The vast amounts of cocaine on offer probably didn't help either. The college was affectionately known as UofYay, because coke cost $40 a gram and it tasted like pure candy compared to the dramamine and draino dust I'd occasionally keyed in England. It even made meaningless interactions with frat douchebags seem like kissing your future wife. As it was, my initial socialising occured in shitty parties, or at shitty bars, with people I'd cross the street to avoid sober.
But even conversations on cocaine can be a crap shoot, a game you can win on a pure bit of luck. One night I ended up talking to a guy who I still consider a good friend. He told me about a bar on the westside of town that sounded fucking crazy bro. Rumour had it that it was owned by a bald guy who referred to himself as God. God's drinks were cheap, and if you showed him your tits God's drinks were free. My new pal and I didn't have tits, but the prospect of cheap drinks and maybe seeing some tits meant we went later that night.
It was called the Meet Rack, and it was fucking crazy bro. Stolen bras hung from the ceiling and the walls were littered with photos of famous clientele, like the snap of Arnold Schwarzenegger fingering a girl at the bar. On a bulletin board by the entrance, God, otherwise known as Jim, had pinned Alcoholics Anonymous medals he had scalped from people who were on the wagon. One guy had allegedly come in with a platinum medal, meaning he'd been sober for 10 years. He left that night shit-faced, with two new brands on each arm. The branding was the Meet Rack's most notorious selling point. If you got a picture of God's face burned into your skin, you got $2 off beers.
After a few drinks and a bump in the toilet, we did get a picture of God's face burned into our skin.
My friend got it on his butt, but I've lost that pic :(
In 2015, a friend sent me a clip from an old public access show called The Great Satan At Large. It was filmed in Tucson, featured a bit too much Nazi imagery and was hosted by a guy who dressed like the devil. The Satan in question was a guy called Lou Perfidio. Lou was rumoured to be run out of town by the FBI after the first episode aired in 1990. He was pals with Jim Goad (of ANSWER ME! fame), a writer and a raging alcoholic. Various reports say Lou died in 2006 of MRSA, which would sound like total bullshit were it not for the insanity of the grainy clip below.
Naturally, our pal God was the guest of honour on the first, and only, episode. This was presumably before he ran for mayor of Tucson.
If you ever end up in the desert, make sure you give it a chance. Beyond the frat boys and cheap cocaine is one of the strangest towns in America.
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