Utah doesn’t suck

By and

Those of us who can afford a bus ticket all choose to live in Utah.

And why not?

We’re blessed with scenic surroundings, low crime, cheap housing, prime winter sports and affordable state universities. Even so-at least at some point during our residence here-we all share the same opinion of our home state: specifically, that it sucks.

Even the most devout Utah resident has uttered such sentiment. Whether inspired by the dearth of cultural diversity, the bizarre alcohol laws or the flocks of smoking hot, married undergrads, the mordant tone of our words suggests that Utah is the sole culprit for everything wrong in our lives.

Clearly, that’s not the case. We’d harp about the fruit flies in Babylon. Utah’s just such a rare bird that, whether or not the pluses and minuses of living here balance out, the minuses are very identifiable.

Completely eschewing editorial responsibility, I’ve succumbed to temptation and provided some objections of my own:

The “Great” Salt Lake: It smells like sour milk. You can’t fish on it, and you can’t see the water through the black flies by the shore. Most people who’ve lived within five miles of the lake their whole lives have always been too afraid to ever touch it. Some lake.

The dialect: I wonder, with Beaver Cleaver phraseology like “pop,” “shows,” “stomp” and “frick,” did Utah gain access to mass media, like, five years ago? Did they even know World War II was over? Worse still, the prevailing accent is best described as “Keanu Reeves-ish”.

The police: A fun game to play in Utah is “How many cops will I pass on the road today?” I’ve driven for 12 hours straight across five states and not seen a single police car. I can drive from the U to I-15 and feel like I’m in a presidential cavalcade.

So what? Well, it’s a simple formula, really: minimal crime + superfluous cops= copious traffic tickets. What do they do for our community with all the money they rake in? Local cops in Davis County drive Mustangs and Expeditions. So, that’s one option.

The housing: It’s like one damned real estate company developed the whole state. Seriously, are we going to run out of stucco soon or what?

The tips: Serving sucks in Utah, where the average table at most restaurants consists of four stressed out, bankrupt, young adults and eight children. As a server, your GOAL is generally 15 percent, and customer reactions are no indicator of your success. The more complimentary they are, the more likely it is that they’re trying to make up for how bad they’re going to tip you. This is why, when I served, I always made sure to spit in every drink.

The license plates: Really? They couldn’t come up with some cool picture of the valley? Fifty percent of drivers with the ski plates have never hit the slopes, and the same number of drivers owning centennial plates have never been south of Provo. Actually, forget the plates. Utah drivers are lame.

The returned missionaries: Shut up in class. Please. Nobody wants to hear about how you understand the political dynamics of the 18th-century Austro-Hungarian Empire because you went on a mission to Germany.

Or how Germans “really like Americans” because that’s the perception you got from the eight goofballs who took the time to talk with you. Missionaries go all around the world trying to convince everyone that their culture is superior to that of the host nation-not exactly a recommended path to enlightenment.

Pioneer Day: I know everyone likes a holiday, but what the hell is Pioneer Day celebrating? Lewis and Clark? Fireworks? It’s not associated with beer, football or gluttonous force-feeding, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s not a holiday at all. I’ve scratched it off my calendar and replaced it with the more appropriate John Stockton Day. Speaking of which?

The team names: OK, here’s the rundown: “Jazz” doesn’t make sense because Salt Lake City has the soul of a saltine cracker. “Blaze” suggests something I ought to be doing instead of watching a crappy arena football game. There are no “Grizzlies” in the state of Utah. A Utah “Ute” is redundant. Nobody knows what the hell an “Aggie” is. “Starzz” looks like a typo. “Real” is a Spanish word that means “royal.” “Bees” is worse than “Stingers.” And BYU, well, they actually have a pretty cool nickname. Damn it. I was on a roll there.

The local news: “After the fire, the residents of Lehi were upset. ‘I WAS UPSET.’ The fire department responded quickly to the scene. ‘WE GOT HERE AS QUICK AS WE COULD.'” Local news stories are spliced together with all the care and dexterity of an angry gorilla.

As an added bonus, the stories range from the absurdly contrived (“Anthrax found at Ogden post office”) to the irrelevant and dry (“Rare wolf visits, dies” -the lead story in last Friday’s The Salt Lake Tribune).

Passing on the right: Hear me out, please: If you pass on the left side and then move over to the right when you are done passing, everyone can go as fast as they want and there will be no traffic. I know, it sounds too good to be true, but I’m serious: no traffic.

If you replaced all Utah drivers with savvy East Coasters, rush hour would look like a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The food: I’ll concede: There are a lot of obstacles to fine cuisine in Utah-high altitude, difficulty transporting fresh ingredients, a lack of culture and knowledge, etc. More than anything, though, Utahns have low standards. There’s simply no other place on Earth where somebody would ever stop by a restaurant called “Chuck-O-Rama” unless he were playing a cruel joke on his date.

The head shops: There are, like, five in the state, and all of them charge an arm, leg and monthly appendage payments on your first child for a piece of glass the size of a marble.

I know, I know, I just killed my credibility by complaining about the quality of head shops. I never said I had credibility.

There are countless other drawbacks to living in the state of Utah, and many of them are dependent on your personal habits and values. Hopefully you will join me in confronting these issues with the hope of enacting change and progress.

At least, that is, until I move and find another place with less conspicuous things to blame all my problems on.