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Odd Pueblo: Rattlesnake Bridge

Odd Pueblo is a feature of funky stuff around town.
The amazing structure called the Rattlesnake Bridge snakes across Broadway near downtown Tucson.

Conceived by artist Simon Donovan, the bridge has won a number of awards for its unique metalwork and ability to reproduce a diamondback rattlesnake that will not kill you.

Many think the bridge is just part of an overall scheme to get from point A to point B. But we know better.

Sure, the bridge does add to the really neat plan to make Tucson totally accessible by bicycle, Segway and on foot while avoiding major roadways. Yet it has a deeper meaning and power.

An ancient Broadway legend has it that if you cross the bridge anywhere from one to six times you will be protected from rattlesnake bites during December. Cross it seven to 12 times and your protection extends to the remainder of the year. Cross it the unlucky 13 times and you better just stay home since rattlesnakes will purposely seek you out.

All protection, however, will be voided if you romp about barefoot in rattlesnake territory without watching your step.

More bridge photos.


This Odd Pueblo was brought to you thanks to reader L.L.

Do you know of any funky, funny or somewhat strange stuff around town? E-mail a photo and/or description to

I will not necessarily research why it’s there or where it came from, but I will come up with several humorous theories.

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Blog bug report

Good idea from reader Korey K. to create a bug report/suggestion list.

Here we’ll list some of the bugs that are being ironed out on the site and offer a forum for suggestions. Some bugs are minimal (thankfully) while others are downright annoying. None are life-threatening, or at least we have no reports of anyone dying from the blog bugs yet.

bugHere’s several right off the bat:

• Commenters are for now required to give their life story, or at least fill out info boxes prior to commenting. This will change when the registration is up and running. The registration will put the commenting option back to how it was on the old site.

• ReCAPTCHA for commenters. This is the box that appears before a comment can be submitted. It makes you type in the text you see to prove you are human and not a computer spam generator. I thought this was go away but am not sure. Having to type in the ReCAPTCHA is overall less annoying than being overrun by spam. UPDATE from Andre IT – This will go away once the registration is up and running.

• Lack of avatars. Yes, we know we need those fun little pictures by our names. Coming soon.

• Time stamp is off. As it stands, it’s an hour later than it’s supposed to be. This ages us unnecessarily and makes us think we’re late for the dentist. It will be amended. UPDATE from Andre IT – This has been fixed.

Please note any other glitches and suggestions below or e-mail me at or Mark Evans at

Thanks for your patience during our “hell in the hallway” phase.

When one door closes, another one opens – but it’s hell in the hallway.

Keep reading and commenting – we duly appreciate your support. Especially appreciate the comments.

Ryn Gargulinski, Ryngmaster for

P.S. Bugs and all, rules.

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Odd Pueblo: funky stuff includes Paul Bunyan

We like Tucson for lots of reasons. These include the searing heat, the scary rattlesnakes and the sweet little lizards that scamper across our patios.

We also dig all the funky stuff that’s all over town.

One of our favorites is the giant Paul Bunyan, who has frequently been the culprit behind many Tucson cop pranks.
Rookies are told there’s a dangerous dude on the corner of North Stone Avenue and East Glenn Street. He’s big. He’s scary. He’s got an ax.

He may be a madman.

The new officers show up, ready to rumble, only to find the gargantuan statue looming at the intersection. (Some still don’t realize it’s a prank and sit in their patrol cars scanning the streets.)
Other funky Tucson stuff includes:

• Cool melted, melded, welded and weird garbage cans that line Fourth Avenue

• A giant pink rhino atop a tire service shop on South Palo Verde Road

• Tiki head tiki head tiki head and all those other wonderful works of art from Magic Carpet Golf now at area homes and businesses


More are:


• A child in Mansfield Park that looks like his face was blown off by an atomic bomb


• Increasingly creative car and truck crashes


• Mailboxes with guns on top. Bet the mail carrier appreciates this one.

Do you know of any funky, funny or somewhat strange stuff around town? E-mail a photo and/or description to

I will not research why it’s there or where it came from, but I will come up with several humorous theories.

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'Highway to Hell' topping funeral charts

Funerals are definitely getting less stuffy, as evidenced in the trend in funeral music.

Some folks are steering clear of the traditional organ fugues and soppy hymns and picking more contemporary classics, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Like AC/DC’s Highway to Hell.


Frank Sinatra’s My Way continues to be the most popular song selected for funerals, the report said, but an array of others are coming closer.

Top five popular songs:

1. My Way – Frank Sinatra/Shirley Bassey.

2. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler/Celine Dion.

3. Time To Say Goodbye – Sarah Brightman/Andrea Bocelli.

4. Angels – Robbie Williams.

5. Over The Rainbow – Eva Cassidy.

Other top picks (no rankings):

– Highway To Hell – AC/DC.

– Hallelujah covered by talent show winner Alexandra Burke.

– Bat Out Of Hell – Meatloaf.

– Spirit In The Sky – Doctor and the Medics.

– Another One Bites the Dust – Queen.

Very cool.

