My home state of Michigan has a motto that I wince to even bring up: "If you seek a beautiful peninsula, look about you."
Of course, most states have lame mottoes, many every bit as stilted and stupid as Michigan's. That's why I was interested in a recent column by Scott Craven in The Arizona Republic.
In it, he featured some state mottoes rewritten to be more realistic and readable. Here is a sampling of his handiwork:
Arizona: Ditat coolus. (Air-conditioning enriches.)
South Dakota: Gateway to North Dakota.
Minnesota: Like Wisconsin. Only dull.
Mississippi: As featured in "One Mississippi, two Mississippi ..."
New York: You may already be our next state senator.
California: Yeah, whatever.
Oklahoma: The Panhandling State.
Puerto Rico: We're not a state. Yet. But we do have these incriminating photos of several U.S. senators.
See how this works? Applying the "Ronald Reagan Trickle Down Theory of Economics" to the motto industry, I have taken it upon myself to create some possible mottoes for our beloved Rim country and the various and sundry communities therein:
For the Rim country, the choices for an official motto are:
Land of many many many rocks.
Don't slip on the juniper berries.
Home of the Mogollon Monst....AAIIIIEEEE!!
90 miles from everywhere, including civilization.
Where a pancake breakfast is always in progress.
We yam what we yam.
Look, but don't leap.
For Payson, we present the following mottoes for your consideration:
Where the Pro Rodeo Committee calls the shots.
Home of the world's loneliest Main Street.
Where the developers are in charge.
The only town in America with a councilman named Hoby.
What, you expected shopping too?
Hey, we got your gourmet restaurant right here!
Chinese. Mexican. Sure we got ethnic food.
If you seek a beautiful Wal-Mart, look about you.
For Pine/Strawberry, one of these might work:
Our excuse is thin air. What's yours?
Keep on truckin' water.
It's all downhill from here.
Even Star Valley needs a motto, and we suggest:
Where bad things happen to guys named Star.
Nobody can remember the last time anybody visited Whispering Pines, but that will surely change when they adopt the motto:
And now we present a special category of Rim country mottoes custom crafted for our many California friends:
Slow down. You're not in California anymore.
Speed up. You're not in California anymore.
No BMWs, Mercedes, or Jaguars allowed.
About as far from California as you can get.
Hey, who you callin' a rube?
Red, pink, white, and Boone's Farm. How's that for a wine list?
May our many California friends still be many.