I wanted a vacation free from politics and controversy, so maybe Arizona wasn't the best choice for my Memorial Day trip. Fortunately, I was headed to Lake Havasu, an oasis of nonpartisanship and partial nudity.
At Lake Havasu, nobody seemed worried about Arizona's immigration law. Nobody seemed particularly concerned with any laws.
Havasu does have some rules. For example, there are strict limits on the amount of fabric you can use to cover your body. For a man, wearing a shirt with sleeves is a minor faux pas, like wearing overalls to the opera. Wearing a shirt with a collar is a more serious offense, like showing up at a PETA rally in a fur coat. Sleeves and a collar? Don't even think about it.
For women, there's a simpler rule of thumb: your bathing suit should be smaller than your thumb.
While it's bad to cover your skin with clothing, it's even worse to cover your skin with plain skin. To avoid punishment, tattoo your entire body with pithy sayings, Chinese characters and enough barbed wire to close the Mexican border.
Once you've grasped the sartorial regulations of Havasu, you need to get a boat. By common agreement, the names of all boats on Lake Havasu reference either female body parts or crimes. Many reference both.
While out on the lake, it's permitted to wave to complete strangers, provided they are also on a boat. I waved at a group on shore and they responded by calmly filling water guns with lake-water and shooting at me.
After a few hours on the water, you're expected to stop for lunch at a beachside bar. At the place I visited, the specialties of the house were anything fried and liquor served in buckets. The cocktails had descriptions like, "Our famous Havasucker Punch is made with vodka, tequila, rum, gin, crystal meth shavings, weapons-grade plutonium, and grapefruit juice. One sip will knock you out!" I mainly stuck to beer.
I spent my evenings at the nightclub attached to my hotel. The DJ there had only two hype lines: "Give it up for California" (we were in Arizona) and "We're about to get this party started" (he continued to say this until minutes before the party ended).
At one point, he announced that he was about to play the most important song of all time. "You know what it is, California!" he shouted. Then he faded into "I Got Five on It," by the Luniz. In Havasu, a song's historical significance is based on how well it describes sharing a bag of drugs.
The crowd danced to a techno remix of "Smells Like Teen Spirit," a crime against music on par with stabbing Beethoven in the eyes. The only dance moves allowed in Havasu are simulated sex, breakdancing, and actual sex.
After leaving the club, I returned to my hotel room. It was superficially clean but likely a treasure trove of rare bacteria and undiscovered diseases. As I lathered myself with Purell and climbed into bed, I realized I hadn't thought about politics all day. I'd been so focused on following Havasu's crazy rules that I'd completely forgotten I was in a state with even crazier laws.