Where They Filmed
Can't Buy Me Love
Yes, that's right. The necessary 80s teen movie was filmed right in Tucson High School. And I was there. Okay, so I never actually set foot in the high school itself, but I did spend four days in Tucson. This is Part Two of a two-part article, so unless you're an ass or an idiot you should probably read the first part first. Click here for that if you haven't already read it.
Now, onto the rest of the story.
Day 3: Saturday
Saturday we got up early just like any day. I only knew it was Saturday because I realized that The Today Show wasn't on the local NBC affiliate, and that Kirby: Right Back At Ya! was on FOX.
The Continental breakfast this day had breakfast sausage patties of two varieties! The lighter colored ones were much, much better. Take it from me, if you're ever in the Residence Inn in Tucson and there are two types of breakfast sausage patties available at the continental breakfast, choose the lighter colored on. They're both so dripping with fat and grease and chemicals that you'll die either way, so why not enjoy your method of suicide?
Melissa was giving Carrie the day off on Saturday, meaning that the two of us could actually spend the whole freakin' day together for once. So what would you do with your girlfriend if you were alone with in a strange city with a plush hotel room all to yourselves? That's right:
Magic Carpet Miniature Golf
You're damned right! This place was in between our hotel and the jewelry show we were at, so I had already been driven by it several times. I was dying to go to it. See, up here the Seattle-Tacoma area there aren't really any good miniature golf courses. There's an okay one in Ocean Shores (two hour drivenot worth it), but nothing with the really collosal structures and animatronics and everything. Not at all like Magic Carpen Miniature Golf, which, as the brochure says, is FUN for Everyone. There is a certain charm that can only come from run-down miniature golf courses where bored teenagers work. Somethign about the way the paint flecks fall from the poorly-maintained animatronics, or the fact that one or two of them invariably won't be working while you're there. I don't know. It's just... Magic.
You'll also notice that it says "The Magic World, Course 2" on the brochure. That's because Magic Carpet Miniature Golf kicks so much ass that it is actually divided into two 19-hole courses. Yes, 19. One better than those wussy 18-hole courses. So in total there's something like 38 holes of wondor and splendor for you to enjoy. I chose The Magic World over Course 1, "Arabian Nights" because I liked what I could see of The Magic World from the street better than what I could see of Arabian Nights. Was that sentance structured in an awkward way? Tough.
Here's the scorecard:
If you looke really closely you'll see that I beat Carrie by one freakin' point! I am the greatest! I'm the G column and Carrie is F. Those are our middle initials. We have to do it that way becasue otherwise we have the same first and last initials. Kinda freaky, but not as freaky as Freaky Friday for certain.
I'm going to give you a tour of The Magic World now, stopping off at some of its highlights:
Here is the first hole, and Carrie trying to putt the ball so that it will avoid what I am praying is that ox's tail. A tail which, I might add, was so skinny and moved so slowly that I think you should win some sort of great prize if you DO hit it.
I don't know, like the right to have the memory of looking at this ox's ass wiped clean from your mind.
Here's one of those beloved miniature golf standards, the spinning flower/windmill/merry-go-round. In this case it's a flower.
Here's the thing about this flower. It only comes near enough the ground to actually block your ball in a strip of turf about three inches wide. You can just hit the ball up along either side of the course and you'll sail right on by the deadly whirling petals. In fact, if you DO manage to hit it through that three-inch-wide passageway where the petals might possibly damage it, it acutally makes it MORE difficult to get into the hole. As you can see by our scores on this hole, we learned that the hard way. Carrie: 8; Chris: 10.
Believe it or not, this is supposed to be a damned chicken.
The goal of this hole is to putt the ball into the correct hole inside the chicken coop (to the left of the chicken there). If you do it right, the ball will actually travel through the chicken and it will "lay" your egg right into the hole. In actuality it looks more like the chicken shits your ball into the hole, but oh, well.
This is one of them Kachina dolls that they have in Central America. I don't know what they use them for or anything, but damn, look at that thing! It's HUGE!
