Ryn: Why Arizona is glad it's not California

Apologies in advance to my brother, his wife and their dog; my friend Elaine and everyone else who lives in California, but we here in Arizona like toying with the idea that your state may one day disconnect and be swept out to sea.

Warning/Ryn Gargulinski

Warning/Ryn Gargulinski

California residents wouldn’t have to die over this, of course, but just change their zip code to somewhere in the middle of the ocean.

Arizona would be sublime as a waterfront.

While the thought of adding the water to our already expansive sandy beaches is scrumptious, the idea that Arizona would actually become California in other ways is not.

Sure, we like the highway system in San Diego, which runs circles around the putt-putt roads of Tucson.

We also dig California’s Governor, mainly because of his accent and his guest appearance way back when on Streets of San Francisco when he threw a floor lamp and exclaimed “I am not a freak.”

But we could do without some other aspects of the Golden State.

Warning/Ryn Gargulinski

Warning/Ryn Gargulinski

Like the hazard warnings on everything. A case in point was the sign by a resort hotel’s elevator: “Warning: This facility contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

Have a nice stay. Sure made sleeping there a breeze. I spent hours awake and writhing wondering if staff were pumping asbestos through the little hotel room vents.

Similar warnings have appeared on arts and craft supplies and even pillows and couch cushions.

“Do not lick that upholstery. It could cause cancer.”

Seems like you can’t do anything these days without being threatened with a deadly disease or mutated babies, especially if you happen to live in California.

These stern warnings are the product of the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment’s Proposition 65, which requires “clear and reasonable” warnings for certain chemicals to be listed where the chemicals may possibly be found. It also applies to food items.

“Warning: the grapefruit you are about to eat could kill you.”

Gas stations are a prime location for these admonishments. Some of the pumps even have little tubes around the nozzle, lest you accidentally get a whiff of the miniscule amount of fumes that may waft upwards towards your nostrils.

Another place California goes overboard is with its severe anti-smoking laws. Smoking, which causes cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, by the way, is prohibited in all public places. Outdoor public places. No smoking on beaches, in parks, in cars that have kids in them, or anywhere else besides your home.

Warning/Ryn Gargulinski

Warning/Ryn Gargulinski

Well, unless you live in Belmont, Calif., where you are not allowed to smoke in your home – unless it is freestanding and far from your neighbors.

Smoking is banned in apartments, condos or any other dwelling that shares a wall with another unit. Neighbors are encouraged to uphold this law by snitching if they smell a cigarette or hear a lighter being lit next door.

Yes, we all know smoking is dirty, gross, costly and can lead to a whole host of terminal ailments, but sometimes these restrictions go too far. Especially in California.

The high cost of living is another California thing we could do without. Some of Tucson’s two bedroom homes – where you can smoke – can be had for fewer than $200,000, rather than the more than $2 million for some of California’s non-smoking counterparts.

The trick is to buy now, while Arizona is still landlocked and real estate affordable. If you guard your home and yard against smokers and quit licking those couch cushions, you may even stay alive long enough to enjoy Arizona as a waterfront when or if it finally happens.

Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who once lived in Northern California’s redwood forest. Listen to a preview of her column at 8:10 a.m. Thursdays on KLPX 96.1 FM. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. E-mail rynski@tucsoncitizen.com.

What to you think?

What other quirky restrictions or laws would you change in Arizona or other states?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
This entry was posted in danger, death, environment, gross stuff, life, Rynski Column and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Ryn: Why Arizona is glad it's not California

  1. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski! Love California! It’s not so bad to try and sneak a smoke, kinda fun sometimes…just don’t let the cig police catch ya! The signs on everything are a local joke also, the natives for the most part laugh them off, except the anally constricted busybodys who evidently have nothing better to do than be ever vigilant watching for PC infringement.

  2. Sergeyka says:

    California is a lovely place!

  3. Rynski says:

    Mornin’ RadMax – I quite agree that California is heavenly! but those warning signs unnerved me. I don’t need extra reminders that life is a major hazard (haha). I was waiting for my restaurant meals to be served with little “Caution” signs stuck with toothpicks in the middle of the chicken mole. “This pepper mixture could blind you.”

  4. Karen Nelson says:

    You’re kidding about the pepper warning, right?!  I guess things have gotten worse since I lived in San Diego. But, I must admit, one of my favorite charms of the town of Del Mar (just north of La Jolla.. where one of the dog beaches is located!) was that it banned outdoor public smoking way back when… before it was fashionable!  I still own  place there and love how pristine it’s streets are. Boy, you should try to buy property in Cali… the paperwork is an epic novel to be sure! Mostly consisting of warnings and disclosures! Talk about a joke… unfortunately, many don’t even bother to read it all… how could you and still keep your sanity?!

    • Rynski says:

      yes, kidding about the pepper warning! you are very lucky to own property there – and good you didn’t go insane with all the fine print (haha). could you imagine the havoc if the hippie movement went to sunny california today? boy, oh, boy!

      • Karen Nelson says:

        What a thought! It would be great! Get rid of all those hardcore types with all their warnings and restrictions! Peace and love to everyone! You want to give me your chemical-laden land… cool…

  5. radmax says:

    We tried a place called El Agave in old town Rynski. My ladyfriend ordered the chicken mole, which was exceptional! Unusual as I don’t particularly care for it. My filet medalions with portobello mushrooms and artichoke hearts were the finest I’ve ever had. Guess you have to get off the beaten path to escape the PC police. Not a warning sign anywhere down there, even the stairways… 🙂

  6. winnieo says:

    Cute, Ryn. Some parts of California ARE lovely, some parts are definitely UNlovely. The air is so nice there – in the lovely parts. The moisture feels so good on my skin, unlike the Arizona air which feels like it’s trying to suck all the water out of my body.
    Unfortunately, Arizona has the embarrassment of gun freaks and two senators, one being on the edge of senility and the other…I don’t know. What is wrong with that man’s brain?
    Arizona needs women in the Senate – intelligent, thoughtful, respectful women. Any political party will do for me. I voted for McCain every time he was up for re-election. Only the last time was a mistake.
    I rather like the WARNING signs. Nothing wrong with reminders (or “minders,” if you will) of hazards.

    • Rynski says:

      thanks, winnieo, for your input. and i do agree that california has it made with better politicians – at least that cool governor of theirs (haha). my brother actually got to shake his hand once and he didn’t even crush it.

  7. MarcyMom says:

    By the way, was your car considered a hazard since it might have distracted those California drivers?

    • MarcyMom says:

      Or did you write a disclaimer?

      • Rynski says:

        haha! i had THREE disclaimers on the RynMobile –
        Warning: Severe injury will occur if
        1. You jump in front of this car while it’s moving
        2. You siphon the gas and try to drink it with your chicken mole
        3. You mess up the artwork.
        I added “have a nice day” just to soften it a bit…

  8. Great posting. I had to mention it and add some thoughts on my blog:

    • azmouse says:

      Enjoyed checking out your blog and saying ‘hi’ to ya.

      We all love our crazy little Ryn around here. Hope you checked out her California pics, and new car updates while you were here!

    • Rynski says:

      Thanks, Beach Reporter!
      I, too, enjoyed your post – esp. your note about the tsunami signs and the beach poop! I left you a comment there that is currently “awaiting moderation.”
      It said “poop” in it – will that disqualify me (haha)?

  9. people just hate on cali. because they are jealous!  as goes with anything 🙂

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