As December draws to a close, many newspapers engage in the time-honored tradition of reminding readers of the stories they should not forget from the year gone by.
Here at the Weekly, we have a different tradition, inspired by the much missed Dubious Achievement Awards once presented by Esquire: We've scoured the papers, watched the TV news and wasted valuable work time browsing the Internet to bring you the stories that you'd probably rather forget: The dumb criminals who run themselves over with their own cars or leave body parts behind at the scene of the crime. The pompous politicians who can't stop saying—or doing—stupid things. The surprisingly large number of scientific studies about urine. And Miley's twerking.
Here, without further ado, is one last look at 2013.
An ex-Pima Community College administrator alleged that former Chancellor Ray Flores would telephone her from his bathtub, telling her he was naked and soaping his body as they talked. Jacquelyn Jackson also alleged that Flores called her to his office after hours, where she found the lights low and Mexican love songs on the stereo as Flores recited a poem, "Ode to a Beautiful Nude." "It was creepy," Jackson told the Arizona Daily Star. "It made me feel dirty. I had to keep making up excuses to get away from him."
HE ATE THE FISHES BEFORE HE SLEPT WITH THEM
Just before he died in Italy, Sopranos star James Gandolfini consumed an epic last meal that included four shots of rum, two piña coladas, two beers, two orders of fried prawns with mayonnaise-chili sauce and a heaping portion of foie gras. The 51-year-old actor died three hours later of a massive heart attack.
WHICH ONE IS SUPPOSED TO BE HITLER AGAIN?
Sen. John McCain was upset to see President Barack Obama shake hands with Cuban President Raul Castro at Nelson Mandela's funeral. "Neville Chamberlain shook hands with Hitler," McCain said.
BUSTING THE LAWMAN
Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk determined that Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne violated campaign-finance laws and ordered that he repay $400,000 in illegal contributions. Horne has denied the allegations and will argue his case in court next year, but if he loses the case, he could be on the hook for $1.2 million in fines.
FINGERED FOR THE CRIME
A Glendale man's plan to steal a spool of copper wire from the back of a truck was thwarted when his finger was severed as he attempted to mess with a spool. Police recovered the missing digit, got a fingerprint from it and took the nine-fingered Joshua Goverman into custody. The finger remained on ice in a police evidence locker. "I guess if he wants his finger he can always come back and get it," Glendale police officer Tracey Breedon told CBS 5 News.
WHEELS OF JUSTICE
Tucson police told the press they were seeking a man who ran over himself while fleeing from the cops. The unknown man climbed out of the window of his moving car in a parking lot, but fell onto the pavement and was run over by the rear wheel of his car. After the mishap, the man ran off and eluded police.
BOXERS OR BRIEFS
Men with smaller testicles spend more time raising their kids, according to a study by anthropologists at Emory University in Atlanta. After gauging the testosterone levels of study participants and measuring the size of their knackers, researchers found an inverse relationship between those factors and parental involvement.
IT WAS COLD
2,400-year-old Soup Discovered in China
MARK KELLY COSTANZA: IS ANYONE HERE A MARINE BIOLOGIST?
A bulldog-mix belonging to the daughter of Gabby Giffords' husband, Mark Kelly, pulled free of its leash and fatally attacked a beached sea lion on Goff Island Beach, Calif. Kelly was able to grab the dog by the collar and shake the animal until it released the lion.
COSTANZA AGAIN: I WAS IN THE POOL! I WAS IN THE POOL!
At Conservative Judaism Convention, Leaders Focus on Shrinkage
—Jewish Telegraphic Agency
NUTTY HIJINKS LEAVE HACK THESPIAN A-TWITTER
Actor Johnny Knoxville alleged that members of the UA's Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity drugged him at a party following filming of a promotional video, an event approved by school officials. Without naming the fraternity, Knoxville said someone slipped Ecstasy into his beer. A frat spokesman said his comments were a publicity stunt for Knoxville's new film, Bad Grandpa. Knoxville is best known as the star of the Jackass films and TV series.