That's Carrie's actual size next to that monster doll. I didn't use any trick photography or forced perspective (which I suppose is a type of trick photography) in order to make it look big. That thing could eat you and still have room for Louie Anderson. I suppose it would have to have a mouth to do that, though...
HOORAY! A Giant freakin' dinosaur! This thing was some 30 feet tall. Actual size, baby!
If you look really closely at that photo, you'll notice that there is a line attached to the T-Rex's foppish left hand. Well, that's because having a giant dinosaur in your golf course isn't good enough. Are you kidding? This thing is animatronic! The hand moved up and down, pulling the string, in turn making this raise and lower:
Yeah, me neither. It took us a long time to figure out what it was. Give up? It's a cat. A freakin' cat, strung up by it's anus, being tugged around by an extinct bird/lizard monster. Mr. Asscat I call him. What a way to live, eh? The ironic thing is that because there is a law stating that at least one animatronic device at every miniature golf course has to be malfuntioning at any given time, the T-Rex was raising and lowering Mr. Asscat here, but never lowering it enough so that it would actually block your ball. You could putt under him even at the times he was lowest to the ground. And, really, how much lower can you get than Mr. Asscat here?
Well, here's Carrie making a new friend:
And, really, who can blame her? If you saw this, you would also be compelled beyond your control to rush up and press your body against it. Right? That's what she told me...
This was one of my favorite holes. That ramp leading up to "Goop" and his gaping maw acually raised and lowered. You had to time it so that the ball would go off the end of the ramp and actually into his mouth. Otherwise it would bounce off his chin and go down a bad hole that would chuck your ball out somewhere bad. Bad.
This one was pretty clever:
You hit the ball up a ramp into this roulette wheel thingy, and it went spinning around the edge until it finally fell through one of the many holes. We both ended up hitting our balls through the same holes. Does that sound horribly sexual in a really bad way? Oh, well, you'll soon forget it as we come up to the coup de grace of this miniature golf course, the real reason why I chose The Magic World over Arabian Nights:
A freakin' Eastern Island Head! Make that a freakin' ENORMOUS Easter Island Head!
This thing is four stories tall. But the best part about it is the fact that you can actually go inside. Once inside, you'll find a very frightening and probably very unsafe staircase winding up the inside of the statue, much like the inside of the Statue of Liberty if that dear lady had been designed by Satanists.
The top of this statue's head offers a breathtaking view of The Magic World. There are our friends Kachina Doll, T-Rex, and if you look really closely you can see Mr. Asscat being kicked in the face by a mom in a red sweatshirt!
The best part about being on top of this statue, though, was that I could finally know what it felt like to be a giant Eastern Island Head, shooting rings out of your mouth at the passing Vic Viper, hoping it didn't shoot you in the mouth with the lasers coming out of its options...
The last hole, a snake pit. Aptly named. I didn't really have anything funny in mind to write when I took this picture. It was just the last hole of the course. Look, there's a snake.
And that was our adventure in Magic Carpet Miniature Golf. In case you want more information, here it is. It's probably not terribly legal for me to put this up but, hey, it's free advertising for them so they're idiots if they complain.
On the walk back to the car I snapped this photo of one of the holes on the Arabian Nights side of the place:
There's an animatronic spider guarding this hole, and it moves in a circular fashion, so you have to time your putt to when the spider is up in the air. And thus ended our Miniature Golf adventure for real this time.
Out of Pocket Expense:
After that it was somewheres around lunchtime, so Carrie and I headed back to the hotel and dined on sumptuous leftovers of Chickep Parmesan from the night before. Then we turned on the Disney Channel, I read Musashi, and Carrie fell asleep.
Disney Channel? Oh, yes. You see, that was one of the few cable channels that our hotel got. It was basically Disney, Cartoon Network, and I think HBO or one of them, plus all the local channels (yippee). So Carrie watched the Disney Channel pretty exclusively, and kinda got addicted to it. Since she's been home the Disney Channel has been on a good percentage of the time that the TV has been on. Not that I mind; it's better than being addicted to Oxygen or WAM! or something like that. I actually like some of the shows on Disney Channel. Okay, so I like Kim Possible and right now can't think of any others. But I'm sure there area a couple, I'm just to lazy to actually try to think right now.
