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Ryn: Sex sells

RYN GARGULINSKI

Sex sells.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Or at least the millions who spend billions to plaster it all over thousands of billboards, magazine ads and TV spots hope it sells.

Sex is actually one of the top marketing ploys you’re expected to memorize in media classes. It’s right up there with celebrities, animals, humor and catchy music.

Not many can forget the “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is” of Alka Seltzer or the series of sung “meows” that helped sell the yellow-boxed Meow Mix cat food.

At least the singing cats weren’t having sex.

Tucson is pretty mild when it comes to sex ads, at least on billboards. The closest I recall was a beer ad that depicted a moonlit beach reflecting off naked legs that promised a wild night if you got drunk on their stuff.

They failed to mention, however, any quickie hookup would most likely lead to an even quicker breakup when both parties sobered up.

Another ad, which I thankfully have not glimpsed in some time, used sex to encourage women to go get breast exams. At least I think that’s what the ad was for.

The bus stop posters showed a topless woman holding two roundish things in front of her chest. The things ranged from oranges to baseballs and even included a halved avocado, with the pits still in so they looked like deformed nipples.

Since the ad was geared towards women, it seemed counterproductive to use a gimmick that would appeal more to men, even if the bountiful items were only avocado.

In addition to beer and breast exams, sex is also used to sell, well, sex.

I don’t watch TV, but my friend fills me in on how every other 30-second spot is selling the latest, greatest miracle drug, device or doohickey that will enhance your sex life.

The ads depict formerly sad couples in bed who are now happy since they found this magical miracle.

One local paper has a whole section devoted to sex ads every week.

Readers are promised everything from phone fantasies to erotic escorts. They are also reminded of club specials like “bikini Thursday” and featured acts with names like “Prinzzess Pet.”

Give me a break.

Ladies night is just another sex ploy used by bars to get more men into the joint. Men will come if women are there.

Colleges, too, may be jumping into the game.

Women are finally outnumbering men on a number of campuses nationwide.

As the gap widens, one Skidmore College professor was quoted in USA Today as saying, “We should be taking about whether it’s reasonable to give preferences to men.”

That means lowering the standards for guys so more can get in.

Colleges may think they are selling this premise under “gender equality,” but it all boils back to sex as a marketing ploy. Women will come if men are there.

After all, who would go to college for silly things like learning. Rather, it’s a place to get drunk and have sex.

Give me another break.

Unless we live in a cloistered cell, we can’t really avoid all the sex ploys, ads, toys and the dozens of sex e-mails that clog our junk folders every day.

But we can choose not to fall prey to their incessant and demanding messages or their blatantly false promises.

Getting a beer, breast exam, college degree or many other products or services will not insure you have sex.

Besides, it would be tough to get passionate or intimate with an avocado in the way, anyway.

Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who wrote this column while wearing a bikini. Listen to a preview of her column at 8:10 a.m. Thursdays on KLPX 96.1 FM. Listen to her Rynski’s Shattered Reality webcast at 4 p.m. Fridays at www.party934.com. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. E-mail rynski@tucsoncitizen.com

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Sex offender nabbed after sending naked photos to 14-year-old girl

One 14-year-old girl who thought she was simply texting a 14-year-old boy ended up being sent photos of naked body parts of a 48-year-old man.

When the girl’s mom saw the pictures of the private parts and other photos on her daughter’s phone, she went to police, Sgt. Fabian Pacheco said in a news release.

Terry Martin
Terry Martin/TPD photo

Tucson police officers were able to identify Terry W. Martin from the photos he sent the girl and arrested him.

Martin, who just so happens to be a level three sex offender, was booked into Pima County Jail on one felony count of furnishing harmful items to minors, Pacheco said.

Flashers, especially those who flash over the phone to 14-year-olds, have always been a sick lot.

The worst I ran into was in a supermarket parking lot back in Brooklyn. The guy was sitting in his car beeping his horn so folks would look over and notice he was exposing himself.

Don’t these guys have anything better to do?

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Taser to blame for death, angry grandma

Tasers, which happen to come in leopard print and hot pink, can be a very useful weapon that serves to quell without killing – usually.

Boring old black taser
Boring old black taser

Sometimes the suppression method can freakishly backfire and lead to death.

Other times the taser can be abused, misused or over-used and lead to death.

In still other instances, the taser can be used properly and according to procedure but still cause a stink because the victim happens to be somebody’s grandma.

If someone is mouthing off, resisting arrest and refusing to comply with the officer’s wishes, a zap with a taser seems like a reasonable answer. Even if the victim is somebody’s grandma.

Such was the case of a 72-year-old woman in Texas who claimed she was tasered for no reason. Then the dashcam video came out.

It shows her swearing, arguing and being a tad less than cooperative.

Why anyone would argue with Texas law enforcement is beyond me. They have too much to prove and definitely fall into the “just-say-yes-and-do-whatever-they-say” category.

