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Sealing the Deal

The Journal of Prevarication
Exasperating Literal-minded Scholars Since 1979

By Jim Cook
Official State Liar of Arizona

Long-time friend Steve Auslander of Tucson wrote, “I wonder whether being an official state liar means the lies one tells are official lies. If it is so, then should not the lie bear some official status, such as a stamp declaring that the lie is official?”

This is what our design staff came up with:

Great Seal

Steve wrote a learned discourse on obfuscation, prevarication, equivocation, and the body waste of male cattle. We only have room to repeat the flattering part:

“I must say I am a big fan and am certain that in time your efforts will be recognized, even extolled, as developing an entire academic discipline, as developing an intellectual paradigm, a cosmic shift of cross-discipline study that will bear enormous fruit. Then doctoral graduates of Factual Diversity will fructify the land with wise counsel.”

That’s what we’re striving for, from multiple platforms.

Spinning the Roundabout: My brother Dean, who lives in Glendale, e-mailed the Arizona Department of Transportation about a mound of earth in the middle of a new roundabout. The roundabout lets drivers escape the U.S. 93 bypass and enter downtown Wickenburg.

Dean’s e-mail: “The roundabout on the east end of the U.S. 93 bypass at Wickenburg has a dangerous design flaw. The mound in the center of the roundabout prevents traffic entering from the west on U.S. 60 from seeing incoming traffic on U.S. 93, making it nearly impossible to merge safely, particularly since the U.S. 93 traffic is moving rapidly.”

ADOT’s response: “The mound in the center of the roundabout is designed to block entering traffic from seeing oncoming traffic, while allowing enough sight distance for drivers to determine an acceptable gap in traffic to enter the intersection.

“This mound helps to reduce speeds at the roundabout and provide greater intersection visibility to drivers as they approach the intersection. Roundabouts without center island mounding or other sight obstructions have experienced issues with motorists driving thru the intersection without slowing down because they focus their attention to the road beyond the intersection and not notice the intersection.”

Jacking up the fish: Friends Dick Thomas of Phoenix and Marti Fischer of Scottsdale, acting independently, sent this story:

“I finally got around to going fishing this morning, but after a while, I ran out of worms.

“Then I saw a cottonmouth with a frog in his mouth, and frogs are good bass bait. Knowing the snake couldn’t bite me with the frog in his mouth, I grabbed him right behind the head, took the frog and put it in my bait bucket.

“Now the dilemma was how to release the snake without getting bitten. I grabbed my bottle of Jack Daniels and poured a little whiskey in its mouth. His eyes rolled back, he went limp, I released him into the lake without incident, and carried on my fishing, using the frog.

“A little later, I felt a nudge on my foot.

“There was that same snake with two frogs in his mouth.”

That gave me the idea of using Jack Daniels as bait to catch sand trout. They swim through the sand of the dry Hassayampa River, just as other trout swim through water.

I’ve been using water for bait, but Jack Daniels, seeping through the sand, might attract more fish. I’ll let you know.

Last 5 posts by Jim Cook

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