If its May, it must be sweeps month. Local TV stations vie for market dominance by producing the kind of news that appeals to our basest lusts four times each year. July is perfect for patriotic tributes to Utahs war casualties; November brings Jell-O recipes with heartwarming tales of families reunited. February is associated with chocolate and true love, but it is this monthin the dewy and tumescent springtime when hormones rage rampantthat our TV news affiliates treat us to the spectacle of wild gay sex in the parks.
Now, in case you havent heard, this age-old behavioroutdoor sexnot only warps the fabric of society but creates a possibly life-threatening situation for our families. Thats why news stations publicize these activities each May.
This year, it was KSL 5s own Debbie Dujanovic who risked life and limb to report on those oh-so-dangerous amorous activities in James Madison Oxbow Park, an odd roadside stretch of invasive tamarisk and water-gulping bluegrass along the Jordan River.
As a destination for picnicking families, the mosquito-infested park, with its less than inspiring view of west 3300 South, has proved unsuccessful. The county venture is not a total loss, however: Fortunately, area gays have discovered the erotic potential of easy-access swampland, where total seclusion within weedy confines can conveniently be sought during lunch hours.
Predictably, some citizens are always willing to poke through the bushes in hopes of discovering couples in flagrante delicto. Dujanovic doggedly hunted both of them down: The sad thing is people should do that in the privacy of their own home, said Michelle Shaw in Dujanovics exposÃ©. Just seeing it happen, thats not goodI dont like that at all, chimed Debra Eastman.
Obviously, Michelle and Debra care deeply about the problem of public gay sex in Oxbow Park. Most of us, however, would probably prefer to obsess about more pressing issues, like whether weve waited too long to plant the tomatoes, or whether the post-Workman county government is really as out of control as it seems.
To inflame the passions of county taxpayers, Dujanovic reported budget figures for the entire Jordan River Parkway: Local government spends millions of your tax dollars here. While the idea of hot man-on-man action taking place down the entire length of the Jordan River is beguiling, the action seems to be confined only to the desolate Oxbow area, on which obviously only a small fraction of those big tax dollars are spent. It seems possible that gay men who cruise parks pay a requisite proportion of those taxes.
Nevertheless, we are assured that whatevers going on in those tamarisk bushes is a threat to our families: According to retired police investigator Larry Turpin, not only is it possible for couples to get back here in the bushes [and] lay down so no one can see them, but then people are blindsided when they walk in and heres two people engaged in a sex act in front of their children. Because its really all about the children, isnt it? Particularly those children gifted with X-ray vision that allows them to peer into impenetrable foliage.
Being a KSL 5 news producer sounds like an interesting jobat least until Debbie Dujanovic decides its time for you to stake out a gay cruise park. Two of these hapless souls had to sit at Oxbow for an entire week pretending to be horny so they could gather quotes like, What do you enjoy, anyway? and, If its fun, I do it. If there isnt already a law against producer abuse, there should be.
Brandon Burt is a freelance writer who lives in Salt Lake City.