- A liquor store sign
- The hardware store (because all of the lightbulbs in my home are burned out)
- The dark
So I walk and I walk, with my headphones on, listening to other tales of small-town heroes strolling down darkened sidewalks, and I wonder when Bruce or Bob or Tom or Woody will sing about my trials and tribulations. Normally I keep to myself, even when the voices in the dark cry out to e. “You should be in bed sleeping,” I think to myself as I dismiss them, “not crying out at night—don’t you know that other people are trying to sleep?”
But on this particular night, I heard a voice I could not ignore, and dear readers, it is a voice you will not ignore, either (unless you aren’t a reader and are already ignoring this entire premise). Tucson Interviewed, this is A Can of Four Loko (found along the side of the road) interviewed...
Can of Four Loko: Fourco
C: Fourco. Okay.
F: With a “C” because loco is spelled wrong.
C: I assumed that was done on purpose, but--
F: I don’t like it.
C: Okay, “Fourco” with a “C”. F-O-U-R?
F: F-O-U-R-C-O. Fourco.
C: It sounds like a business. Four Co. The Four Company.
F: I like it.
C: Tell me, Fourco, how long have you been in Tucson?
F: A couple months, I think? Time goes slow ...and fast for me in a can.
C: That’s probably why they call you “Loko” because that’s pretty crazy.
F: Well, if it was spelled right.
C: Right, which we’ve established that it’s not.
F: I don’t know if they meant crazy.
C: So a couple of months? Or was it four months? I don’t remem--
F: Sure, four months.
C: How was the trip here?
F: Dark. Bumpy. I mean it was cool because, y’know, my friends were there, and then we got put in a case, so… I only got to see Tucson for five minutes, maybe.
C: Where were you before Tucson? Are you at all aware of that?
F: Uhh, I don’t remember? I think… I think I was in a warehouse possibly? It was also dark. I’ve always been in the dark.
C: That’s a little depressing.
But, like, I was really excited to be there, y’know? A lot of energy.
C: Right, right. A crazy amount of energy.
C: A loco amount of energy.
F: Yeah, but if you’re in the dark and in a case--
C: It’s bottled-up energy. You’ve got nowhere to--
C: So you’ve only been here a very short amount of time so you may not be able to answer this question, but how has Tucson changed since you’ve been here?
F: I think it’s gotten colder. I think?
F: When I got here it was real hot. I remember being really hot. And then when you found me, I was kinda cold. So I think something’s happening with the environment. I think it’s changing because it’s gotten colder.
C: That’s pretty crazy.
C: Or loco, if you will. Obviously spelled correctly.
C: Fourco, can you tell me one of Tucson’s nicknames?
F: Tucson... Too-sahn… Oh, uh, I don’t--Uh, Go Cats.
C: Okay. “Tucson Go Cats”? That is not one of--
F: That’s what I hear a lot.
C: --the more well-known names, but that’s a good guess. Would you like to try your hand at giving Tucson a new nickname?
F: Oh, sure.
C: Maybe Tu-co?
F: Oh, okay. I see what you’re doing. Um… “Loco’s Friend.”
C: With a “K” or with a “C”?
C: Okay, but my concern is that nobody will know it’s about you--
F: Awww, that’s true.
C: -- if it’s spelled with a “C”
F: “Fourco’s Friend”
C: Okay. “Fourco’s Friend.” Nickname: “Fourco’s Friend.”
F: “Fourco’s Friend or Foe.”
C: Its friend or what?
C: Friend or Foe. So one or the other, no in-between?
C: Tucson’s not indifferent to you? It either loves you or hates you.
F: Right right.
C: As you may be aware, Tucson is home to a number of burrito joints.
C: Ranging from the upscale to vending machine. Tell me, what’s your ideal burrito filling, Fourco?
F: I didn’t know there were many. I’ve only experienced bacon, egg, and cheese ...and potato, I think is what it was.
C: How did you--
F: It was real early--or late--when it was with me.
C: How did you like it?
F: Mmm, it was alright. I mean, it kind of calmed me down, I think.
C: Would you try it again?
F: Yeah, I mean--it was a blur. When I had it. But I felt good.
C: Crazy good? Or just good?
F: [growing annoyed] No, just good. Cra--I’m not always crazy.
C: I’m sorry it’s just, it’s in the name, so I figured that, y’know…
F: I may have to go back to the “K”. I don’t like this “crazy” always.
