Everybody has heard of the Seven Wonders of the World, but most people can't name more than one or two.
That's probably because they're technically the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and most of them are long gone. For the record, they are:
- The Great Pyramid of Giza. (Home of the late Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu.)
- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon. (The only Wonder I can ever remember.)
- The Statue of Zeus at Olympia. (Which looked a little like Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial.)
- The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.
- The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
- The Colossus of Rhodes. (Which looked a little like the Statue of Liberty, only the Colossus was a guy.)
- The Lighthouse of Alexandria.
Over the centuries, there have been a lot of takeoffs on the Seven Wonders, including a couple on a website created by a group of fourth and fifth graders (library.thinkquest.org/ J002388/naturalwonders. html).
They offer the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, which includes two in Arizona (the Grand Canyon and Meteor Crater), along with Mount Everest, the Matterhorn, Victoria Falls, Ayers Rock, and the Great Barrier Reef. They also created a list they call the Seven Wonders of Our World: Stonehenge, rainbows, giant redwoods, Wisconsin Dells, aurora borealis, butterfly migration, and the Great Wall of China.
Then there is the list published recently in The Arizona Republic. It was prefaced by this statement:
"Phoenix doesn't really have its own seven wonders, but here are seven things you might wonder about." The writer, Richard Nilsen, proceeded to pose such questions as:
- Is the antenna atop the Westward Ho in downtown Phoenix still functional? (Yes, for taxi dispatching and such.)
- What are those silver domes at the junction of Loops 202 and 101 near Dobson Road? (Wastewater "digesters.")
- Why does Phoenix exist in this desert? (A question we've all been asking.)
A couple questions we'd like to add to that list:
- At what point in time will Phoenix residents be asphyxiated by their own pollution?
- How long before the Valley returns to its desert state after all the water is used up on its golf courses?
But actually, these newer Seven Wonders lists are getting far afield of the intent and spirit of the original list. I mean, butterfly migration and a poop processor?
The original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World were truly magnificent, and they were all manmade. Which got me to thinking: What if we compiled a list of the Seven Wonders of the Rim Country?
But we aren't going to bastardize our effort by including acts of nature like the annual migration of the juniper berries from the trees to the ground. Nor are we going to ask silly questions like,
"Why are all those doddering old men wearing the very same green, yellow and white ball caps? Is it somehow related to a religious ritual? Do they take them off when they go to bed?"
Nor are we going anywhere near the wastewater treatment facilities at the Northern Gila County Sanitary District.
No, our list will be in keeping with the intent and spirit of the original list. It will contain only magnificent Rim country monuments made by the men and women we are proud to call our friends and neighbors.
Here then, in countdown fashion, are the (dramatic pause) Seven Wonders of the Rim Country:
7. Mayor Barbara Brewer's Hair.
(Actually the mayor's hair is fine, but think of the possibilities, her owning a beauty shop and all. She could out-beehive Rose Mofford.)
6. That Big Humpin' Flag As You Come Into Town.
(You just gotta hope that thing never falls on anybody.)
5. The Intersection of Highways 87 and 260. (Face it folks, our lives do revolve around that intersection.)
4. The Wal-Mart Supercenter. (And around our local Wally World.)
3. The Fake Windmill in Strawberry.
(The Roundup's Marge Hanscom, who drives past it every day, isn't sure if it's still there, but neither are most of the original wonders. Note: If you see Marge Hanscom coming at you in her car, it's a good bet she doesn't see you either. Dive for cover.)
2. TIE BETWEEN:
- The Cow Atop the Sign at Pete's Place. (And guys, if you're hankering for even more manmade wonders, just step on inside and have yourselves a gander.)
- The Elk on the Roof of the Elks Lodge. (What makes this guy so unique is that all the fur has worn off his back and he's never been shot by a trigger-happy Rim country 13-year-old.)
1. Beeline Cafe. ("Where else can you get so much food for so little money without being on food stamps?" Jay Cooper, Roundup pundit, asks.)