THINK OF THE ROAMING FEES
A 58-year-old man in a Sri Lankan prison was foiled in his attempt to hide his cellphone from guards searching his cell when the sound of a phone ringing came from his rear end. The man had stashed the cellphone in his rectum.
HEY, THIS HAPPENED TO THE SRI LANKAN GUY
Two Injured in Moon Explosion
MAYBE YOU COULD USE THAT MONEY TO TEACH KIDS TO, YOU KNOW, READ?
The Tucson Unified School District agreed to spend $300,000 on a public relations campaign to spruce up its image and increase enrollment following the bashing it took in the political battle over the Mexican American Studies program.
BREAK OUT THOSE WHITE OWLS, LADIES
Former Tucson lawmaker Terri Proud was fired from the state's Department of Veterans' Services after she said women might not be able to serve in combat because of their menstrual cycles. "Women have certain things during the month I'm not sure they should be out there dealing with," Proud told the Arizona News Service. "I don't know how to address that topic in a very diplomatic manner."
AN UNLIKELY GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEME
Terri Proud filed an $800,000 claim against the state, saying that Gov. Jan Brewer unfairly targeted her for dismissal from her job at the Department of Veterans' Services.
ANOTHER UNLIKELY GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEME
Former Tucson lawmaker Daniel Patterson filed a claim for damages against Pima County and the city of Tucson for bringing a misdemeanor case against him related to an alleged domestic-violence incident while he was serving in the Legislature in 2012. Patterson's attorney argued that the former legislator, who was acquitted of the charges last year, had "legislative immunity" that protected him from facing civil charges while the Legislature was in session. Patterson, who resigned from the Legislature after a damning ethics report on his behavior was released, said in his legal filing that he "has been unable to find employment in the area of politics or public policy" and had "suffered mental injury, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional losses (and) loss of income and economic opportunities."
THE REAL FLAKE IN THE FAMILY
Tanner Flake, the teenage son of Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, made national news when he used Twitter to threaten the "faggot" who stole his bike, saying he "will find you, and ... will beat the crap out of you." According to BuzzFeed, he also went by the name "n1ggerkiller" in an online game and joked about an acquaintance stealing one-liners because he's Jewish.
Arizona Highways had to pull all copies of its October issue from newsstands because it identified the fly agaric mushroom as edible. The mushroom is actually toxic and can cause a hallucinatory trip.
IF WE CAN CREATE ENOUGH JOBS IN MEXICO, WE CAN STOP ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION ALTOGETHER
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which includes the Border Patrol, has granted a $6 million contract to make its uniforms to VF Imagewear, a company that manufactures "a significant percentage" of its occupational clothing in Mexico.
Peanut-Free Football Game Saturday at Northwestern
When Arizona Cardinals fan John Coulter, attending a preseason football game, asked his 15-year-old son to hold his beer while he took a photograph, two undercover agents from the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control swooped in to stop him. Sgt. Wesley Kuhl told USA Today that providing alcohol to an underage person could mean two years in jail, a $2,500 fine and three years of probation. He said Coulter and his son, who were escorted out of the stadium, were lucky they weren't arrested.
Former Republican mayoral candidate Shaun McClusky launched an effort to hand out free shotguns to residents of three high-crime areas in Tucson, hoping to show that armed citizens deter criminals. Working with the Texas-based Armed Citizens Project, McClusky planned to monitor the crime rate before and after the distribution of 36 single-shot shotguns. "This is about public safety," he said. "This is about people protecting themselves."
FOR THAT MONEY, WE'LL STAY HOME AND DO SHOTS AT BOB DOBBS
Former Biospherians Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum have formed a startup company that will sell space trips that send customers 100,000 feet into the sky in a capsule attached to a helium balloon. The voyages, by Paragon Space Development Corp., will allow travelers to see the curvature of the earth and last 3 1/2 hours. Cost: $75,000.
