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Tucsonan discovers how a severed arm can haunt you (even when it’s not your arm)

freaky cat 2Being young, drunk and stupid can come with lifelong consequences. And those consequences can come even if you weren’t drunk. Just ask a Tucson guy we’ll call Sam.

Twenty-something Sam was an upstanding person: a former soldier, an intelligent and compassionate chap who was aiming for grand things.

“I wanted to be a lawyer to help people, ” he writes in an email. Sam instead found himself on the other side of the law as a defendant in a crime that got plenty of press due to its grisly nature.

The crime involved a severed arm.

Continue reading Tucsonan discovers how a severed arm can haunt you (even when it’s not your arm)

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Easter Peeps experiment: How long do marshmallow chicks last in Arizona summer?

Easter season would not be complete without Peeps, the sickly sweet marshmallow treats that have been rotting kids’ teeth for more than 50 years.

Although the sugary snacks have several claims to fame – such as their astounding array of colors that now include bright blue and shapes that go way beyond Easter chicks – their main claim to fame is their shelf life.

Peeps supposedly stay fresh, sweet and edible for an incredible two years. That is, of course, if you keep them wrapped in their plastic, far from greedy little fingers – and out of the Arizona sun.

We wanted to test Peeps longevity through a Tucson summer so we stuck them on a stick in a tree last March, right before Easter 2010.

You’ll be amazed and perhaps even surprised at what we found.

First off, Peeps do not melt in the Arizona sun. They instead become hard and dense, not unlike those sugar roses on wedding cakes you’re not supposed to eat but still try to every time.

Although we did not take a bite of the hardened Peeps, and placed them high enough in the tree to avoid the dogs’ gaping maws, we did poke them repeatedly with a stick. Even the thorns of a mesquite branch could not penetrate the hardened marshmallow rocks.

Despite not melting in the sun, the harmful ultraviolet rays did, however, do a number on their color. By early April, the Peeps’ bright blue was already becoming a somber cornflower color.

Continue reading Easter Peeps experiment: How long do marshmallow chicks last in Arizona summer?

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New 2011 calendars feature roadkill, nudie Barbie dolls – Rynski Radio – UPDATE with playlist, download

You can kick off 2011 in a, shall we say, interesting way with a couple of calenders sure to inspire plenty of conversation.

If roadkill and nudie Barbie calendars don't work, try the Sawyer Says calendar at

One features 12 gloriously gruesome shots of roadkill. Another shows off Barbie – probably more of Barbie than you want to see, since she appears both solo and in some intimate lesbian poses.

Continue reading New 2011 calendars feature roadkill, nudie Barbie dolls – Rynski Radio – UPDATE with playlist, download

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6 kooky reasons to be a glad American this Thanksgiving and holiday season

Now that the turkey’s down the hatch with the Stove Top stuffing and green bean casserole, it’s time to sit back, relax and recall the real reason for Thanksgiving.

McDonald's and Wal-Mart - combined! - make for some heavy gratitude/Thinkstock


We can start by remembering there will be no more green bean casserole for at least another year.

We can continue by counting other myriad blessings America continues to offer.

Sure, our nation has been in tumult these past several years, but there is still ample reason to cheer. After all, we’re not being indefinitely locked up in a Turkish prison for smuggling antiquities we thought were cheap souvenirs.

And we’re not buried up to our waist being stoned to death somewhere in Iran.

We’re in America, dang it, and there is so much for which to be thankful. We’ll keep it brief with a total of six kooky reasons, including the green bean thing, to be glad we’re here in America.

Our Wal-Marts sometimes house a McDonald’s. This fine coupling exists right here in Tucson with the Wal-Mart-McDonald’s combination at 7150 E. Speedway Blvd. The two entities nestle like lovebirds in a single building, waiting for us to buy cheap furniture and fatty fries in one fell swoop.

Can’t make a large percentage of large Americans much happier than that.

Freedom of speech is aloud and well. From nasty anonymous Internet comments to angry slurs and signs, Americans are free to speak their minds. Well, most of the time.

Just don’t tick off the President. Velma Hart, a chief financial officer for the Maryland veterans’ organization AM Vets, found that out when she told Mr. President she was fed up with the state of the nation with him at the helm.

