A Twist Of The Wristband

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

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Rubber wristbands are all the rage. They not only make a fashion statement, but they send a message -- supporting almost any cause or sports team imaginable.

There's even a system of color coding associated with them, with black wristbands standing for POW/MIA and melanoma skin cancer (which have so much in common), blue standing for colon cancer, prostate cancer and Reye's syndrome (at least the first two are in the same ballpark, so to speak), pink for breast cancer awareness, red for heart disease and AIDS, and on and on through the spectrum.

But according to a recent article in Newsweek magazine, you can now buy rubber (or silicon) wristbands "to show your support for nothing at all." Just go to the McPhee & Co. Web site (mcphee.com) and you can order rubber wristbands bearing the legend "Despair," "Apathy" or "Nihilism."

"Not every day is a good day," co-creator David Wahl told Newsweek. "The ‘Livestrong' thing (a yellow wristband supporting Lance Armstrong's campaign to raise cancer awareness) is such a cliche now. There was a whole portion of the population not represented by all those positive bracelets."

To punctuate the point that you can only take so much sweetness (see The Carpenters), McPhee also offers a set of multi-colored wristbands that salute the Seven Deadly Sins. The promotional copy on McPhee's Web site reads:

"It started with yellow wristbands before moving on to every color of the rainbow and every cause under the sun. That's great for positive, constructive people, but what about the cynics and smart alecks? Where are their wristbands? Each of these Seven Deadly Sins wristbands celebrates a human weakness. Whether you enjoy gluttony, greed or plain old lust, just slip on one of these rubber wristbands and show off your fatal flaw."

Best of all, you can get the complete set of seven for $13.95, so you can change sins daily or even hourly as the mood strikes you. For those of you who have never been guilty of one or more of the Seven Deadly Sins, here's a handy rundown with an explanation of what each entails:

PRIDE is excessive belief in one's own abilities, that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as Vanity.

ENVY is the desire for others' traits, status, abilities, or situation.

GLUTTONY is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.

LUST is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.

ANGER is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury. It is also known as Wrath.

GREED is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. It is also called Avarice or Covetousness.

SLOTH is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work.

Now that we've refreshed your memory, aren't you squirming just a bit? Don't you think you need to order the complete set as a kind of penance so by wearing them at appropriate times you can confess your sins for all the world to see? Kind of a modern day Scarlet Letter.

If you don't, you just might be guilty of the eighth deadly sin -- lying through your teeth; the ninth deadly sin -- fooling yourself; or the 10th deadly sin -- being a politician.

But whatever you choose to wear -- good or bad, negative or positive -- rubber wristbands make a great fund-raiser, perhaps even rivaling that all-time greatest Rim Country fund-raiser, the quilt raffle.

Customized wristbands are cheap to buy in quantity and can easily be sold for a few bucks.

So maybe some local causes could be promoted with special wristbands. How about "DOG LOVER" and "CAT LOVER" wristbands for folks who support the Payson Humane Society?

Or maybe "OLDIES BUT GOODIES" to show your support for retirees. Or just "OLDY BUT GOODY" to show that you already are one.

Or maybe "CONSERVE WATER" to show you have an ounce of common sense and do not live in the Valley.

Or maybe "QUILT LOVER" so you don't get in trouble with some ladies who are, shall we say, passionate about their craft (and anybody who messes with it).

But if we Rimaroos have anything at all, we have an attitude, so we also have to throw in a few wristbands with an edge to them, a few that express our political and moral beliefs.

How about "FISH FRY FANATIC" for those of us who are slowly dying of mercury poisoning and saturated fat.

Or "TEAR DOWN THIS WALL" for people who don't live in Chaparral Pines.

Or "ROUNDABOUTS SUCK" for all of us.

Or "NO TRESPASSING" for those who don't want their water borrowed (it being politically incorrect to say "taken" these days).

Or "I SAW THE LIGHT" for those who saw the beam of light coming from the ceilometer in Anna Mae Deming's back yard.

Or "WWHD" for "What Would Horton Do?"

Or "WHAT'S A DIAMOND STAR?" for those who don't read the Roundup.

Or "HEY, IT'S MY DAY TO WATER" for those who get dirty looks from their neighbors when they water the pansies.

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