CORPORAL PUNISHMENT MAKES A COMEBACK
Sahuaro High School Principal Christopher Bonn was arrested on misdemeanor assault charges after he punched the boyfriend of his teenage stepdaughter in the face several times when he discovered the couple parked outside his home at 4 a.m. Bonn told police he thought the boyfriend was reaching for a gun. The charges were later dropped, but TUSD reassigned Bond to an administrative job at district headquarters.
A WIDE-OPEN WINDOW TO THE SOUL
John Huttick was on the witness stand testifying as the victim in an aggravated assault trial in Philadelphia when his glass eye popped out. He caught the loose orb and held it up for everyone to see, causing the judge to declare a mistrial. Matthew Brunelli was accused of punching Huttick so hard during a 2011 bar fight that his left eye had to be surgically removed.
MR. SPOCK WRITES A CHECK
Chamber PAC May Be Fined for Not Disclosing Vulcan Donation
A SUN DEVIL SCHOLAR SPEAKS HIS MIND ... AND IT'S NOT GOOD
After game one of the 2013 World Series, a minor leaguer in the St. Louis Cardinals system suggested that Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester had used an illegal substance on the ball. Asked if the charge had any "validity," Sox second baseman and ASU grad Dustin Pedroia told the press, "I don't know what that word is, man. Arizona State education, bro. You'll have to break that one down for me."
WE TAKE PRIDE WHEREVER WE CAN GET IT
In its ranking of America's top colleges, Forbes magazine lists the UA as No. 211 and Arizona State as No. 226.
TAKING CARE OF THE "HONEY, DO" LIST
A South Carolina couple were arrested for allegedly having sex inside an outdoor display shed at a Home Depot. Police claim that Emily Craig was "partially clothed," with the top of her dress untied and hanging at her waist, while her partner, Shaun Bowden "had his pants down near his knees, his penis was exposed."
A resident of the seniors community of SaddleBrooke, north of Tucson, shot a 22-year-old man he discovered sleeping with his 63-year-old wife in their guesthouse. After the husband poked him awake with a cane, Stephen Chapman refused to leave and allegedly went on the attack, forcing the 68-year-old husband to wound the young man.
AT $6 A BEER, WE'D LEAVE, TOO
Bear Obeys Bartender's Command, Leaves Juneau Bar
YOU'LL NEED A U-HAUL TO TAKE FAT ALBERT HOME
Staffers at the Maricopa County animal shelter offered for adoption a cat so fat he has trouble walking, grooming and using the litter box. The 4-year-old cat should weigh about 12 pounds. But Albert weighs a whopping 28 pounds.
THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE WORLD ... OR THE DUMBEST
A polar bear dragged Maine resident Matthew Dyer from his tent in Canada's Torngat Mountains National Park and nearly mauled him to death. Dyer was willing to risk the dangerous area unarmed, saying, "My desire to travel to wild areas like the Torngats will always be outweighed by the rights of the animals in that park to exist."
THE FEDERAL BLOB SPREADS ACROSS ARIZONA
The federal government spent more than $600,000 apiece in taxpayer money to build 21 homes for U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees in Ajo, 120 miles west of Tucson. In that area, homes ranging from 1,276 to 1,570 square feet usually sell for less than $100,000, according to The Arizona Republic.
THE FEDERAL BLOB STRIKES AGAIN
Queen Creek High School outside Phoenix tried to hold a campuswide Redneck Day to generate interest in its prom. Students were to dress up like characters from the A&E show Duck Dynasty. But one kid wore the Confederate flag, prompting the U.S. Department of Education to open a civil rights investigation.
BETTER CALL SAUL
54th Cracker Day Is Saturday
—St. Augustine (Fla.) Record
DON'T YOU FEEL BETTER KNOWING THEY'RE LOOKING OUT FOR US?