“Quite frankly, I’m exhausted,” she told President Barack Obama at a September town hall meeting that was broadcast on CNBC. “Exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the man for change I voted for, and deeply disappointed with where we are right now.”

Guess what? She got fired.

Of course, her employer blames budgetary reasons, but what a coincidence.

Creative money earning is another benefit in this Land of Opportunity. Once we speak out, like Hart, and get fired, we can always turn to creative outlets to rake in some cash. We can babysit poodles, do a McDonald’s run for rich folks, sell creepy artwork or, if we’re really in a money crunch, we can always sue someone.

Frivolous lawsuits continue to pile up like dirty dishes. Americans thoroughly enjoy the practice of suing the pants off each other. Here in the Land of the Freely suing, nothing is sacred.

One man sued Providence Hospital in 2002 for $2 million, saying the hospital was negligent because he was able to get away with raping one of its patients.

A woman sued Universal Studios in 2000 for $15,000, saying she suffered mental anguish, emotional distress and extreme fear after paying a visit to its Halloween Horror Nights haunted house.

And then there’s the McDonald’s manager, although he was in Brazil, not America, who sued the Illinois-based restaurant chain for making him fat over his 12 years of service there. He was awarded $17,500.

No word on if he was also suing Wal-Mart for perhaps being too heavy for its cheap furniture after habitually feasting at his job.

At least President Obama is at the helm, which gives us one more reason to be grateful. Even though the country has not magically turned around and even though people like Hart get fired for speaking their minds about the state of the nation, Obama is still a blessing. At least he’s not George W. Bush.

Happy holidays.


Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and Ryngmaster who is most grateful for her dogs, family and Beezel, not necessarily in that order. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. Her art, writing and more is at and E-mail

P.S. Ryn is also grateful to have Friday and Monday off and will return Tuesday.

What do you think?

Do you ever make a gratitude list? What’s on it?

What’s your favorite thing about being an American?

What’s your least favorite?

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People eating strange objects, stealing hissing cockroach – Rynski Radio – UPDATE with playlist, download

People do the weirdest things – but don’t take it from us. Take it from the brothers who stole a hissing cockroach.

The cockroach pictures were too gross so we get a fish instead/Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Or take it from Rhode Island Hospital, which recently reported 305 cases of patients eating strange objects – from pen parts to razor blades with toothbrushes in between.

Those stories and more are up this week on Rynski’s Shattered Reality radio show on and FM 94.9 in Hudson Valley, N.Y.

Next show is Wednesday, Nov. 24 (today!) and every Wednesday online at Showtime is 1 p.m. in Arizona, 3 p.m. EST.

Party 934 is a radio alternative for listeners sick of stations that play one song followed by 500 commercials.

Songs that mention DREAMS are this weeks theme, along with our weekly polka fix and a goofy array of offbeat stories.

Thanks! to all who keep the song requests coming.

What: Rynski’s Shattered Reality Internet radio show
When: Every Wednesday for one hour
Time: 1 p.m. in Arizona, 3 p.m. EST
Where: and FM 94.9 in Hudson Valley

Seems next week theme will still be dreams – just downloaded all the songs and WOW, we have quite a solid lineup.

Missed the show? CLICK HERE to download

Playlist for Rynski’s Shattered Reality 11/24:

Theme: Dreams, part 1 of 2

The Doors – I’m a Spy (Dan in FL)

The Lovin’ Spoonful – What a Day for a Daydream (Frank in AZ)

Blondie – Dreaming (Josh in NY)

The Smithereens – Behind the Wall of Sleep (Tom in AZ)

The Mamas and the Papas – Dream a Little Dream of Me (Cherlyn, Lizzie, Frank, Carol – all in AZ, Leigh in NY)

Van Halen – Little Dreamer (Radmax in AZ)

Pink Floyd – Julia Dream (Mitch in NY)

The Rolling Stones – Moonlight Mile (Stones always for Deb in AZ)

Electric Prunes – I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night (Walt in TX)

Jimi Hendrix – Still Raining, Still Dreaming (Benn in WA)

The Chordettes – Mr. Sandman (Leigh in NY)

Charles Manson – Eyes of a Dreamer (LePetit in AZ)

Flyleaf – Believe in Dreams (Beezel)

Avsenik Slavko – Grand Prix Polka (Polka always for parents)

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?