Which news event do you think this columnist will write about?

May 25 2013 - 8:03pm

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Today we're going to play a new game called "Guess What the Local Columnist Has Decided to Write About This Week."

To play the game -- and we certainly hope whatever headline editors haphazardly slapped atop this piece of drivel hasn't already spoiled the fun -- all you have to do is think about the events in the news of the past week, and then try to guess which one of them caught the fancy of a guy for whom "Hey! Shiny object!" is an almost-hourly mantra.

It shouldn't be all that difficult, but in case you're struggling, I'll give you a hint:

It involved a moral lapse of such gravity that it would make the folks in places like Kaysville and North Ogden positively apoplectic.

Anything? OK, here's another hint: It featured the lurid headline "Police bust live sex show at Syracuse movie theater."

Gotta say, did not see that one coming.

"Police bust children at unlicensed Syracuse lemonade stand"

"Police bust outspoken Democrat at Syracuse quilting bee"

"Police break up brawl between Syracuse mayor, city council"

"Police go out for coffee, nothing much else happens in Syracuse"

Any -- or all -- of these headlines I could have easily believed coming out of that west Davis County town. But a live sex show? At the same theater that, by day, is currently screening the animated feature film "Epic," a tale from the makers of such family-friendly classics as "Horton Hears a Who!" and "Ice Age"?

Sorta makes all the other flagrant instances of moral turpitude over the past few years in the Top o' Utah pale by comparison, don't it? Instances such as:

* The Greek statue of a half-naked female figure in a North Ogden yard that had neighbors longing for a tasteful display of garden gnomes.

* The relatively tame bras, panties and other lingerie items in the window display on Kaysville's Main Street that caused a minor dust-up among locals.

* The mere use of the word "sex" in a campy painting at the North Ogden Arts Festival that prompted organizers to ask him to cover the artwork.

* The West Point woman who raised all sorts of eyebrows for mowing her lawn in a bikini.

Ah, those were the good old days, back when the only thing we had to worry about was mildly titillating instances of vaguely perceived improprieties -- not actual, criminal cases of hard-core sexual acts.

Of course, you do realize what 30 percent of the residents of Syracuse are saying right about now, don't you? They're saying, "See? I told you so."

That's because back in 2007, Syracuse residents faced a referendum on whether or not to allow alcohol sales in their community. While 70 percent of the voters said, "A couple of beers won't hurt," 30 percent said, "Yes, but we all know what a couple of beers leads to."

Survey says: Live sex shows.

In any event, the stewed chickens have come home to roost.

So this is what it has come to. Within just a few years of the Syracuse voters allowing the tipsy camel's bulbously swollen, red nose inside the tent, suddenly it's like Sodom and Gomorrah meets Mayberry, USA. Live sex shows in movie theaters. Third-grade teachers accused of stashing large amounts of heroin in their vehicles. Cats and dogs, sleeping together.

Somewhere in North Ogden, or perhaps even Kaysville, several dozen people just fainted dead away.

Alas, my kingdom for the old-fashioned wholesome goodness of a West Point woman merely mowing her lawn in a bikini.

Contact Mark Saal at 801-625-4272, msaal@standard.net or follow him on Twitter @Saalman.

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