The really bad movie Brewster's Millions was on the other night. In it, Richard Pryor plays a minor-league baseball player who stands to inherit $300 million from a long-lost relative, but there are strings attached. He must first blow through $30 million in 30 days. He has to receive services rendered for all financial outlays, but he cannot gain any tangible assets during the 30 days and he can't tell anybody why he's blowing the money.
I wondered what I would do if I were given even one million dollars under similar circumstances. Of course, I could always give it to the Tucson City Council. I'm sure they could blow through a million dollars and have absolutely nothing to show for it, but then this column would be really short.
Last week, I attended the Confirmation of one of my athletes at St. Christopher Catholic Church out in Marana. (As an aside, I have to say that Bishop Gerald Kicanis is wildly entertaining and engaging at these things. He remembers all of the kids' names and details about each one. He's also quite funny while somehow managing to remain, you know, holy and stuff.) Anyway, while the guy on the piano was singing way too many verses of each hymn—as church singers are wont to do—I thought about how I would blow that million bucks.
• Give the Pima County Sheriffs Department $200,000 to provide overtime pay for traffic enforcement involving illegal U-turns at the intersections of Ina and La Cholla and River and La Cholla. They happen on just about every cycle; it's maddening!
I was turning right from River onto La Cholla the other day. I had the green right-turn arrow and I went. Some inbred in a pickup truck does a tire-squealing (illegal) U-turn and stops inches short of T-boning my car. He puts his head out the window and starts screaming about how he's going to beat me up with his banjo or something.
I didn't move and when he finally stopped screaming, I said, "There's no U-turn!"
He said, "No, there's not!"
I wasn't sure what to say next since we were both expressing the same sentiment. I assumed that he meant that there was no prohibition of U-turns. I yelled at him to turn around and look at the signs. I must have used too many multi-syllabic words because he just leaned on the horn. The traffic was backing up so I drove off. I have no doubt that he went home and told his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl all about the encounter.
• Pay a speech therapist in Bristol, Connecticut $50,000 to help ESPN radio announcer Freddy Coleman. The therapist's job would be to impress upon Mr. Coleman that the word "both" does not rhyme with "loaf." Or "oaf." If there's money left over, the therapist could tell ESPN basketball analyst Jalen Rose that the word "strength" does not end with an "m" and an "f."
Just so you don't think I'm racist or Regionalist or something, I would pay another guy $100,000 to spend an entire season standing in the broadcast booth next to Arizona Diamondbacks color commentator Tom Candiotti. Every time Candiotti says something like, "I think he coulda' went to third base on that play," I want the guy to jab the announcer with an electric cattle prod.
The English language is tough; there's no doubt about it. However, if a person is getting paid good money to speak the language, it might behoove him/her to learn how to do so properly.
• Hire somebody to stand on the southwest corner of Oracle and Magee between 7:45 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. on school days. This person would earn $1,000 a day just to push the east/west "Walk" button during each cycle.
I have to go east on Magee on a regular basis and that intersection is an absolute nightmare. Even with all of the construction on Magee east of La Canada, the trip from Foothills Mall to Oracle on that road is not bad, at all. But when you get to Oracle, the traffic is sometimes backed up 20 cars or more, especially during the aforementioned times when parents are transporting their kids to and from Immaculate Heart. An east/west green light might let three cars get through the intersection, maybe. But, with the "Walk" activated, it can clear out the entire intersection.
I've been told that I should contact the Arizona Department of Transportation (since Oracle is a state highway), but this way would be more fun.
• The rest I would give to high school kids to help with fundraising for their sports teams or service clubs (National Honor Society, etc.). They would have to make posters and place them, like Burma Shave signs, starting at trailheads and then moving up every trail in and around Tucson. The first would read: "It's freakin' hot! If you're going to hike in the desert in the summer in the day time ... You're an IDIOT!"
The next one would say, "Firefighters should not have to risk their lives to rescue IDIOTS!"
Then finally, "If you feel like you're going to pass out and die, don't think of it as a tragedy. Think of it as the thinning of the herd."
Money well spent.