Later on that afternoon we went to this neat little mall-like place that we'd been going by every morning so that everbody besides me could have their Starbucks (there were only like two or three in the whole city, not one on every corner like in Washington State here). I bought like four pairs of new boxer shorts (of course they're new, Chris; they wouldn't sell used boxers. Great writing job. Just freakin' brilliant) because they were on sale for less than $2 each. Nuttin' like cheap undies!
Out of Pocket Expense:
Anyway, then we went shopping for dinner, brought that home, then picked up Melissa and Devon from the jewelry fair and brought them back. Then it was up to me, as it was my turn to cook. I'm actually a good cook with a very limited repertoire. This night I was cooking my Iron Chef-like onion wine fish meal. It has three ingredients. Can you guess what they are? Okay, okay, so there's some garlic and salt and pepper, too, and some olive oil to cook the onion in. But those are just really accessories to the main part of the meal. Usually I cook it in the oven, but the hotel didn't come with any bakeware, so I just used a giant skillet and boiled it all in that. It came out tres bien, si vous me demandez.
Um, I don't really remember doing much that night other than that the other people there put on some movie on HBO. Oh! It was that one with Vivica A. Fox and Gabrielle Union. Oh, yeah, it's called Two Can Play That Game. I wasn't really paying enough attention to actually write a review for it, because I was reading Musashi of course.
They say that watching TV is bad for you, but I don't know. Reading is even worse for me because I'll do it to the exclusion of all esle, including eating, sleeping, and going to the bathroom, until I'm done with the damned book. Considering that Musashi is 1,000 pages, I was pretty out of it for most of the leisure time back at the hotel.
That's about all I really remember about that evening. So on to the next day:
DAY 4: Sunday
The day started out the same as ever, what with the Continental breakfast and all. This time it was rock-hard french toast! Yum! Then after dropping the kids off at the show, Carrie and I went to a nearby show to do some shopping. Carrie needed some specific things for her jewelry-making, and I tagged along on account of the fact that I had nowhere to go. The shows were impressive. Big. BIG. Hundreds of vendors. Thousands of customers. And this was just one of the dozens of shows happening simultaneously in Tucson. If you live in Tucson, you must hate this time of year. If you run a restauarnt in Tucson, you must love it.
After Carrie loaded up with glass and chain and some other stuff I can't remember, we went to Tubac. What's Tubac? This is Tubac:
It's this little touristy, artsy-craftsy town about 40 miles south of Tucson (20 miles north of Mexico for those who are keeping track) on I-19.
We'd seen an add for it on the touristy channel in our hotel, you know, the one that shows us foreigners what fun can be had in the local area. It seemed all right, and there really isn't all that much to do in Tucson once you finish playing Miniature Golf. So we decided to check it out.
Much to our surprise they were in the last days of their annual Arts Fair thingy that happens the first weekend of February. Silly us, we thought that the previous weekend would be the first weekend in February, considering that Saturday was February 1st and all. But as luck would have it, HUNDREDS of people had set up those little tent booth things all over the streets of this little town, like one of them street fair things.
So Carrie and I walked around and browsed and popped in the gift shops and galleries. There are a lot of artist galleries in this town. Carrie picked up a few business cards in case maybe any of the places want to buy her jewelry. I picked up a nice little painting for my mom, who loves southwest-themed art and was like TOTALLY jealous I was going to Tucson.
See? Pretty. The town was very well laid out. My dad, a professional city planner (retired), would have really enjoyed it. We ate lunch at this nice deli overlooking an irregularly-shaped little square with a fountain and benches and grassy areas. Purdy. We also found this really cool restaurant area on the other side of a bridge over a dry river. If you know me, then you'll know that for some reason I absolutely love bridges. I think that any two adjacent buildings over four stories tall should have bridges between them. I don't know why. I just think it's cool. I'm kind of kicking myslef for not taking a photo of it, but it you look real close at that brochure for Tubac (a couple of images above here), then you might see it kind of (it's the second shot down in the middle of the brochure).
