I bring this up because of all the recent criticism over my “El Paso! (Insert Slogan HERE!)” column from Monday of last week (5-19-13).
“How DARE you take credit for our city’s slogan du jour!” said one.
“How DARE you besmirch the reputation of the people involved!” said another.
“How DARE you be so good-looking!” was the general consensus. Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful, besides, I don’t know what the word “besmirch” even means.
I’ll leave it to Chris Lopez, my old friend and former editor of the El Paso Times newspaper, to put things in perspective: “Who are you and why do you keep sending me these stories about El Paso? Security!”
Okay, maybe I should have left that out, but my point remains that as far as new advertising slogans for our city go, “El Paso. It’s all good,” is certainly another one.
I’ve given great thought about how to properly sell our fair city to people looking to move, tourists looking to travel, and businesses looking to relocate, and I’ve also written at great length about just how to accomplish this goal. These writings were so impressive, I had no choice but to award myself the Legend Award for Achievements in Self-Promotion. The same award Reverend Wright, President Obama’s pastor and mentor for the last thirty years, awarded himself.
In fact, one of those fictitious humor columns was even published in the local newspaper. This was one or two years back, and I’m still waiting for my check. The column dealt with the concept of using guilt to sell El Paso to the rest of the world.
Come To El Paso! Or You’ll Make Your Mother Cry!
Unfortunately, that fictitious humor column was later determined to be, ahem, fictitious, and I was given Double-Secret Probation and banned from ever being published again in the newspaper. The last time I received a Double-Secret Probation, I was in the Delta Tau Chi fraternity in Faber College in the 60’s.
Personally, I think it was Robert Moore, the current editor of the newspaper, who was behind this sordid chapter in my sordid life, and all because I told him he was my least-favorite James Bond.
“That’s Roger Moore!” he clarifyingly clarified. "Security!"
But I digress…
My first thought about selling El Paso was to keep it simple. The city’s name, followed by a clever slogan, and with a few exclamation points thrown in to make it sound more exciting than it actually is.
El Paso! When You’ve Got Nothing Better To Do!
I felt that our advertising slogan could be a living document, constantly changing and growing and evolving to accommodate the facts, like Obama’s explanation of what happened in Benghazi.
These slogans could be used to fight all these negative lists we seem to constantly find ourselves at the top of, like, for example, Fattest City,
El Paso! We’re Not Fat, We’re Big-Boned!
Or to put a positive spin on a local problem that’s made national news, like the drug war just across the border in Juarez, Mexico.
El Paso! You’ll Never Feel More Alive Than When You’re Being Shot At By Mexican Drug Lords!
I also felt that there’s nothing wrong with lying to someone to get something you want. If it weren’t for lies, I wouldn’t have gotten lucky half as often as I did, if you get my drift. The law, however, looks unkindly on blatantly lying to the public (unless you’re in politics, that is), so you have to talk your way around the lie, in a sort of verbal gymnastics along the quality of Olympic Gold Medal winning Gabby I-Don’t-Remember-What-Her-Last-Name-Is.
Who Killed Kennedy? Find Out In El Paso!
Come See Where Kennedy Was Shot! El Paso!
First off, I hope you see what a masterful innovation I made to my original sales pitch by putting our city’s name at the end of the slogan, all the while keeping the hugely popular exclamation points. Secondly, I’m not actually saying you’ll accomplish either of those two goals if you visit El Paso. What I’m saying is, hey, we have books, and in those books you can read that it was Oswald who shot President Kennedy, and see pictures of the book suppository where he shot him from.
You can also talk your way around a lie by making a claim that can neither be proved nor disproved.
El Paso! The Paris Of The Southwest!
El Paso! Heaven By The Rio Grande
A personal opinion goes a long way toward stretching the truth.
People, for the most part, like to be told what to do. After a night of heavy drinking, I’ve found that I only need to get into a stranger’s car when it’s stopped at a red light, and, if that stranger is a female, she’ll be more than happy to take me home when I tell her to.
Where Are The Friendliest, Most Helpful People? In El Paso!
Knowing that people will respond to an order led me to come up with my “Come To El Paso!” series of slogans.
Come To El Paso! Don’t Make Me Get The Belt!
Come To El Paso! Where Prices Are Cheap, And So Are The Women!
That third slogan is the one that got me in trouble with Ms. Lingus, president of NOW, the Natural Organization of Women. It was the final straw for Connie, who broke off our seriously frivolous relationship and swore to never see me again, unless she was drunk and in the mood for a late-night booty-call.
From those late-night calls I learned that a little begging never hurt nobody, so I came up with my “Why Not El Paso?” slogan (To get the full effect of the slogan, try saying “Why Not El Paso?” in a high-pitched, whiny voice. You can first try practicing with the phrase: "That's Roger Moore!").
You’ve Got The Money! Why Not El Paso?
You’ve Gotta Go Somewhere! Why Not El Paso?
To wrap this up, if you were to ask me which slogan, of all the ones I’ve written, was my personal favorite, I’d have to admit that it’s the one that was inspired by something my bookie, Frankie “Three-Fingers,” once told me:
El Paso! We Know Where You Live!
And I'm not just saying that because he has a gun pointed to my head.