Friday, June 3, 2011

A gift for you

I live in western New Mexico. REALLY western New Mexico. I know you have probably wished a thousand times you knew what it looked like to stand on the New Mexico border facing west. You KNOW you've wanted to know that, right? Well, as it happens, recently the air conditioning in my car was much too cold, so I decided to get out in the 500 degree heat and take this picture for you. You owe me one.


  1. Are you allowed to cross the Border?
    Or do the police have check points there to keep you guys in?

  2. "Arizona. The Grand Canyon state Welcomes You"

    Do you ever wonder at the minds of those who invent signs like this?
    The real purpose of the sign is simple, it dates back to the far off times when Ug and his fellow pals were out hunting, and they'd come across a skull upon a stake. Though they hadn't yet got around to written language, that sign clearly meant "This is Og's tribe's land, and if you take just one step further, Og will be happy to stick your heads on a stake too, to warn off the next suckers".
    Somewhere down the line, the whole thing got to be a little less overt, and words were used to sweeten the implied threat. Places like Arizona felt they needed to mention the Grand Canyon, just in case you were lost and looking for a different Arizona, one renowned for, say, lobsters and maple-syrup.
    But the subtext remains the same. "Pass this sign, and you're leaving what you know behind. THIS side of the sign is ours, we make the rules.
    Quiver in your boots, puny mortal."

  3. And did you do a 180 degree turn and take the equivalent for New Mexico? "The [enter your own words here] state welcomes you"? If not, why not? Just wondering.

  4. @Adullamite - I don't know. I've never had the courage to try. I'm sure there are secret police just waiting, though. No sense tempting fate.

    @Soubriquet - No, I have never wondered about that. Up until now I have stupidly thought the signs were simply a more interesting variation of the old "State Line" signs. I do see the logic in what you say now, and will be suspicious of the sign motives from now on, I assure you. Thanks for the tip. :)

    @A. - Actually, I DID make a 180 degree turn after I took this picture and ran into the front of my car. Perhaps there was an equivalent sign far across the rattlesnake-infested median, only for the pleasure of the eastbound traffic. Alas, my destiny lay in the forbidding bowels of Arizona that day. As I recall, though, New Mexico only has a row of pikes bearing the heads of illegal immigrants on them, as a warning for them to stay in Arizona where god intended them to be.

    Wait. That can't be right. That's California.. New Mexico's sign is much wider than Arizona's, a proper rectangle, yellow, with some chile peppers painted on it and the zia symbol, with the words, (as you correctly guessed) "The [enter your own words] state welcomes you".

    I am always embarrassed to stop and take a picture of the New Mexico sign because they always have a lady standing under it holding a kidnapped baby. However, if you have some sort of gnawing (gnarly gnu gnawing) desire to see a picture of the sign, here it is. Be warned. Strong stomach required.

  5. It appears the zia symbol has been reclaimed by the indians. Ah well. 'Twas on the sign once. This current one is an embarrassment with no ducks or sailboats like used to be on them. I wish you hadn't asked.

  6. If Ug and his pals have tourist dollars in their breech pockets, they are very welcome in Arizona. :)

  7. Ug no have pocket.
    Ug no breech.
    Ug barter.

    Ug have very good portable commodities. You like shiny rock?


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