Day 154: Tempe Blimpie

Laetitia met her group in Phoenix. One of the prominent features of the Sonoran Desert, where Phoenix is located, is the saguaro cactus (pronounced sa-war-oh). Because of the harsh desert conditions in which these plants live, they grow very slowly, taking about 70 years to grow the first arm. These days, they are protected by Arizona law. A 1982 winner of a Darwin Award was David Grundman, who was repeatedly shooting a 26-foot-tall saguaro cactus with his shotgun at close range when a four-foot limb fell off and killed him. The Darwin Awards are given to people who kill themselves as a result of doing stupid things and take themselves out of the gene pool. A band called the Austin Lounge Lizards wrote a song called Saguaro about the incident.

Laetitia had decided that on this day they would go to museums in the Phoenix area. They viewed artifacts and documents at Arizona State Capitol Museum and kachina dolls, pottery, and basketry at the Heard Museum. They were staying outside of Phoenix in nearby Tempe. In her group were mostly young adults, and she thought they might enjoy staying in a University town. It was exceedingly hot that day, and everyone was wearing as little clothing as possible. As they drove along a street that could have been named “fast-food row,” they saw a scantily clad, overweight adolescent standing in line at a fast-food counter. This gave Laetitia the day’s limerick.

A pudgy teenager from Tempe
Wore her clothing decidedly skimpy
From which flesh did bulge
For she loved to indulge
In fast food and was known as the “Blimpie.”