When folks hear we live in the Southwest, they are apt to start spewing myths and sending us all kinds of kooky and kitschy knickknacks.
We become proud owners of things like a spoon rest shaped like a cowboy boot, salt and pepper shakers in the form of a cowboy boot and hat, and dish towels adorned with cactus.
We get lots of coyote everything and even some creepy kokopelli.
Now we can fight back.
Let’s give folks a real taste of the Southwest with Arizona Gecko Poop and Arizona Javelina Patties. Yes, these are real products on the market and just a few in a fine line put out by The Huckleberry People.
Leave it to a company in Montana to come up with Arizona Gecko Poop.
Actually, these folks have poop from all over the nation. Some from their home state includes Montana deer, elk and bear poop. They also sell Iowa Pig Poop and the mysteriously located bat guano.
Of course, the little boxes and bags actually contain chocolate-covered candies, not excrement, but we like the Huckleberry people’s style.
We can also include a note with our gift that clears up some Southwest myths. When folks hear you live in the Southwest they often think:
It’s always hot. This week’s 40-degree morning temperatures should clear that one up, as should the snow that hit Tucson in 2007. And to think I nearly gave away all my fur coats as I was packing to move from the East Coast.
It’s sandy and barren. Yes, it is. But the desert is much more than just a grand expanse of sand. There is plenty of shrub, brush and strange growths and even more wildlife to go with it. We especially dig the tumbleweeds as they make great art projects.
It’s full of cowboys. In my several years in New Mexico and Arizona I’ve only met one person who introduced himself as a cowboy. He was a 19-year-old at a rodeo in Clovis, N.M. He said, “I bet you never slept with a cowboy before,” right before he spit a wad of chew juice near his boot.
Gunfights are the norm. Well, this one is pretty much true. But the gunfights aren’t some dramatic event at the O.K. Corral but rather mundane and usually gang-related.
One more note: When I was moving from New York to New Mexico, more than one person asked if I was excited to be on my way to a foreign country and did I have a valid passport. No kidding.
Do you get kitschy gifts in honor of the Southwest?
What other Southwest myths have you heard?
Which ones irk you the most? Which ones make you laugh?