C: So, Fourco, still with a “C” for the time being, to the uninitiated, driving the streets of Tucson can be an ordeal. Do you have a favorite street to drive down?
F: The long ones are better. There aren’t as many turns.
C: Okay. That’s a good answer. What’s your least favorite street to drive down? Is it the short streets then?
Wherever you found me.
C: Wherever I found you?
F: I don’t remember that being good.
C: It did seem fairly sketchy, I’ll be honest. I didn’t like being there.
C: But I wasn’t driving, so…
F: I mean, there was also not a lot going on, and I really like a lot of things going on.
C: A lot of--a crazy amount of action.
F: Right, in that sense, yes, that’s the appropriate use of “crazy” for me. I do like that.
Tucson has a rich musical background. It was mentioned in a The Beatles song and (I think) The Doors once played here. What’s your favorite local musical act?
F: Um, I heard a marching band.
F: They were good.
Go cats! That’s where the Tucson nickname came from. That’s where I heard it.
F: And the marching band.
C: But that’s not part of the nickname, just “Go cats.”
C: That makes sense. I don’t know how you would spell--
F: I don’t know if they’re the “Go cats marching band.”
C: I don’t--I don’t really follow sports, so I can’t say for sure, so, it’s possible.
F: Are there a lot of cats here? I didn’t get around much.
C: I have two, myself.
F: That seems like a lot.
C: I’ve heard that from others, but it doesn’t feel like a lot. It’s not a crazy amount of cats, y’know?
F: Again with the “crazy.” I guess it’s your thing. Maybe you’re crazy. Maybe it’s not me.
C: Maybe it’s not. I mean, it’s not in my name.
F: Well, technically not in mine, either.
C: Okay, fair enough.
The University of Arizona is one of the largest employers in Tucson and plays an integral role in much of the happenings of the city. In each interview, I like to ask a question about the U of A: Fourco, can you tell me something about the U of A?
F: Uh, I think that’s where I lived initially, when I was alive, before I--
C: You’re dead?
F: You know, well--when I was full.
F: When I had the rest of me.
C: When you were, I don’t want to be crass, but when you were opened, you have a feeling that it took place on campus?
F: Yeah. I think. Yeah. It--
C: It would make sense--
F: --does sound familiar.
C: --that that’s where you were opened.
F: Okay, good, so that’s where I’m from. Sooooo go cats!
C: Go cats.
F: Uh huh.
C: It’s time for reader questions.
F: Ooooh, okay.
C: We only have one. Michelle asks, “Has Adam ever told you to stop talking?”
I don’t entirely know what that’s in reference to, but that was the question.
F: Oh. “Adam” being you?
C: I’m Catfish.
F: So any Adam asking me to stop talking?
C: I don’t--
F: I don’t think so.
C: --know if she meant one in particular, or just in general. She did not specify in her question.
F: Good question, reader. Uh, I’ve never been asked so many questions. “Stop talking”? No.
F: No. Nobody--
C: Nobody would say that.
F: Oh, I don’t know--they don’t tell me their names.
C: It sounds like a made-up premise anyway. I don’t think a real human being would do that.
F: I mean, the ones I’ve been around are really loud, so...maybe somebody didn’t like it, and then they would say “Stop talking.”
C: Right, but to say, “Stop talking”? I mean, as we know, that’s even ruder than saying “Shut up.” If somebody wanted to politely tell another human to stop talking, they would just say “Shut up.”
You may not understand it, being a can of Four Loko and such.
C: But let me tell you, that’s how we do things as human beings. Moving on.
The Sonoran Desert is home to Tucson, and nothing symbolizes the desert more than the iconic saguaro cactus. Do you prefer saguaros with or without arms?
F: With. I had a friend, a fellow can, who landed on one. Had a good view, he said. I mean, the way down was hard.
F: For the time being, he was in an arm. I’ve always kind of wondered what it’s like up there.
C: So the arm was kind of holding him--
C: --like a hug?
F: Well, sure.
F: I mean, it was more like a perch. Just holding him up. So, yeah, arms, because I want to see what’s up there. If you just throw me at one, I’ll fall [without the arms to catch Fourco].
C: We can go out and see what we can find after the interview is over.
C: I can maybe place you up on one.
F: Okay. I don’t want holes, though.
C: I will be gentle.
F: I mean, I have one.
C: That’s true, you do have one hole. I will be gentle.
F: Hmm? [laughs]
C: Have you never heard the portmanteau combining “monsoon” and “season,” monsooson?
