On the off chance you have no idea what I'm talking about
and won't be driving I-10 westbound anytime soon, I'll explain. Some enterprising
person in Arizona discovered someThing strange, and now showcases it along
with other curios and souvenirs at a roadside souvenir stand. To make sure
people visit, four thousand billboards (at least!) have been posted along
west I-10 in New Mexico enticing motorists to witness the Thing for themselves.
What is the Thing? I don't know, but a friend of mine
- who knows about these Things - says it's a mummy. Another friend says
it's an iguana. Someone else told me it was a crocodile that "hadn't
been born right." Such is the beauty of the Thing, I suppose: its
essence cannot be pinned down. It is all Things to all people. If it could
be described in words, it would not be worth describing. You know, like
Anyway, sandwiched between the come-ons for the Thing
is tiny Akela. Once a railroad siding, Akela now serves time as a roadside
souvenir stand. Akela is a very red place, and it's like that for a reason.
The redness and the garishly-cool falsefronts of a make-believe Old West
town catch a passing motorist's eye as suredly as a pretty flower attracts
a bee. (I suspect that technically the flower thing is not botanically
correct, but let's run with it.) You really want to make friends with Akela,
but you get the feeling it would always be calling during dinner.
Which brings me back to my initial proposition:
New Mexico needs a Thing. And Akela is the place for it. Why would people
bother driving all the way to Arizona when they've got a Thing in their
own backyard? So as not to seem like we're copying, we could call our Thing
"The It" instead. Then we could put up signs along I-10 eastbound
in Arizona that say "Forget the THING! Come see the IT!" and
"Some THINGS Are Better Left Unseen" and "You'll Never Get
Over IT!" and so on.
This could be big. Who's with me?