Uh-oh. Did someone forget to slip the anti-psychosis meds in the North Ogden water supply again?
It seems like every year or so, somebody in that Weber County city makes a good-faith attempt to put the "No" back in North Ogden:
* No classic Greek statues featuring the human form in any degree of undress.
* No works of art at festivals using the letters "S-E-X" in them.
* No face-to-face or phone interviews between city employees and the media.
But this latest North Ogden "No" is the nuttiest of them all:
* No using parks on Sunday.
That's right, people. There was brief talk among the powers-that-be this past week about closing the city's parks on Sundays. Closing them. The parks. On Sundays. A weekend day.
Has the whole world gone mad, or just that part of it residing in the shadow of Ben Lomond Peak?
The problem seems to have arisen from a soccer league playing Sunday mornings at the city's Orton Park. Apparently, one or more neighbors objected to the activity disturbing the solitude of their Sabbath, and approached city councilman Wade Bigler about doing something about it.
That something? Suggesting the city close its parks on Sundays, to give the grass -- and the cranky neighbors, I suppose -- a much-needed rest.
As a member of the liberal media, I had planned to speak with someone in the North Ogden administration about this issue, but soon realized city policy allows only written correspondence. So I've drawn up my list of questions for the city. Please review them as a council and get back to me at your earliest convenience.
QUESTION NO. 1: Are you people CRAZY?
QUESTION NO. 2: Actually, that first one pretty much covered it. No further questions, thank you.
Granted, the city council seems to have done the right thing in the end and, at least for now, is leaving the parks open on Sundays. And apologists for the idea have insisted that Councilman Bigler was simply trying to be responsive to his constituents by bringing the issue before the council.
Maybe so. But I gotta say: Personally, that kind of responsiveness isn't what I'm looking for in an elected official. Yes, we want city council members who are compassionate enough to sincerely listen to residents' complaints. But we also want them to be bright enough to know when not to do anything about them.
Gumming up city council meetings with discussions of instituting Sabbath park bans? That's just plain crazy talk. And not your run-of-the-mill, normal crazy, either. More like, Gary Busey crazy. Randy Quaid crazy. Honey Boo Boo crazy.
At the risk of belaboring the point, permit me a brief illustration: Let's say you're a city council member, and a voter comes to you and asks if you'll sponsor legislation requiring all residents of the city to learn how to play "Call Me Maybe" on the accordion. (Which, by the way, is only slightly more cuckoo than the idea of closing public parks for 50 percent of the weekend.) I'd like to think you'd have the intestinal fortitude to say to that person, "All due respect, Mr. or Ms. Citizen, but that's quite possibly the stupidest idea I've ever heard, and you are hereby deemed too mentally unstable to live in our fair city. Kindly move out."
But the most disappointing part of this latest North Ogden dust-up? The destruction of a reputation. Kaysville's.
That's right, I'm beginning to detect a widening of what we like to refer to as the "Bat-Guano-Crazy Gap" between North Ogden and Kaysville.
Let's face it: Kaysville residents -- they of the banning-Monday-sports-and-lingerie-shops variety -- are in very real danger of losing the title of Craziest Utah City North of Provo. (Or, as increasing numbers of us are fond of referring to that Utah County town, "South North Ogden.") Why? Because, quite frankly, a city closing its parks on a weekend makes banning Monday night rec-league practices look like child's play. Heck, even Ogden's brief flirtation with criminalizing cussin' in its parks pales by comparison.
I know Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt. He's a great guy. And I'm sure I'm not putting words in his mouth when I say that the fine citizens of his town will not go gentle into that good night.
Seriously, Mayor Hiatt, it's important that you encourage your city council to pass something -- anything -- that will show the rest of the world that these North Ogden posers don't know squat about crazy. Like, how about a resolution naming Listerine the Official City Mouthwash? Or requiring ALL Davis High School students, no matter what their faith, to enroll in released-time LDS seminary? Ooh, or a policy stating that all media requests must be submitted in limerick form? ("There once was a newsman who, phoning/ Had questions 'bout planning and zoning ...")
Now THAT'S crazy.
To finish the limerick, contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272 or email@example.com.