In Pima County, One Can Almost Become A Community Unto Himself
By Tom Danehy
I WANNA INCORPORATE.I'm not talking about incorporating like a business, because I suck at business stuff. I want to be one of those shiny new Pima County communities, unto myself.
I've got an agenda. I've got a quarter-acre of turf to protect. And I'll own it outright in less than 20 years. I want my share of state and federal highway funds. I want to stop the spread of the pig-people from the northwest. I want to be able to say, "Hey, Don Diamond! Come try to subdivide me! I'm already the size of a quark. What are you going to do, have the tree in my front yard rezoned C-2?"
I've collected the necessary signature on the petition and I'm ready to proceed. I'm joining the great Pima County Land Grab.
It all started a quarter-century ago with Oro Valley. The town's founding fathers figured they could make a fortune catching people speeding to get to the Biosphere. When that didn't work, they switched to Plan B, importing masses of people with an average remaining life expectancy of five years and a willingness to test that limit by driving golf carts on busy streets.
Things stayed pretty quiet in the Valley, until that fateful night at the town council meeting in Marana, which is indeed Spanish for "swine" no matter what those bumpkins claim. Heck, pigs should sue them for defamation. Anyway, Marana's leaders felt they'd been misunderstood by their Tucson neighbors.
One of the people at the meeting had seen one of them talking pictures. He didn't remember its name, but the main point was a small thing tried to swallow a big thing and ended up getting money out of it. (I'm assuming it was either The Mouse That Roared with Peter Sellers or Woody Allen and Mariel Hemingway in Manhattan.) The guy said, "Hey, let's swallow them before they swallow us." They all agreed and adjourned the meeting just as the candle was burning out.
Within a year, they'd sold their collective soul in exchange for some feed, a tiller (which, by coincidence, is also the former mayor's nickname), and a nifty new police substation in a strip mall. Then they grabbed up the cash machine that is Ina and Thornydale and the land rush was on. They set their sights on wide-open-spaces Tortolita, but Mad Dog Emil Franzi and his Screaming Pygmy Owl Brigade put a stop to that, at least for the time being.
Since Pig-Town is bounded on the north by another county, on the east by defiant Tortolita, and on the west by a bombing range (which, if annexed by Marana, would be considered the town's cultural center), that leaves only the south for more grabbing.
That makes me nervous for lots of reasons. We bought our house for less than $60,000 as it is. If Marana grabs us, the property value will plummet to the point where we'd have to sell it at the recycled-cardboard tonnage rate.
I'm happy with where I live. It's in an unincorporated part of the County, in one of those subdivisions with a land-water name. You know how developers are; they get 10 pretty land names, like glade, glen, meadow, etc., and then put them together with water names like spring, pond, and brook to come up with a huge supply of stupid-sounding names for tract homes plunked down in the desert. Glen Brook. Meadow Spring. Grassy Area Wet Place. Glade CAP Canal.
I thought about asking my neighbors to join in, but on one side is a doctor and he's always busy saving lives and junk. On the other side, I have a new neighbor but I haven't gotten around to welcoming her to the neighborhood. It's only been 14 months since she moved in. Maybe over the holidays.
One good thing is that the extended family of toothless hillbillies who used to live down the street moved away. I think they were the Arizona branch of the Montana Militia, what with the arsenal and all. They up and left one night after a black family moved in about three miles away. Armageddon was nigh!
There is a chance that all this will be moot soon, if the other people in the area fall for Ed Moore's latest practical joke and vote to incorporate as the Village of Casas Adobes.
I might go ahead with my plan one way or another. Maybe I could be Vatican City to Rome, or San Marino to wherever San Marino is. I just want respect. I want to take my place among the other greats like South Valley and Foothills City.
But mostly I want to fix this big-ass pothole out in front of my house. This sucker's wider than Al Gore's credibility gap. The only reason my Honda Accord hasn't been eaten is that a Honda Civic came along a few weeks ago and fell in. Now we all drive over the Civic's roof.
I also want to put in a speed trap to catch all the idiots who barrel through the neighborhood every morning in a deathrace to see who can get to the interstate first. Same assholes every morning at exactly the same time. All they'd have to do is leave five minutes earlier. When they hit my speed trap (or better yet, speed bump!), they'll learn to slow down. And don't even talk to me about that music-blasting low-rider moron in the red convertible who sits so low in his seat he looks like Billy Barty gone Vato Loco.
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