The Department of Homeland Security, spent taxpayer money to advise citizens on how to deal with snowy weather. On its Twitter account the agency said, "If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside."
WATCH FOR CRIMINALS WHEN SHOVELING SNOW
Citing the need to avoid a budget crisis ahead of sequester spending cuts, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released 342 illegal immigrants held at facilities in Arizona. Of those, 122 were convicted criminals. ICE Director John Morton admitted to Congress that his agency released 2,228 illegal immigrants nationally during a three-week period in February, far more than the several hundred ICE originally said were released.
FUHGETABOUDIT!! ... WE DON'T LIKE SCONES AND WE'RE NOT FEELING GOOD ANYWAY ... SO WE'RE JUST GOING TO WATCH TV AND WAIT FOR THE BLACK HAND OF DEATH TO SMACK US IN THE KISSER
The Monterey Court Café and Galleries on Miracle Mile hosts groups who gather in a "relaxed setting to discuss death, drink tea and eat." Kristine Bentz, creator of Tucson's so-called Friendly and Fearless Death Café, says participants are part of a global movement to break a cultural taboo. "We either deny death altogether or keep the topic stuffed in some breathless, compressed chamber of our beings," she says.
HE'S A CLEAN FREAK
While being held at a secret prison in Romania a decade ago, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, asked his jailers for permission to design a vacuum cleaner, according to a former CIA official. Hoping to keep him sane after harsh interrogation, the agency granted the request. Mohammed has a bachelor's in mechanical engineering.
A MASS MURDERER HUNTS FOR BARGAINS
While he was on the run in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden's car was stopped for speeding, according to an investigation of how the world's most-wanted man was able to live undetected in that country for almost a decade. The driver, one of bin Laden's bodyguards, settled the matter with the policeman, who evidently failed to spot the infamous passenger. Bin Laden was on his way to shop at a local bazaar.
WHIZ, BANG, ADIOS
Matthew Zemo, 30, died after being electrocuted at a subway stop in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was on the way home from a bar at 3 a.m. when he relieved himself on the third rail.
THAT'S BECAUSE YOU WEREN'T IN BROOKLYN
Real-Life Captain Phillips: The Pirates "Did Not Let Me Urinate"
Physicists Probe Urination "Splashback" Problem
JOE FOR PRESIDENT ON THE TRANSPARENCY TICKET!!
Saguaro National Park East fired a volunteer for calling the media about vandals spray-painting boulders and cacti. When he discovered the problem, Joe Sharkey, 66, made repeated attempts to call park officials, but they were unresponsive. Sharkey sent photos of the vandalism to the Arizona Daily Star and was fired. He believes park officials wanted to cover up the problem.
HOMEOWNER FOR PRESIDENT ON THE NO-VICTIMS TICKET!
A San Xavier District homeowner caught a burglar breaking into his home and beat the tar out of him. When the unidentified homeowner heard noises outside his home at 4:30 a.m., he found 21-year-old Cesar Chavez, who'd allegedly broken into three vehicles on the property and tampered with a window on the house. The hero-homeowner administered a righteous beating, then detained Chavez until deputies arrived.
A-A-A-AAACHOOOO CAN LEAVE NOW, MR. BIG SHOT
Actor Jason London, best known for his role in the 1993 movie Dazed and Confused, was arrested after a fight outside a Scottsdale bar. London allegedly refused to apologize for sneezing on a man, then punched him in the face. On Twitter, London alleged that several bouncers broke bones in his face. He added, "The truth will win," and "I hate Arizona."
DUDE, MY EYES ARE UP HERE
How to Find Glasses That Fit: Treat Them Like a Bra
—San Francisco Chronicle website
YOU'RE MAKING THAT UP
Science Confirms, Men Ogle Women
HE'S OVERESTIMATED THE STREET VALUE
James Merkle filed a claim for $75,000 after Pima County deputies forced him to destroy a dozen small pot plants he had growing at his home. Merkle had a medical marijuana card and says he was legally growing the plants for medicinal use.
