Republic readers strain for Phoenix light-rail refrain

[Source: Casey Newton, Arizona Republic] — If there’s one thing Insider has learned over the years, it’s that readers love a contest.  Last week, we asked you to come up with slogans Metro light rail can use to promote safety around the trains, which begin testing in downtown Phoenix next week.  Your creativity inspired us.  We were overwhelmed with suggested slogans, some of which appear to have taken as long as 30 seconds to come up with. 

Some readers, like Rex Swayzee, kept it simple: “Train’s a-comin’,” he suggested.  Others turned for inspiration to those old say-no-to-drugs commercials.  “This is your brain,” wrote Robert Gordon.  “This is your brain under a train.”  Gordon paints a picture with words, you’ve got to give him that.  A disappointing number of people attempted to rhyme “tracks” with itself.  As in, “Don’t let the tracks stop you dead in your tracks,” or “Be on track – stay off the tracks!”  A few entries were simply baffling: “Don’t be lame, there’s a train.”  Huh? 

But many of you busted out your A game, and for that Insider will be forever appreciative.  Tiffany Huisman, who works in the Mayor’s Office, stopped by our converted broom closet with a little safety rap.  “You better check yourself before you wreck yourself, ’cause getting hit by a train is bad for your health,” she said.  Reader Sean Murphy had a couple nice rhymes for us.  “Don’t be a quack – stay off the tracks,” he suggested, along with, “Have a brain – watch out for the train.”  Good tries all.  But they didn’t make our top three.  Coming in at No. 3 was the entry by Brian Kenny.  His suggestion: “Don’t (poop) your slacks. Stay off the tracks.”  On one hand, it’s completely unusable.  On the other hand, hilarious.  Especially in his original phrasing.  Our No. 2, from Roger Glass, has a Sopranos feel: “Don’t get whacked.  Stay off the tracks.”  And then there was our top choice, from reader Ann Shannon: “Watch your back.  Stay off the track.”  Simple but effective.  Well done, everybody.  We’re sending the slogans on to Metro CEO Rick Simonetta.  We’ll let you know what we hear back.

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