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Thursday, 09 February
Desert Rows

Reasoning that it's never too early to begin complaining about anything, I might as well report that I have this week submitted travel requests at work for our next pit stop, which is Salt Lake City. (I actually like to elongate this into Salt Lake dead fuck City, not only because it has a pleasingly blunt, staccato scan to it, but also because I like to imagine Salt Lake City as a sort of Mecca for those looking for a real dead fuck. "I want your laziest hooker.")

See, I might as well uphold my rep for just slagging the hell out of cities that I visit, particularly when it's for work, as that is always No Fun. Previous victims of my ridiculously nasty and petty vituperation have been Kansas City and Denver, both of which I of course found odious all in the course of three or four day visits. Not that one is going to much enjoy any city from the limited confines of the local downtown Hyatt after a few intensive days of pleasant cancer-related chatting with strangers. Particularly Kansas City, parts of which resemble indolent tumors anyway. As for Denver, unclassy, depressing retail outlets seem to be metastasizing enthusiastically.

Work-related travel obviously does nothing for my attitude.

And it's probably not going to be much different for SLC, where I must travel to in April, so I'll be able to add yet another city's population to my They Hate Me list when I get back and write something typically snotty about it.

I really don't want to go.

I've been there once before. When I was 19 or so, my college buddy and I took a road trip on spring break to Colorado. We stopped along the way at SLC, where we stayed the night with his parents, who lived there at the time. "Goodness!" cried J.'s mom when we rolled in. "You look exhausted! Would you boys like a beer?" This was the best experience I had the whole time. The rest of the brief stay was spent with me crying out while driving around, "Let's go there! I'm starving!" And J. grimly shaking his head, claiming that those joints were "not for us"--i.e. Mormon hangouts. Later, J. took us up to a clifftop overview of the city. SLC is one giant grid of almost Pythagoreanly perfect lines. "Isn't it beautiful?" he exclaimed, staring down at the twinkling lights. I thought it looked like a city designed by the Borg.

Now let's be clear: I am not really a fan of religion in general. To be more fair, let me stipulate that I am a complete moron when it comes to religion. So when I say that I get skeeved out by the idea of what amounts to practically an entire state enraptured by a particular religion, it is the same sad mind that once made some Catholic friends really red-faced and shouty when I idly asked if Communion amounted to some sort of sublimated form of ritualized cannibalism.

It all comes down to the usual crap: we fear what we do not understand. I do not understand Mormonism, much like I do not understand Baptists, or Daughters of the American Revolution, or for that matter, paintball warriors. They all have their weird, alien rituals and rules and modes of conduct, and they all frighten me. Which is all fine with me, really: maybe I'm just a shutdown case with no interest in learning about the world's more granular concepts, but I have about as much interest in learning about applied Mormonism as I have about learning about, well, paintballers. And I am of course terrified that someone will try to educate me. And here I'm traveling to the epicenter of the Where Someone Might Try To Explain It. I don't want that.

Well, I'm going to try to be of firm resolve. I can be a good man for a change; I can put aside my ignorant prejudices for once and be objective and fair and open-minded. Can't I?

Salt Lake dead fuck City, I hereby pledge to you: I will not, when the time comes (April), slag on your city using the obvious tropes and cliches. I will slag the hell out of you on your own demerits.

To be honest? You're going to have to come up with something special to beat out Kansas City.

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


While you're there, please go knock on random doors and tell people I HATE when their minions do that. Or convert them to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Comment number: 006296   Posted by: C. on February 9, 2006 07:36 AM from IP:

LISTEN. there was some blog about spaghetti o's.

and i can't comment on it.

but i googled SPAGHETTI O'S. and got the blog.

and I just wanted to give some spaghetti o love.

Comment number: 006297   Posted by: ATI on February 9, 2006 01:50 PM from IP:

and now since I know that I CAN comment HERE...
here is my original, REJECTED post

That was fantastic! I, myself, just finished a lovely bowl of spaghetti o's. DON'T EVER STOP. LOVE THE SPAGHETTI O'S.

anyways. just pretend you're shopping for your little niece who's coming over. dood. no one knows it's for you.

I, however, encourage you to flail your arms about whenever you make the delicious purchase. Oh yes, hold your can up in the air. High, mighty, and proud for all to see. Screw those asses who don't understand the GREAT POWER of SPAGHETTI O'S!

-thank you for this post-

Comment number: 006298   Posted by: ATI on February 9, 2006 01:53 PM from IP:

Fret no more, there's help in understanding the mormans...

and from a historical perspective...

Thank gawd for the internet.

Comment number: 006299   Posted by: kbow on February 9, 2006 05:22 PM from IP:

"mormans" jeeezus!

Comment number: 006300   Posted by: kbow on February 9, 2006 05:30 PM from IP:

I grew up in SLC, then left 15 years ago and haven't set foot in Utah since the day I left. I was raised Mormon.

And *I* don't know WTF they are thinking.

On the bright (err... 'not so dismal') side, I hear that SLC itself (as opposed to the inbred polygamist small towns where everyone has the same last name and speech impediment) has become somewhat less 'Stepford Wives'-ish as new blood moves in to take advantage of the lower cost of living and what is admittedly a very beautiful terrain.

So anyway, as long as the pod-people don't make you a permanent idiot-grin resident of the Village of the Damned, your trip should be mildly annoying at worst, and may atually be enjoyable.

Comment number: 006301   Posted by: foobario on February 9, 2006 10:10 PM from IP:

Oh, look, the epicenter of Where Someone Might Try to Explain It has moved to your blog.

Comment number: 006302   Posted by: Kate on February 10, 2006 07:43 AM from IP:

No need to understand religions--just come up with a snarky catchphrase and you're set!

Catholicism: come for the communion wine; stay for the sublimated ritualized cannibalism.
Mormonism: come for the polygamy; stay for the nutty theology.
Protestantism: come for the staidness; stay for the boredom.
Jewism: come because you were born into to it; stay for the guilt.
Mohammadism (aka Islam): come for the mass craziness; stay for the 72 virgins.
Buddhism: come for the release from worldly suffering; stay for the endless reincarnations.

Comment number: 006303   Posted by: Squidley on February 16, 2006 11:27 PM from IP:

I was in Kansas City last week. While we were driving through I kept asking "does this city stop looking like Hell's armpit at some point?"

Man, what a shithole.

Comment number: 006619   Posted by: Cyrano on February 20, 2006 07:35 AM from IP:

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