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The glory of mud

Mud gets a bad rap. It’s dirty. It’s messy. And it’s historically been the reason behind many matted shag carpets or smeary footprints on white linoleum.

But there’s another side of mud, the marvelous and miraculous side, that cannot go unnoted.

Oregon marsh mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Oregon marsh mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

A bee sting made my finger swollen, stiff and itchy. It hit its intolerable peak while I was in Moon Smoke Shop and I began rubbing it like a mad woman.

I mentioned it to the guy behind the counter because I had this strange feeling that the guys at Moon Smoke Shop, specifically the one on the corner of Grant Road and Alvernon Way, would know what to do for a bee sting. They did.

“Pack it in mud,” the manager/owner said. He explained this folk remedy supposedly sucked the stinger out as the mud dried.

While it may seem somewhat stupid to pack germy, wet dirt around a swollen bee sting sore, which was now ripped open after I tried to gouge out the invisible stinger with tweezers, I gave it a whirl.

More marsh mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
More marsh mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

The instant I packed the mud around the sore, the soothing began. The pulsing went down. It stopped itching. My finger felt like it was encased in a soft, cozy cocoon.

By the time the mud dried and flaked off, the swelling was gone and my finger could bend.

Mud not only sucks out bee stingers, but it is known to be equally effective for sucking other toxins from the body. Mud masks and mud wraps are in high demand, especially for the gads of tourists who flock to the ultra-healing black mud by the Dead Sea.

People are digging it (excuse the pun).

Even if you don’t care to heal yourself with mud, you can always wrestle in it, name your band Primus and write a song about it, or use it in the title of a poem:

Catapault/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski
Catapault/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Soap Would be the Opposite of Mud
The Antonym Poem by Ryn Gargulinski

insects are
the opposite of frogs
(if we had to pick opposites)
cats would be the opposite
of dogs and fish would be
the opposite of birds and
hats would be the opposite
of shoes and the Charleston
would be
as opposed to
an epileptic seizure

_____

Since arid Tucson is not usually known for its mud, I’ll share the recipe I used to make my own.
Mud recipe:
2 parts dirt
1 part water
Stir well with stick

Mud, o glorious, mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski
Mud, oh glorious mud/Photo Ryn Gargulinski

Of course, mud still has its dangers. We already discussed the havoc it can wreck on shag rugs and white linoleum, but it can also pose a number of other hazards.
• Mudslides kill thousands when they slickly shimmy down a mountain and consume entire villages
• Mud can suffocate you if you fall face down in a gushy pool of it and try to inhale
• Heavy mud can suck off your shoes and render them useless
• Mud clumps, when thrown at anyone who scores on you as goalie in a soccer game, get you a red card (not that I’d know from experience).

Share your own mud recipe below!

How has mud enhanced or ruined your life?

wb-logolil

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A Dad’s Day duck and mom’s dead chicken

Dear dad got a duck for Father’s Day. Not because he hunts, but because I wanted to go with a traditional Father’s Day image, which leaves us with a mere three choices: ducks, neckties or a pipe (the smoking kind, not the type that you use to bash in a skull).

Dad's Day duck/Photo and artwork Ryn Gargulinski
Dad's Day duck/Photo and artwork Ryn Gargulinski

Dad was fascinated with his duck, even though he admitted at first glance he thought it a pelican. He also promised not to let the darling duck befall the same fate as the chicken I made my mom for Mother’s Day.

WARNING: The following sequence of photos contains disturbing images.

Some of you may have seen this horrific montage which I posted around Mother’s Day, but I post it again in the hopes of saving chickens who cross the road in the future.

Mom claims she was trying to help the chicken cross the road, but these photos disclose otherwise.

Chicken minding its own business/Ryn Gargulinski
Chicken minding its own business
Chicken being coaxed to death/Ryn Gargulinski
Chicken being coaxed to doom
Chicken making the fatal decision/Ryn Gargulinski
Chicken making the fatal decision
Alas!/Ryn Gargulinski
Alas!

What did you get your dad for Father’s Day? A duck? A necktie? A pipe?

Did your mom ever kill a chicken?

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Odd Pueblo: Snappy or crappy?

This fun Odd Pueblo feature asks the audience to rate a trend, topic or sighting of something around town: is it snappy or crappy?

Since none of you seemed too enamored by the severed javelina head posted in the previous Snappy or Crappy, I’ve come up with something more subdued.

Kind of.

This bugged out Volkswagon bug was spotted in a midtown Target parking lot. While the owner was nowhere to be found, there were several kids standing around marveling at the thing.

My vote is definitely snappy.

Bugged out bug/Ryn Gargulinski
Bugged out bug/Ryn Gargulinski
VW/Ryn Gargulinski
VW/Ryn Gargulinski

Remember, I’m not asking if you’d drive the thing, especially since it looks like it wouldn’t have working air conditioning. I’m just asking if you find it funky or junky, crappy or snappy.

What do you think? Please respond:
a. Snappy. Totally reminds me of my drugged-out days in the late 60s, totally.
b. Crappy. What a hunk of junk.
c. I would love to date someone who owned that thing but I wouldn’t want it myself.
d. That’s my car!

Do you have a snappy or crappy to share? E-mail rynski@tucsoncitizen.com

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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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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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