Monday, April 21, 2008

Greetings from…

While driving back to Salt Lake from St. George today, I started paying attention to, remembering and pondering those crazy little slogans that are on signs whenever you drive past a small town. I don't quite know why these signs are necessary. It's not like I'm going to be driving somewhere and think, "Woah! There's a city that boasts the world's largest chunk of cheese! Better pull over!"

To my knowledge, we don't have a sign like that when driving into Salt Lake City. Unless you count the sign just past the airport that reads, "Welcome to Salt Lake City, home of the 2002 Winter Olympics." I don't think that's the same thing, that's just holding onto the past.

With that, I bring to you some of my favorite city signs while driving the stretch of I-15 from Salt Lake City to St. George, Utah:

My very favorite: "Iron County— Saluting the Triple Deuce!" A single deuce deserves acknowledgement. A double deuce merits applause. You salute the triple deuce.

1.) "Welcome to Cedar City! 'Festival City, U.S.A.'" If I were seeking out a festival, I wouldn't think of Cedar City. Sure, the Shakespearean Festival is extremely big and important for the economy there, they even won a Tony Award. Sure, that was years ago. And it was a regional Tony Award. So it's not really a Tony Award. Move on and cut the cord, Cedar City, it's not like you hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics.

2.) "Beaver City— Mountains of fun! Best drinking water in the U.S.A." I always snicker a bit when I travel through Beaver, and now that I know it's "Mountains of Fun," that snicker is more a snort. Not as much as a snort as when Beaver's sign slogan was "Live a little!" Because well... I don't want to be living at all in Beaver. Guys I've driven with believe differently. It's this whole drinking water thing that gets me, I just read Forbes "Best Drinking Water in the U.S." list that came out earlier this month, and Beaver was no where to be found on that list. The list mentions San Diego, Calif., Jackson, Miss., and Mobile, Ala., have the lowest levels of lead, Tucson, Ariz., and Billings, Mont., have the lowest levels of turbidity (because I hate it whenever I'm feeling turbid) and Beaver, Utah doesn't rear its head, err, tail. Turns out that in 2006 the National Rural Water Association awarded Beaver the title of "Best Drinking Water in the Nation." That's no Forbes Magazine! That's rural Skeeter taking gulps from the pond! And what's the water like now? Perhaps now, two years later, Beaver water is leaded and turbid, but still "Mountains of fun!"

3.) "You're in Sandy City— The 34th Safest City in America." Okay, come on Sandy City, 34th? What kind of a number is 34? If you were one of the top 10, maybe, certainly one of the top 5 then I could understand the benefits of that. But 34? Now you're stretching. For some reason this reminded me of this scene in Clerks:
Dante: This is different, this is important. How many? Well?
Veronica: Something like… 36.
Dante: What? Something like 36?
Veronica: Lower your voice.
Dante: Wait a minute, what is that anyway? Something like 36? Does that include me?
Veronica: Uh, 37.
Dante: I'm 37?

4.) "Parowan City— Where good things happen." I've been to Parowan twice in my life. Neither time did "good things happen." Ever. I've had "good things happen" in Plano, Texas, I've even had "good things happen" in Wilmington, Delaware. When I think of "good things happening," they're not happening in Parowan. Weird things happen in Parowan, I am convinced, as I passed another billboard emblazoned with an exploding mushroom cloud with the headline reading, "What do you do when disaster strikes?" Underneath it was a URL for Parowan Prophet which turns out is some creepy freak sitting in his Parowan basement conversing with the religious cosmos as a self-proclaimed, modern day Nostradamus. Next, he'll start in the movie Conspiracy Theory 2: Where good things happen.

I'm creating a sign tonight and hanging it in my window: "My house. Where I drink wine straight from the bottle and Guinness flows free." Has a nice ring.


Anonymous said...

One of my favorite billboards between Salt Lake City and St. George was the "You Have a Friend in Fillmore" billboard just north of Fillmore, UT. I had always imagined driving into Fillmore and finding the streets lined with people waiting to shake my hand and share their homemade baked goods. Imagine my disappointment when I finally made the stop and found only a Chevron, a Subway, and the Territorial State House.

My all-time, number #1 favorite billboard was between Provo and Nephi, and featured a painted cobra in mid-strike strike with a headline that boldly declared "PORNOGRAPHY: JUST AS DEADLY!" For years I intended to take a picture of that masterpiece, but alas, my crappy Plymouth Neon wasn't capable of driving any further south than Provo.

1979 semi-finalist said...

Hol - AWESOME post. Ah the memories you've brought rushing back. And that "you've got a friend in Fillmore" one is classic as well.

I don't think the Sandy sign was up when I was living there, but I have to say, I'm glad my parents are officially living in the 34th Safest City, even if it is the most ridiculous sign I've ever heard of...

Holly said...

Kris: I forgot about "PORNOGRAPHY-- JUST AS DEADLY!" I remember that, though. and always laughed at it. You see, I would argue with that sign. I wouldn't want a cobra to bite me, but if porn did, it wouldn't be as bad. But maybe that's just me. Besides, nobody ever heard of "Porn on the Plane."

Kel: Yes, but lest we forget it was in the "34th Safest City" where that nasty 7-11 microwave incident occurred last week. Apparently "icky" doesn't preclude "safety."

dolt said...

I got shot at by the drunken ex-sheriff in Fillmore. It was back in the late sixties. Still, with friends like that...