Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Looking for Dangerous Wildlife in Carefree, Arizona (Where Everybody Goes to Die)
I just came back from Carefree, Arizona.
Yes, it sounds like a joke: Carefree, Arizona. Is that a real place, you may ask - like Good Head, Idaho or Cunnilingus, New Mexico? The answer is yes. Carefree is a town in the desert north of Phoenix - one of those retirement communities where senior citizens long for birdies and huge villas are stuffed with life support equipment.
What was I doing there? Am I retiring, too? No, I'm too young for that, thank you very much, but once in a while, I need a vacation in a place where it doesn't rain - and Carefree brags about having 330 sunny days a year.
We arrived in the middle of a thunder storm, of course.
And I do mean thunderstorm. We're not talking the kind of sissy rain you experience in Portland, Oregon or Copenhagen, Denmark. It rained so hard that the cacti in the desert screamed for mercy.
The raindrops were like bullets, but at least we got a casita facing the desert and the glorious mountains.
Here we spent six days doing absolutely nothing - something I've become an expert at since I'm a writer. At one point, I called the front desk because I dropped Vanity Floor on the floor and wanted someone to pick it up for me.
I had bell boys chewing my food, too, of course. Why else would you go on vacation?
Since we're huge fans of wild life, we did find the strength to venture into the desert looking for bobcats, mountain lions, and wild pigs. But the only thing we saw was golfers racing around in their gay little carts. Wild life gets the hell out when Mr. and Mrs. Frostbite from Wisconsin start practicing their golf swings. So does everybody else who is sane.
We did run into an abundance of cute wild bunnies though - more than you'll ever see at the Playboy Mansion. But four days after we arrived we jumped with joy: ten wild pigs were feasting on the green at the ninth hole. Much to our dismay, they didn't look dangerous at all. Actually, they looked like they'd been groomed at the resort's Golden Door Spa, a place so new age that they added taxes on anything non-tofu.
So all the dangerous animals of the desert left us totally unharmed. Not even a skinny coyote dropped by for an eggnog. Sometimes I went out into the wilderness and stuck a few fingers down the snake holes but the local rattlers were too busy sleeping to take the bait.
So we were stuck for Christmas in the luxury of the Boulders Resort with its landscaped cacti, its scarily cheery staff (goood moooorning, how aaare you tooodayyyy, Siiiir?), and something as obscene as a Chelsea fan playing the piano in the bar.
Christmas day I finally got my wish. I woke up with a tiger staring down at me. In a daze, I reached for my gun, just to be on the safe side .... but slowly it dawned on me that the tiger didn't move. It was a white tiger, too, with a big red bow. I immediately named it Generic and carried it around the resort like a happy toddler.
Finally I'd had a taste of real Arizonian wild life.