In Tucson, a taser death in April was just ruled a homicide by the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Gary Decker, 50, died in a motel after he lunged naked at officers who were called to the scene.

Original Day of the Dead post: Died after attacking police: Gary A. Decker, 50
Gary A. Decker, 50, died after he attacked police and was shocked with a Taser in the early morning hours of April 16. He died later that day in the hospital, a Tucson police spokesman said.

Decker, from Kentucky, was residing at the Extended Stay America at 5050 E. Grant Road, while working a temporary job as a furniture liquidator

Motel management reported hearing noises, music, banging and moaning coming from the upstairs room.

Officers entered the room with a passkey and found the room ransacked and furniture broken, (Sgt. Mark) Robinson said. Decker was in the bathroom, clutching a toilet seat he had ripped off the unit.

Decker grabbed one of the officers, Robinson said, and the officer shocked him with a Taser. The Taser appeared to have no effect on him.

Officers handcuffed Decker, got him out of the bathroom and called paramedics, which is standard practice when someone a Taser is used.

Decker became unresponsive, Robinson said, and was unconscious when paramedics arrived.

If someone is in a rage, ripping toilet seats off the basin and lunging naked at police, a taser may be just the thing to calm the guy down. It was later determined he had also been high on cocaine, which just adds to irrationality.

But was the taser overused?

According to the Arizona Daily Star:
Gary A. Decker, 50, died from a combination of cocaine intoxication, multiple blunt force injuries and being restrained after he assaulted three police officers (according to the medical examiner’s autopsy report)….

The Tucson Police Department is still investigating the case and has forwarded it to the Pima County Attorney’s Office for review. Neither agency would comment Wednesday on the incident.

According to the autopsy report, Decker suffered two puncture wounds to his chest and additional wounds to his right hip when he was Tasered.

He also received numerous rib fractures, the report states.

Decker had cuts and bruises all over his body, including his head, neck, abdomen, shoulders and arms, the report states.

Jan. 2004: Brian Sewell's neck shows the effect of being shocked three times with 50,000 volts of electricity by a sheriff's deputy to secure Sewell's compliance for a blood draw in a DUI case.
TASER WOUND EXAMPLE - Jan. 2004: Brian Sewell's neck shows the effect of being shocked three times with 50,000 volts of electricity by a sheriff's deputy to secure Sewell's compliance for a blood draw in a DUI case.

How many tasers blasts did the guy get? Or were the broken ribs and other injuries from Decker throwing himself against the wall or toilet or some other cause?

Still too many questions that need answers, but the fact is clear: tasers can kill.

The smart thing would be not to get into a situation where you may have the opportunity to get zapped by one. The other smart thing would be to opt for the leopard print over hot pink.

What do you think? Are tasers too dangerous, especially to be readily available to the general public?

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Odd Pueblo: Tucson’s lone shoe

Tucson is not unique for having single shoes pop up all over the place. What is unique may be the frequency – and places – they pop up.

Pump in a planter/Ryn Gargulinski
Pump in a planter/Ryn Gargulinski

Anyone who has ever lost sleep wondering where these single shoes come from will be able to rest easy tonight.

The lone shoe on the side of the road:

This is an easy one. Dozens of pedestrians are hit every year here in Old Pueblo, some violently enough to get knocked out of their shoe. Many decide to cross the street willy-nilly while wearing dark clothing and avoiding crosswalks. Some trample across the road, totally ignoring any oncoming traffic, and glare at the drivers as if daring them to hit them. Others, sadly, are hit by people who are drunk, drugged, stupid or just don’t know how to drive.

The lone shoe in the wash:

These are from murder victims.

The lone shoe in the Rillito River bed:

Several theories behind this one. If the shoe has any blood on it, you can bet the person was attacked and consumed by a pack of coyotes. If the shoe is clean but stretched at the ankle, the person was a victim of a javelina. The javelina charged at them hard enough to knock off a shoe. If the shoe has teeth marks, the person must have been using it as a dog fetching toy but the dog got bored and simply left it in the sandy reeds.

The lone shoe in front of the police station:

Drunks.

Where's his shoes?/Ryn Gargulinski
Where's his shoes?/Ryn Gargulinski

The lone shoe floating down Sabino Canyon:

Another easy one, as I’ve seen it in action. A person tries to cross the stream with his shoes and socks clutched in his hand and his backpack swinging from an arm rather than properly secured on his back. He starts to tilt, loses his balance, and drops a shoe. By the time he crosses the shoe has floated far, far away and lodged itself next to a mossy rock.

The lone shoe stuck somewhere strange, like on a stick in a concrete planter on Congress Street:

Art.

Shoe in planter/Ryn Gargulinski
Shoe in planter/Ryn Gargulinski

Please don’t confuse the single shoe issue with the single sock issue. The missing socks are always stolen by those evil elves who live in the dryer.

Where’s the weirdest place you saw a lone shoe?
Did you ever lose a single shoe? What did you do?

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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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