Alibi V.14 No.10 • March 10-16, 2005 

Culture Shock

I've just been told that the deadline for the Alibi's second annual photo contest has been pushed back a few weeks. We're now accepting entries up 'til Wednesday, March 30, at 5 p.m. with the winning entries and a few additional worthy photos to be reproduced in our April 14 issue.

This makes me happy because it allows some stragglers to get their sorry acts together and send in some photographs. I'm also glad because it gives me a chance to tell you about a funny phone call I received a couple weeks ago.

As you might already know, this year's contest has three categories:

1) Albuquerque, Love It or Leave It

2) Mama Nature in New Mexico

3) Pets

For the first category, we specifically request no pictures whatsoever of hot air balloons. An irate woman called me to protest. What could we Alibi bubbleheads possibly be thinking by opting to exclude images of all those pretty balloons? Are we satanists? Don't we realize that the Balloon Fiesta is the most photographed event in the solar system? This woman once took a ride in a hot air balloon, and she loved it. What could we possibly have against balloons?

Perhaps there are others among you who are equally enraged by this restriction in the rules of our contest. With this possibility in mind, let me assure you that all of us here at the Alibi adore hot air balloons. We simply believe that there are other aspects to our beautiful city that are less celebrated but equally worthy of your cameras' attention.

So don't be sad. Don't be mad. Be glad. We love hot air balloons. We love the Balloon Fiesta. We understand that those big beautiful balls of heat pretty up our high desert skies. We just want you to look a little harder to find what makes Albuquerque one of the finest cities on Earth.

Send your photos with the category indicated on the back to Alibi's Second Annual Photo Contest, 2118 Central SE, #151, Albuquerque, N.M. 87106. You can e-mail digital images to Maximum of five entries per category per person. Please include your name, address and a daytime telephone number and/or e-mail address. We encourage entrants to send cute stories along with their photos to provide context for bewildered Alibi readers