FROM WALTER WHITE'S FAMILY RECIPE
Patricia Ladonna Draper, 28, was sentenced to 180 days in the Santa Cruz County jail for attempting to smuggle 2 pounds of methamphetamine into the U.S. through the Morley gate in Nogales. The drugs were in a container of spaghetti from a Chinese restaurant in Mexico.
A Yuma woman was arrested at the port of San Luis, Ariz., for allegedly smuggling a pound of methamphetamine into the U.S. in her private parts. When Customs and Border Protection officers became suspicious, they patted down 31-year-old Claudia Ibarra and found the meth wrapped in black tape and a condom and inserted into her body. A doctor had to surgically remove the contraband.
WE'VE CRACKED THE CASE
A Phoenix woman was arrested at the Morley gate in Nogales for allegedly trying to enter the U.S. with 3 pounds of cocaine taped to her ass. Dora Ann Gutierrez, 39, was arrested when a Customs and Border Protection dog became suspicious while sniffing her butt.
FECAL SHMECAL ... LET'S TAKE A DIP!
A study by the Centers for Disease Control found E. coli bacteria in 58 percent of public pools. The report said the fecal material comes from not showering before getting into the water and from swimmers actually pooping in the water.
SMELLS LIKE TROUBLE
One adult and two juveniles, all wearing headlamps, covered in mud and smelling of raw sewage, were taken into custody in Nogales on suspicion of smuggling 38 pounds of marijuana through the cross-border sewage system.
NO WAY! SERIOUS?
Mummy-Fried! Tutankhamun's Body Spontaneously Combusted INSIDE His Coffin Following Botched Embalming Job After He Died in Speeding Chariot Accident
—Daily Mail (London)
Las Vegas crooner Wayne Newton's 65-foot luxury houseboat mysteriously sank in 45 feet of water while docked at the marina on the Arizona side of Lake Mead. The National Park Service was checking the vessel for signs of foul play.
Mirna Valenzuela and her daughter, Zamira Osorio, won $1,200 playing slots at Tucson's Casino Del Sol Resort. But when Valenzuela provided a suspicious ID for tax purposes, she was found to be in the country illegally and deported. Osorio was outraged, saying: "If they don't want anybody illegally there, they should put up a sign that says they don't want anybody who's illegal, you know, playing at the casino. This is really unfair."
A Santa Cruz County judge sentenced Rio Rico resident Jesus Ernesto Alvarez to 60 days in jail and four years of probation for smuggling 291 pounds of marijuana in the tires of five ATVs. Alvarez and another man were arrested in 2012 in Gardner Canyon, outside Sonoita. Alvarez was to be paid $500 per ATV when he delivered the goods in Tucson.
KABOOM! WENT THE NAUGHTY HOOPSTER
Former UA and NBA star Gilbert Arenas was arrested in L.A. for allegedly driving 80 mph without a license in his Ford pickup, the bed of which was stuffed with 20 boxes of illegal fireworks. The LAPD bomb squad had to be called to handle Arenas' dangerous cargo.
HE PUT HIS CELLPHONE ON VIBRATE
Daredevil Nik Wallenda battled 35-mph winds as he walked across Northern Arizona's Little Colorado Gorge on a steel cable 1,500 feet above the ground. "Golly!" he said of the wind at one point. "Go away in the name of Jesus!" The stunt was broadcast live, with a 10-second delay in case something went wrong, on the Discovery Channel.
LOOK OUT BELOW!
A 53-year-old Tucson man pleaded guilty to installing a camera in a unisex bathroom at Tucson Jet Center, the airport-area business where he worked. The man admitted mounting one camera on a door and another in the bottom of a toilet tank, saying he did so for sexual gratification.