Wayne Michael Reich

Writing ∙ Photography ∙ Art

The Road to Yuma (with apologies to Bing & Bob)

 “Too often travel, instead of broadening the mind, merely lengthens the conversations.” – Elizabeth Drew

Hello Blogiteers!

I’ve been invited to Yuma!

Yes, I AM serious. No, I’ve never seen that Russell Crow movie, and I refuse to after what he did to poor sweet Meg Ryan. But that’s a rant for another time- today we’re going to talk about my two favorite city trotting tourists,

Amy “AKA: Editorzilla” Silverman and Claire “AKA: Editorzilla’s favorite pet” Lawton.

But why do we have to hear about them yet again, you ask with a weary voice- aren’t you working on a Part Deux blog about Claire already? Yes, I am. Think of this as a “pit stop” on the way to a bitchier destination.

One of the great things about these two New Yorker wannabes is that I really don’t have to do anything in regards to making them look well… let’s just call it bad.

It really is like shooting fish in a barrel. With an ICBM. Yes Blogiteers- the claws are back from the shop, and they are sharp- but before we begin our slicing and dicing, let’s compare both of our land locked coelacanths, shall we?

Imaginary kidnap victim. New York failure story. Bartender school non graduate. Preppy Handbook devotee. Rumored by staff to actually be a Gorgon who wears sparkly chucks. Considered moving to Philly based on the fact she was a fan of the TV show “Thirty-something” . Considered a move to D.C. as well, because she loved “St. Elmo’s Fire”. Humbly, won’t pretend to be PHX’s biggest fan.

Does blame Television. [Actual TV, not the NYC band fronted by Tom Verlaine.] Came to High School layered in her favorite outfit: a hot pink polo shirt, with a bright green polo over that, with a pale pink button-down Oxford shirt over that, khakis, pink espadrilles, a pale pink/hot pink/green striped grosgrain ribbon headband, a pink belt with green ladybugs embroidered on it and a purse with a button-on madras cover in matching hues.

Applied to grad school not because she sought academic enlightenment, but because it seemed like the easiest way to get to New York. Has no bathroom stenciling ability. Can’t dance, but great at doing “Jazz Hands”.

Her house reminds her of someplace else. Really likes the fact that we finally have an Anthropologie, and a Sephora. Digs the drive thru at Starbucks. Zoned out when interviewing the Mayor of PHX. for HER OWN article. Dumb as a bag of bricks, but not nearly as useful. Mean. Petty. Hates free chocolate chip cookies.

Claire: Elitist. Hipster. Blonde and cute, like that sorority girl you stared at way too much in college. Incapable of handling criticism directly. Incapable of handling criticism indirectly. Incapable of handling criticism period. Hides so much under Amy’s skirt, she has her own apartment there.

Rumored to have at least three sets of lips for kissing Amy’s butt. Knows why we can’t have nice things. Has some serious issues with the fashion choices available at Forever 21. However, is very aware of what PHX’s artists are wearing- if not their art. Has lost track of the times she’s said, “Woah, when did that go up?”.

Lovin’ the “bong hit” ring tone. Is all about community events and giving a chance to give people something to do on Mill Avenue other than stumbling around singing Journey while whistling at the girl crossing the street in peep-toe boots and the latest attempt to turn an XL T-shirt into a knotted dress.

Has been pretty clear about manscaping in the past.

Uses the non-word “Fugly” way too much. Does appreciate true beauty, and beauty on the inside…and all that sappy shit. For a kept pet, seems to have a very long leash. Rarely has any comments on her articles, due to the fact that no body actually reads them. Not dumb, but close to being two beans shy of a burrito.

So in summation, they’re just perfect for each other.                                                                                       

And like all good duos, they decided to take their act on the road recently, the end result of their road trip being a travel review of sorts. Butbirth. where did these two go to show off their natural talents and establish a rapport with the locals, while still allowing room to be both negative and elitist in true New Times style?  

Yuma. A town on the edge of rebirth. Seriously.

Oh. You need proof, I see. When will you ever learn to trust me? Ask the Artbitch, and ye shall receive. Visit the link below,  and then read all of the comments. Trust me, it is so worth your time. My personal favorite was from “Yuman by Choice”.

Yeesh. I’ve seen nicer mauling on Animal Planet.

Shocking elitist & xenophobic behavior, from a duo of craven harpies. Amy & Claire don’t like something, and because they are too ignoble to accept the differences that make us all unique, other people must suffer for it: “This place isn’t anything like PHX, which we also hate, so let’s have at them, and then go home!”

Vile and vicious cowards, who are no better than lowly curs, in my humble opinion. But it does get better- well for me, anyway. Normally, my standard response is to just deflate New Times using their own forum, and leave it at that. Which of course I did, along with more than a few residents of Yuma who posted as well.

Some of those heartfelt comments put whatever I had previously written to shame. Nothing brings out one’s nobility than an unwarranted attack on one’s home town, especially when it’s undeserved- don’t like someplace? Then stay the #$%& home!

However- my GF Ashley suggested that instead of getting snarky (per my usual approach) perhaps a better method was to inform everyone who was offended how to complain with a little more muscle. (Slapping forehead.)

Smart woman. Dumb boyfriend/Artbitch! So I went back on and posted the phone numbers and contact info for the following agencies.

– Yuma Visitors Bureau Administrative Offices
– Chamber of Commerce of Yuma County
– Yuma Mayor Alan L. Krieger
– Yuma City Council

As well as the local TV affiliate: KYMA NEWS 11 (NBC)

I then closed my helpful how to with: “I have never visited Yuma, but if Amy hates it- it’s a sure sign the place has character, since she herself seems to have none as of late.

A trip is in order, I think. I look forward to it.”

And then I went to bed, sleeping the sleep of the righteous. On Nyquil. So on Tuesday, I went to my regular gig at my art gallery job, secure in the knowledge that at least some useful information had been disseminated. And then I checked my E-mail inbox, and was taken by surprise.

Over the weekend the missives regarding my last blog had come in, and the final tally? An 80/20 split in my favor. Yay Me. And of that 20%, the majority thought I was being a wee bit harsh, although they grudgingly admitted they could see my point.

And as usual, no body defended Amy Silverman. At all. Yay Me. Again. But this was also in the ol’ inbox, and it came from Ann Walker, Media Director of the Yuma Visitors Bureau:


“Hello dear Artbitch,

I know that Our Fair City has come late to the party — dragged kicking and screaming courtesy of the so-called “review” of Yuma by Amy and Claire- but I just wanted to let you know that we are, in fact, in attendance. The local paper is writing a story about this little dustup tomorrow … we’ll see where that leads.

In the meantime, be sure to let me know if you plan a visit.  I’ll be happy to take you out for warm beer, cold food and lousy art.


Ann A. Walker
Media Relations Specialist”


That so rocks.

I love warm beer (it reminds me of England!) cold food (it reminds me of Scotland!) and lousy art (it reminds me of First Friday!) so honestly- I cannot pass up an invitation like that, can I? Heck, no. Plus, if I play my cards right- maybe I can get some free tourist stuff. You can never have too many key chains, bobble heads and tee shirts, as far as I am concerned. So with that in mind, I will go, and hopefully soon.

Anyplace that has a German deli named “Das Bratwurst Haus” deserves a visit. But unlike Amy & Claire, I will bring two very important things when I do go.

My manners. And an open mind.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”  ~George Bernard Shaw