We'd gotten there pretty early in the day, and as we wandered around the place slowly began to fill up with thousands of people. THOUSANDS. Also with horse shit, because they had some of those big Budweiser horses pulling carts around that you could ride in. I guess "buggy" would be better to say than "cart." Too late now!
We had ourselves a fun little time, and then as we were leaving we got to drive with no problem in the opposite directoin of all the unfortunate people who were driving into town, trying to find some place to park. Ha-ha! "Traffic Jam City" they should have called it, not Tubac. Tubac sounds like a damned Vulcan name on Star Trek or something.
Out of Pocket Expense:
Anyway, on the freeway back towards Tucson I noticed something very strange on the side of the road. There were freeway road signs. That's not too strange, right? How about freeway road signs facing the wrong direction? And it's not like they were for cars going the opposite way on the other side of the freeway; this is a divided freeway, and the cars going south are way on the other side of a really wide median. So why would you need speed limit signs facing the wrong way on a freeway? To this day it still bugs me.
But anyway, I realized about this time that I hadn't actually taken any pictures of the scenery around Arizona, so I took these shots out of the window of our speeding van:
Les photographs sont tres jolis, non? Those mountains are actually to the southeast of Tucson. It's hard for me to think of something as being a mountain if it don't have snow on it twenty-four/seven/fifty-two. This was February and there wasn't any snow on these big hills.
After we got into town we decided we should probably drive up into one of these mountains or something, huh? Tucson is in a big, broad, flat valley sourrounded on three sides (north, west, & east) by these "mountains." Another weird thing about them for me was the fact that they didn't have foothills. It was just flat plain, and then all of a sudden the mountains would stick straight up out of that plain. The ones to the north are by far the closest to Tucson, so we headed for them.
Here's a pretty picture up the side of those mountains:
See all those little vertical lines? Those be cacti, folks. These mountains wouldn't actually be all that differant than the mountains up here in Washington if all you did was replace every single fir tree up here with a cactus. Then it would look a lot like these mountains.
So we drove around, periodically stopping to take a pretty photograph like this.
All those shiny silver objects down in the valley there? Those are trailers, of course. Carrie and I are convinced that trailers make up about 60% of the housing facilities in and around Tucson. We very rarely acutally saw houses, and a two story house? Forget about it! However, here and there in the mountainside were some gigantic, secluded mansions. That was pretty cool. Not that I got a picture of any of them or anything. Of course not.
We kept on going up and up the mountain until eventually we got to this lookout that had a great view of the whole valley, where I took these very nice, pretty shots:
And then we decided to head back down. It was still too early to pick people up from the show, so we stopped by Buffalo Exchange (used clothes store) and Carrie bought a dress for herself and a skirt for Melissa. Then we stopped by Target (you know, 'cause we couldn't possibly do that back home here...) and Carrie bought a new shirt.
Then it was off to the shows. It was still early, so Carrie and I did a little bit more shopping. I bought my mom a couple of strands of turquoise (on account of she likes it).
Then we picked Melissa and Devon up and went out for Indian cuisine. The place had pretty slow service, and I ordered mattar paneer and got saag paneer instead (oh, well, they both taste good as long as I get my paneer). But it was pretty good. Carrie wasn't feeling particularly well, so we kinda just went home and called it a night after that.
DAY 5: Monday
Melissa and I flew home. Sorry if it's kind of an anticlimactic end to the story, but it ain't my fault. I'm telling it how it happened! Leave me alone. Well, the plane did have to make two stops, one in San Diego and one in San Francisco, or a couple other San cities or something like that. I don't really remember; I was too busy reading my Musashi (which, by the way, I finished all 1,000 pages within three days of getting home).
And those, my little friends, my small freinds, were my adventures in Tucson, Arizona.