Round And Round We Grow

AROUND THE RIM COUNTRY

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Your favorite roundabout is back in the news again.

In case you haven't traversed it lately, the newest addition is a sign designating "West Tyler Parkway."

Only problem is there isn't a West Tyler Parkway, at least the last time we looked. The way we see it, if you go west off the roundabout you're in The Home Depot parking lot.

But this is a crack news organization, so we launched an investigation to see if we were missing something. Turns out we were.

Here is the official explanation from LaRon Garrett, town of Payson public works engineer:

"It is just a small road that goes into The Home Depot. It is not intended to go any farther than that. It was a property transfer from The Home Depot to the town of Payson for the public road there in order to make everything fit together for the roundabout to meet ADOT (Arizona Department of Transportation) requirements for roundabouts and signage."

So there you have it. West Tyler Parkway is really, really short. In fact, since we have dubbed East Tyler Parkway the World's Slowest Parkway, let us hereby proclaim West Tyler Parkway the World's Shortest Parkway.

The good news: West Tyler Parkway will never become the contentious speed limit battleground that East Tyler Parkway has. Since it's only like three feet long, there's no way you can get up a decent head of steam anyway.

Meanwhile, down East Tyler Parkway, is the entrance to the latest section of Chaparral Pines, now under construction. While you may have thought Chaparral Pines is out of reach for the average peasant like yourself, that's not the case.

For just $100 or three for $250 you can enter the Fall 2005 Health & Wealth Raffle (in support of St. Joseph's Hospital and Barrow Neurological Institute). While first prize is a cool $1 million in cash, second prize is a just-as-cool Chaparral Pines mountain retreat -- "a brand-new rustic mountain-style vacation home" valued at $495,000.

What I'm wondering is what's going to happen if one of us peasants wins the home in Chaparral Pines? I mean, aren't we their worst nightmare -- exactly what they gated their toney enclave to keep out?

The gated communities concept harkens back to the days when the gentry walled themselves up in castles surrounded by moats. But let's not give them any ideas. There's already enough water being wasted on golf courses and artificial lakes.

On a similar note, a sports column in The Arizona Republic by Paolo Boivin lamenting the sorry state of your Arizona Cardinals (Did anybody really believe that stuff about them going to the playoffs this year?) points out that head coach Dennis Green's honeymoon with the fans is almost over. And she notes that in Cardinal-land a honeymoon with the fans is "the equivalent of a night in a Gila Bend Motel 6."

Maybe it's just the proximity of the debate here in Payson over increasing the bed tax, but I breathed a sigh of relief that she chose a Gila Bend Motel 6 instead of ours. But maybe that's the best case for an increase in the bed tax.

If we raise the tax so people have to pay more for a room in Payson than they do in Gila Bend, we can't possibly be the sleaziest honeymoon destination, can we?

And speaking of sleazy bedfellows, does anybody find the combination of W's daddy, the ex-president, and Monica's Bill Clinton, another ex-president, the oddest of odd couples. But then, the senior Bush played first base for Yale, while Clinton got to first base with Monica, so maybe it's not so odd after all.

It got me to wondering if maybe we could put together a similar duo in Payson. I'm thinking former mayors Craig Swartwood and Vern Stiffler would be a potent combination that pretty much covers all the bases on the political spectrum when it comes to issues of growth.

I can hear it now:

Swartwood: "My good friends Roy Haught and George Randall asked me to come here and explain why it's necessary to bulldoze the Mogollon Rim and make crushed granite out of it. It's not a crime to make a profit, you know."

Stiffler: "I said it before and I'll say it again: The developers are in charge."

But we can do even better. Let's bring former mayor Ken Murphy into the mix and have some real fun:

Murphy: "And I declare every weekend rodeo weekend, so anything goes -- all the time. I am the (bleeping) mayor, you know."

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