You could have guessed it. Somebody was bound to form an organization called Payson Concrete Hat Wearers of America. And that somebody would probably be Robin Holt, whose just-like-an-uncle happens to be one George Randall, owner of Payson Concrete & Materials.
I have been abusing the humble Payson Concrete & Materials cap in print for years. As the most common sight on the Payson landscape, and also the ultimate Payson fashion understatement, it begs to be picked on.
Nothing says, "Hey sucker, I'm from Payson and durn proud of it," like a Payson Concrete & Materials cap.
But apparently I went too far when I did a recent column on similes that are custom-made for the Rim country. The simile, you will recall from that English class you slept through, is a tool writers use to make something clearer to their readers by comparing it to something the reader is already familiar with.
When, for example, you say something is hot as hell, the message is pretty clear that it's not quite as hot as a summer day in the Valley, but really hot.
Anyway, in the process of creating a couple dozen Payson metaphors, I ever-so-innocently mixed in a few that included that green, white and gold icon of tackiness, to wit:
As bald as a guy wearing a Payson Concrete & Materials cap.
As green as a Payson Concrete & Materials cap.
As repetitious as a Payson Concrete & Materials cap.
As tasteless as a Payson Concrete & Materials cap.
How anybody could take offense at such innocent similating is beyond the scope of my humble mind, but darned if it didn't spawn an entire organization. And a mighty smart alecky organization at that, because Robin Holt of the Payson Concrete Hat Wearers of America sent along a list of her own similes, including:
As strong as the man in the Payson Concrete hat.
As cute as a newborn Randall baby in a Payson Concrete hat.
As reliable as a Payson Concrete hat.
Which are OK, except that Robin Holt didn't stop with such innocent similations. No, she had to venture into the absurd, including:
As neat as a new Payson Concrete hat.
As white as the dress shirt that goes with the Payson Concrete hat.
And then she got downright personal, with:
As predictable as Jim Keyworth about a Payson Concrete hat.
As poor as Jim Keyworth without a Payson Concrete hat.
As dumb as a Jim Keyworth joke about the Payson Concrete hat.
As thin as the ice Jim Keyworth is skating on about the Payson Concrete hat.
Touche, Robin. Those are pretty good zingers.
But you remember, don't you, Edmond Rostand's play, "Cyrano de Bergerac," or at least the movie adaptation of it -- "Cyrano" starring Steve Martin. In it, a character named Valvert attempts to put Cyrano "in his place" by telling him his "nose is rather large."
Cyrano, of course, responds by listing all the insults Valvert could have used were he a clever man. It is one of the most memorable passages in literature, and begins:
"Ah, no, young sir!
You are too simple. Why you might have said --
Oh, a great many things! Mon dieu, why waste
Your opportunity? For example, this: --
AGGRESSIVE: I, sir, if that nose were mine, I'd have it amputated -- on the spot!
FRIENDLY: How do you drink with such a nose?
You ought to have a cup made specially.
DESCRIPTIVE: ‘Tis a rock -- a crag -- a cape -- A cape? say rather, a peninsula!
KINDLY: Ah, do you love the little birds. So much that when they come and sing to you,
You give them this to perch on?"
I think, Robin Holt, you know where this is leading. If you really wanted to insult me you could have said:
As grotesque as Jim Keyworth wearing nothing but a Payson Concrete & Materials cap.
As exposed for all the world to see as Jim Keyworth's empty mind when it's not covered by a Payson Concrete & Materials cap.
As vulnerable as a flatlander who moves to the Rim country and tries to pass himself off as one of the locals while attacking the most sacred of all local customs -- the daily wearing of the Payson Concrete & Materials cap.
As pompous as a newspaper columnist who is about to get a rolled up Payson Concrete & Materials cap shoved (be careful here) in his big mouth.
So those are a few of the things you could have said, Robin Holt. But I actually have a Payson Concrete & Materials cap, and I recommend them highly. They come in really handy at times when you want go to incognito, disappear, or just end a column. Here's how it works...
(Puts on Payson Concrete & Materials cap, bringing column to abrupt conclusion.)