Just because of the ominous beat and the title, I’d go with something befitting like Pink Floyd’s Waiting for the Worms. Editor Mark Evans would go for Ralph Stanley’s O Death or the Bugs Bunny theme song.

Tucson Citizen’s Jennifer Boice would select Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.

“That’s a good one,” she said, “but I also like the Lumberjack Song.”

What song would you want played at your funeral?

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Bees buzz about midtown

Folks are warned to bee careful, as the bees are back in town.

Tucson in late May and early June is prime time for the Africanized bee, also known as “killer bees,” for very good reason. They are aggressive and cranky, not to mention sometimes lethal.


The latest has been a swarm sighted in a Sam Hughes yard. The resident said thousands of the cranky critters attacked the maintenance man and then stung the exterminator some 40 times through his clothing.


Facts from

The new hybrid, called an Africanized bee, took many years to establish colonies throughout South and Central America. The bee is aggressive, easily agitated, and generally has a bad attitude. The first Africanized bee was found in the United States in October 1990, in a southern area of Texas. The Africanized bee is expected to spread across the southern part of the country, where the winters aren’t so harsh. Some scientists and entomologists believe that the Africanized bees will be able to adapt to colder weather and roam as far north as Montana. If this projection is true, it could become a big problem for a number of reasons in the United States.

This is not the first time bees have bumbled around town with disastrous results, as evidenced in this May 2008 story:

Couple cites vacant home in fatal bee attack on dog
By Ryn Gargulinski

The foreclosed Northwest Side home next door to Brandi and John Comeau is more than an eyesore.

The couple said it led to their dog’s death.

The property, directly east of their home in the 5100 block of West Albatross Place, has sat vacant for about a year. For about the last month, the home has been infested with two large bee nests, said Brandi Comeau, 27.

She came home Tuesday afternoon and found that a massive swarm had left the hives to attack the Comeaus’ dog, 3-year-old, three-legged Chihuahua Stubby. The dog was born with three legs.

“I saw my dog being attacked through the sliding glass window,” she said. “I tried to do what I could, threw water on him, without getting stung myself.”

Her husband grabbed Stubby and ran down the street, trying to dislodge the bees. By the time the couple got Stubby to the vet, the dog was stung more than 250 times.

Initially the vet stabilized the petite pooch.

“The vet’s office called around 10:30 p.m. and said his organs were shutting down,” she said.

John Comeau, 26, went to bid the dog farewell for his wife and their 11-month-old son, Bradyn.

“I feel very concerned for my son’s safety,” the young mother said. “We can’t feel comfortable at all.”

She said the bees started attacking neighborhood dogs after an official from the Tucson Country Crossing Homeowners Association began spraying the nests with an insecticide.

“They were swarming around agitated,” Brandi Comeau said.

Stubby was the only dog who died in the attack.

The bees were still swarming Wednesday afternoon, she said, but it appeared a property manager was on the property.

“Unattended homes are always an issue,” said Rick Hodges, chief executive of the Tucson Association of Realtors. “They were an issue two years ago when there were investors’ homes on the market and are an issue today with rental homes on the market.”

The large number of foreclosures doesn’t help the matter.

The online foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac reported 4,471 foreclosure filings in 2007. Not all filings end in foreclosure or result in a house sitting vacant for an extended period.

Health risks can include infestations of vermin and mosquitoes breeding around unattended swimming pools.

“Bugs and critters don’t respect property lines,” Hodges said.

Liability lies with the home’s owner, he said, which in the case of foreclosures is usually a bank.

He said real estate agents who represent a property are trying to sell it and may keep the property in better shape than one sitting abandoned.

The property directly east of the Comeaus’ is owned by the Michigan-based Jaguar Associated Group LLC, according to the Pima County Assessor’s Office. No one at the group could be reached for comment.

Comeau said she and her husband will discuss whether to present part of the $800 vet’s bill to the homeowners’ association, which did the spraying. No one at the association returned calls for comment.

“I want people to be wary of empty houses for their own safety,” Comeau said. “I don’t want this to happen to anybody else.”

This year has been predicted to be a record year for the bee population, according to bee experts.



Bees Dos and Don’ts:

Don’t bang on the hive with a crowbar or stick it with a stick.

Don’t let your pets near them.

Don’t get drunk and brag how you can stick your face in the hive with no ill effects

Don’t stick your face in the hive while sober, either

Don’t try to blow them up with hairspray and a lighter

Do call a professional to come eradicate the beastly little buggers

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An extremely aggressive Africanized bee colony may attack any ‘threat’ within 100 feet and pursue for up to one-fourth a mile. Generally, Africanized bees attack:

· only when the colony is threatened

· when loud noises, strong odors or fragrances, shiny jewelry, and dark clothes are perceived as threats

· the face and ankles

What to do if attacked:

· Africanized bees are slow fliers and most healthy people can out run them.

· Run away in a straight line, protecting your face. Avoid other people, or they too will be attacked.

· Do not try and hide underwater. The Africanized bee swarm will wait for you to surface.

· Seek medical attention. Some people are allergic to bee stings causing anaphylactic shock. Since Africanized bees attack and sting in great numbers, it is possible that an allergic response may be triggered.