The time has come.
We all knew that sooner or later it would. I mean, how long can you have two major highways running through town that are treated so inequitably by locals and visitors alike.
Well, somebody has finally decided to do something about this "highwayism bigotry" namely me. I am hereby proposing we come up with a nickname for Highway 260. That way it won't have to take a back seat to our beloved Highway 87, also known far and wide as the Beeline. By giving Highway 260 a nickname of its very own, we will remove the second-class status it has long held as "that other highway that runs through Payson."
The problem, of course, is to come up with a nickname as catchy as the Beeline. A mediocre, forgettable nickname would be worse than no nickname at all.
After giving the subject some thought, I have come up with several possible approaches that will at least provide a starting point. First, we could name Highway 260 after a letter, as in the B-Line. Here are my choices:
A-Line: According to this theory, you swing for the fence. If there's one available letter ahead of "B," we may as well grab it before Prescott does. But we need to move, because some applications, including A-train, A-frame and A-Mountain, are already taken.
BB-Line: The thinking here is if one is good, then two are better. But then BB carries a connotation of smallness, and when finished our grand new Highway 260 will be anything but small. We don't want to sell ourselves short.
Z-Line: On the other hand, "the meek shall inherit the earth," and there is something to be said for humility. We could go straight to the very end of the alphabet. I can see our new slogan now: The Rim Country everything from B to Z.
Or, in keeping with the traditional Beeline spelling, we could name 260 after another insect. My choices in that case would include:
Horsefly-line: To honor our cowboy heritage, or at least an aspect of it.
Hornet-line: This all-in-the-family themed approach uses the bee's first cousin.
Flea-line: A disgusting bug, but a cool name for a highway.
Words that rhyme with "bee" is another way to go. My favorites:
Flee-line: A variation of the above.
Me-line: For those who think the world revolves around them. You know, the ones who don't dim their lights and can't seem to stay on their own side of the highway.
Ski-line: It is, after all, the road to Sunrise. Of course, that only matters if it ever snows again.
The-line: Like the basic black dress, this one has a simple elegance.
Debris-line: In recognition of the litter that lines both sides of the road.
Sightsee Line: To capture the road's scenic elements. Of course it also conjures up images of tour buses full of old people.
Whoopee Line: For the eternal optimist in your car.
Or, since the Beeline was actually given that name because you can make a beeline from the Valley to the Rim country on it, maybe we should pursue something similar for the 260, like:
Lickety Split Line: Why don't people say "lickety split" anymore, anyway?
In the final analysis I think Beeline is perfectly fine and, and with just a little help can serve both highways. How about one of these:
Be-lated Line: You know how they never finish these construction projects on time.
Aunt Bea Line: A beloved highway named after a beloved character. We could nickname it The Lady.
To-be-or-not-to-be Line: Which just goes to show you that Shakespeare really is still relevant today. Or maybe it shows how indecisive we are.
Be-mine Line: Just imagine the marketing possibilities with this one: "Take your sweetheart for a romantic drive down The Love Highway."
What will now happen is that a reader probably cowboy poet Dee Strickland Johnson will call me with the perfect nickname for Highway 260. Something infinitely more clever and fitting than any of the above.