F: No, she sounds lovely.
C: She’s not. She’s… hideous. She was my second ex-wife, and it did not end well.
C: Monsooson is… she’s a beast. Moving on, though, the monsoon season is a special time for the denizens of Tucson. When a monsoon thunderstorm strikes, what do you prefer to be doing? And you may not be able to answer this if you’ve only been around for four months in the city.
F: Right. Well, I don’t think where you found me is where I started.
C: Right, if you’re suspecting that you originated on campus, then--
F: No, no, I mean, like, was I in the gutter? Because that sounds familiar. I may be making that up. I think that’s what happened. It was either me or the other guy.
C: The one in the cactus?
F: No, I mean, when you found me there was other stuff around me. It’s not a good area, lots of trash.
Anyway, I like to be in the water. It sounds cool. Either I did it or somebody else did it. I don’t really have a lot memories because, y’know, a lot happens in my head.
F: So I can’t really keep it all straight. But I think it would be cool surfing like in the water. I hear you guys have really bad drainage problems so that if floods.
C: So you not only want to be out in the rain, but you want to be riding the waves.
F: Yeah, I float, so it’d be pretty cool.
C: I haven’t tried that, but sounds fun.
F: Yeah, I mean, what’s the worst that can happen?
C: Can you swim?
F: I dunno.
C: I imagine it would be hard to drown, being you.
C: Because you do float, as you said.
F: I don’t think I swim. I think I just hang out.
C: You just float.
C: That’s close enough. I think that’s more than I can do.
C: So you’ve got the advantage. Point: Fourco.
F: Well, maybe you shouldn’t stand out in the rain. Be careful.
C: Okay, it’s topical question time: The U of A sports squadron recently did a thing or accomplished an accomplishment. What are your thoughts on that thing that they did or accomplished?
F: Right, I don’t know what it was--I just heard noises. Go cats!
C: Do you think that was from the thing they did?
F: Well that’s all I heard. Buzzers and whistles and screaming--
C: Whistles, the noun, or people whistling?
F: A variety.
F: It’s not unusual for my family. We hear a lot of the “Wooooohh!” and “Wooooohh, yeah!” Wooh-girls.
C: And “go cats”?
F: And “Go cats” And puking. We hear a lot of that.
C: So then was it a good thing that happened?
F: I think so.
C: Are you happy that it happened?
F: Well, I dunno. I’d probably still be closed if it hadn’t.
C: Right, you wouldn’t have that hole.
F: Right. I dunno.
C: Okay, Fourco, it’s time for the Lightning Round. I’m still working on the impressive introduction. So far I’ve got:
“From the dawn of time…”
C: But what’s going to happen is I’m going to ask you a series of questions. I don’t want you to think on these deeply. I want you to give me your immediate, gut reaction. If think about an answer too long, you will be disqualified and will lose all the money and points you’ve won thus far in the game. Is that understood?
C: Are you ready for the Lightning Round?
C: That’s correct.
Eegee’s french fries: ranch or two ranches?
C: Spring Fling or Pima County Fair?
C: Sixth Ave or Sixth St?
C: Yard sales on a Sunday morning or the Swap Meet on a Saturday night?
F: Oooh, Swap.
C: Which is more annoying: people who misspell “Tucson” or people from Phoenix?
F: I have issues with spelling. People who misspell Tucson.
C: Preferred Gem Show purchase: “authentic” arrowheads or anything-turquoise?
C: Sabino Canyon or Mt. Lemmon?
F: Lemons! That’s my flavor!
C: Gary Shandling or Craig T. Nelson?
C: Finally, Fourco, finish this sentence: “Tucson is…”
F: Cold. Tucson is cold.
C: Truer words have never been spoken.
Fourco, thank you for joining me today
F: Sure. Do I get my free food now?
C: Yes, there’s a burrito waiting for you in a saguaro cactus.
F: Oh, good. I was kind of hoping for some rice and lemon pepper wings from Wings and Rice, though.
C: With arms. Wide open. To hold you.
F: Tucson is great.
C: But cold.
C: Great, but cold.
F: I can withstand the cold.
C: Good for you. Not many can.
Tune in next time for another conversation with one of Tucson’s many voices. If you have a question for one of those voices, or would like to be one of those voices, please send it to tucson dot interviewed at gmail dot com.
You can also follow Tucson Interviewed on Twitter at @TucsonInterview