Posted on

Dying for a drink

The urge to get totally obliterated can be fully understood.

But some will go to great – and deadly lengths – to achieve it.

Like the southern Arizona artist who drank homemade liquor laced with the same stuff put in fuel, paint and formaldehyde.

Might as well slam a bottle of nail polish remover while you’re at it.

Bisbee artist among 25 killed by tainted liquor, The Associated Press
Artist Rose Johnson, an English-born painter and muralist who spent more than 20 years working in Phoenix and Bisbee, was among 25 people who died after drinking homemade liquor in Indonesia.

Johnson, 48, was one of at least four foreigners who died in the past two weeks after drinking homemade liquor laced with methanol on the resort islands of Bali and Lombok.

In Indonesia, police spokes-man Gde Sugianyar said that 20 others fell ill and were hospitalized after consuming home-brewed rice liquor, arak.

He said two people had been detained in connection with the poisonings.

Methanol, also known as wood alcohol, can be used for fuel and is an ingredient in formaldehyde as well as plastics and paints.

Alcohol is heavily taxed in Indonesia, the world’s most-populous Muslim nation, and the high prices have spawned a huge black market for wine and liquor.

Speedballs, anyone?

Posted on

Hunky Egyptian finds new home

We’ve all be writhing awake at night wondering if the sole remaining statue at Magic Carpet Golf – the sizable sphinx – would ever be adopted.

It did, thanks to Charlie Spillar.

Artist Spillar has now found new homes for all of the colossal, concrete statues that graced the miniature golf course that’s destined to become a car lot.

Photo by John Meyer
Photo by John Meyer
Photo by John Meyer

The mammoth sphinx was the last man standing – and a tough one to place.

“People would call and say they are interested in the sphinx, but when they came to look they would realize it’s not something they can put in their front yard,” Spillar said.

Spillar, who was honored by Tucson’s mayor and city council for his statue efforts, did not yet disclose the hunky Egyptian’s new location.

But I bet once it’s up we won’t be able to miss it.

With all the quirky pieces of Tucson, and other Americana, slowly becoming extinct, Spillar needs to be applauded for helping some kooky stuff live on.

Way to go, Charlie.

Since he’s so effective at successful adoptions, perhaps his next step should be working with our animal shelters….

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.

Posted on

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.