REDNECK PERSPECTIVE: Rebranding Hog Island

By on August 11, 2015

The classiest area in town is due for a makeover

Christina Grey, a Sotheby’s realtor and one of my part-time paramours spent the night at my trailer. Our favorite fantasy is that I’m a potential buyer of the Walton Ranch and Christina has to do whatever it takes to become my agent. These games provide hours of amusement for me and provide Christina with real life real estate sales training. Like all realtors that spend the night, she expects a latté in the morning with a muffin or bagel and there was nothing in my fridge except some Budweiser and Slim Jim pepperoni sticks.

“That’s OK,” she said. “Be a dear and run to the Hog Island Bagel and get my mocha-java-vanilla-swirled-cinnamon macchiato, half and half dark-roasted espresso latté. When you come back let’s pretend you’re a Russian mobster who stole $200 million from Ukraine humanitarian funds and is looking for a nice mountain retreat.”

“There is no Hog Island Bagel,” I replied, my face blushing in shame.

“Pity,” she said. “Just run to the Hog Island Bakery and get me a muffin, high-crowned, berry-flavored with a caramel almond filling and topped with sea salt.”

When I didn’t move she looked at me incredulously, “No bakery either!”

Instead of being angry, she was excited. Nothing pisses off a realtor more than no latté except having to split a commission.

“Clyde,” she exclaimed, “this is a great opportunity. We can form an investment group, buy depressed Hog Island proprieties and reinvent Hog Island. It can be just like Jackson with its own brand.”

“Jackson has a brand?” I asked surprised. “I didn’t think there were any cows left to brand.”

“Brand is image,” she explained, “Reality needs to meet certain expectations if a community is to grow intellectually and attract the proper demographic. You know, the pretty people.”

I like pretty people. Well, pretty girls anyway.

“Jackson is the ‘Last of the Old West,’” she explained. “That image is projected by nightly shootouts on the town square.”

“We have shoot outs on Hog Island,” I said.

“But they don’t use real bullets in Jackson,” she said.

“There wasn’t a single sushi shop in Louis L’Amour western novels,” I said, growing a bit defensive.

“It’s called ‘rustic western luxury,’” she explained. “It’s not an oxymoron — it’s the latest marketing technique.”

(Note to Hoback Junction readers: An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which contradictory terms appear in conjunction, not a stupid cow).

“By hanging paintings of trappers, Indians and cowboys in second homes, we can experience the old West, bond with the land without the discomfort of getting cold or sweaty,” she continued.

“I got it!” I exclaimed. “At the top of McKean Dugway there is a cell tower decorated like a fake metal tree. We can be the ‘Great Northwest Forests of the Tetons’ even though we’re to the Southeast and comprised of trailer parks and hayfields.”

“Perfect,” she said excitedly. “Now we just need Pearl Street Bagel to open a Hog Island branch.” PJH

About Clyde Thornhill

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