Keeping Out The Riff-Raff



In the 1997 science fiction movie "Gattaca," society has reached a point where "natural" babies have been replaced by genetically-enhanced test tube babies, and DNA is used to determine one's station in life.

With all the recent advances in DNA testing and cloning and such, it strikes me that we are really not that far away from being able to actually do away with the normal, time-honored, fun-filled method of reproduction. It also strikes me that with all this extra grant money for sobriety checkpoints and the obvious enthusiasm Rimaroos have for being submitted to them, we might be able to beat the gun, so to speak, and introduce a form of genetic screening right here in the Rim Country.

Just think of the possibilities. We could pre-determine what kinds of people we consider undesirable and simply turn them away at the checkpoint.

Or, if we decide they are downright dangerous, we can just slap them in the hoosegow and conveniently lose the key. The result will be a town full of people who think and act just like the rest of us, which, of course, means they think and act the right way -- the way the good lord intended.

Here's how I envision it working:

Sobriety checkpoints will be utilized simply because they already stop everybody and they are becoming more and more frequent. Once the police are done doing what they do at the checkpoint, motorists would then pass through and on to another station comprised of people carefully chosen because they know what's best for everybody else.

I could certainly nominate a couple of people who know what's best for everybody else, and I'll bet you can too. In fact, I'm willing to wager that there will be no shortage of people who will volunteer to impose their values and pass judgment on those who would gain passage into our fair town.

In fact, I thought it would be fun to ask Roundup staffers who they would keep out of Payson, given the opportunity. Their answers are, of course, all in fun, and while any resemblance to a real person might be intentional, we will deny it to the death.

So here's who one or more of us would turn away at the checkpoint:

  • Californians.

Who do they think they are, anyway, driving up home prices because they just sold their one bedroom, half-bath bungalows back in la la land for $1.3 million.

  • Old people.

When reminded that we all become old people sooner or later, this staffer added a qualifier -- "people who act old."

  • Water wasters.

If we can determine blood alcohol content so simply, we can certainly determine blood water content as well.

  • People with bad dental hygiene.

"That's right, I said open wide and smile while touching your nose and reciting the alphabet backward."

  • People wearing shorts.

But flip-flops are OK. (Editor's note: this is an inside joke related to the company dress code.)

  • Campers.

If you're not willing to drop a few bucks on a hotel and a restaurant, you can just stay home and camp in your back yard.

  • Golfers.

Actually no blood test is necessary here. Golfers are clearly identifiable by the goofy outfits they wear and the noise their funny shoes make when they walk on pavement.

  • People who believe they have been abducted by aliens.

We still haven't lived down the reputation we got when that fellow claimed he was abducted while in the Rim Country. Even though it's an absolutely true story, those non-believing city slickers just won't stop making sport of us.

  • People who don't like yapping dogs.

Hey, dogs yap. Get used to it or move back to California.

  • Screaming kids.

I know, kids scream. But I never said this list would be fair. If you're a screaming kid lover, simply make your own list of people to keep out, headed by "people who don't like screaming kids." Is everybody happy, now?

  • People from southern Gila County.

They always want to take something back home that doesn't belong to them, and we're not talking about a piece of petrified wood here.

  • Realtors.

OK, I know they make up over half of the population already, but we're not putting this list to a vote.

  • People who act like idiots when they get behind a shopping cart.

Especially the little old lady who blocks an entire aisle with her cart. Don't people realize that the rules of the road work very well in the aisles, too?

  • Wildcats.

As in University of Arizona fans. You know who came up with this one, but the rest of us know that wildcats are native to this area, and there are far too many Christians among us for a (Sun) Devil to have a chance.

  • People who own Hummers and giant SUVs.

Excuse me, but who gave you the right to use more than your fair share of the world's oil supply? You better hope he/she is a forgiving god.

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