Arizonans are a pretty tolerant bunch…well, some are. We’re accustomed to snowbirds flocking in and doubling our population during the idyllic season we call “winter.” We’re patient with tourists (even though some of us call you “tourons”) who clog up the streets and mispronounce words. But there are a few surefire ways to heat our tempers. Here’s how to piss us off:
1. Note our “dry heat”.
Our summers can be hellish, oven-like torture, and we’re bad-ass for persevering. You don’t need to point out the ways your weather is worse.
2. Comment that the desert is ugly.
Yes, it’s a foreign terrain with strange-seeming and venomous plants and animals, but it’s home and it presents a sacred beauty. If you want to diss it, go back to your color-changing foliage. (We have that too, though, on our many mountains.)
3. Waste water.
C’mon, now. Even though we’ve had a couple rainy years, you don’t need to leave the tap on while you brush your teeth. This drought isn’t going anywhere and we need all the H2O we can get.
4. Tell us what to do.
Arizonans don’t have to wear motorcycle helmets. Business owners have the right to fire workers with little cause or notice. Guns are worn pretty much wherever. Marijuana is legal with a prescription. Don’t tell Arizonans where to walk, shoot, get stoned, or when to protect our noggins.
5. Throw a cigarette butt out the window.
Wildfires are worsening throughout the western United States, and they’ve done a number on Arizona terrain, industries, and fire personnel (RIP Granite Mountain Hotshots). Tossing cigarette butts (or matches or any other little tinder stick) is disrespectful and genuinely threatening.
6. Mix up the Sun Devils and the Wildcats.
Arizona State University and the University of Arizona are very different animals, and so are their mascots.
7. Point out our history of political corruption.
On the state and local levels, Arizona has scored the honor of being the state with the most illegal corruption. Over the last 30 years, we’ve impeached one governor, and another stepped down due to his fraud conviction. Please don’t bring it up.
8. Call us racist.
Granted, judges have banned ethnic studies in our schools; we were one of the last states to adopt Martin Luther King Day in 1993; and our immigration laws are harsh (to the point that the racial profiling SB 1070 law almost passed), but these facts turn many Arizonans’ stomachs, and we don’t like it thrown in our faces.