”

No one is short, chunky or ugly, they are “height challenged,” “blessed with ampleness,” or “uniquely featured.” I’m convinced Sears played a big part in the PC movement by calling its jeans for fat kids “husky.”

Black is African American, American Indians are Native Americans, white folk are Caucasian or, as found in some of the most recent questionnaires that include ethnicity, “none of the above.” It makes me laugh every time I have to pick “none of the above.”

Even the term manic depression, which gave rise to a kick-butt Jimi Hendrix tune, has been toned down to be known as “bipolar.”

Some of the terms are wimpy, others are downright annoying.

Or should we say some are “soft-spoken in strength” and “perky with peskiness.”

What PC term makes you cringe when you see it and why?
Has political correctness gone overboard?

"Resting eternally"/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
"Resting eternally"/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski


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