Deep End | Dart of the Matter: Republicans resort to creative methods in muzzling Buttars | Deep End | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Deep End | Dart of the Matter: Republicans resort to creative methods in muzzling Buttars


Unable to persuade Sen. Chris Buttars to resign and spare the party further embarrassment, Republican leaders moved swiftly to have the erratic West Jordan legislator forcibly medicated.

“We hope to restore his mental competence,” said Senate President John Valentine, “though, in the case of Mr. Buttars we’re not sure if he was mentally competent in the first place.”

Senate Majority Leader Curtis Bramble told City Weekly that involuntary medication was just one of several measures pondered by Buttars’ Republican brethren. According to Bramble, there was considerable sentiment for subjecting Buttars to water-boarding.

“We originally thought water-boarding would be a reasonable compromise,” said Bramble. “There was universal agreement that sensitivity training would be totally useless for our notoriously thick-headed friend. At the other extreme was the rather drastic suggestion that our colleague be forced to visit a maternity ward in the off chance that a black baby might be present.

“But, such exposure would constitute torture, both for Mr. Buttars and the black baby. It is well known that when Mr. Buttars makes funny faces at newborn infants—ugly, black or otherwise—they cry in terror for several days. As for the suggestion that Mr. Buttars assist in the delivery of a black baby, well, that would obviously violate the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.”

Also considered was some form of brain surgery, but medical experts seriously doubted they would be able to locate the organ in question.

In the end, Republican leaders decided forcible medication was the most appropriate avenue of treatment. Long discussions ensued as to how the medication should be administered, with a consensus emerging that medication in a powdered form should be sprinkled on Buttars’ morning oatmeal. But, almost immediately, the canny legislator suspected something funny was afoot and treated himself instead to a cheese Danish.

Next, the leaders tried mixing the medication with cream cheese and rolling it into a ball. Buttars responded to the command of Bramble to “Catch, Chris, catch!” when the cheeseball was tossed in his direction, but he promptly spit it out, no doubt detecting a telltale medical taste. He then proceeded to bite Bramble on the ankle.

Now, plunged into the depths of despair, the Republican leaders hit upon the ingenious idea of sneaking up on Buttars during one of his frequent afternoon naps and slipping him a medicated suppository. This bold plan, for which both Valentine and Bramble attempted to claim credit, was endangered when no one stepped forward to undertake the slippery mission, not even Gayle Ruzicka. It was completely abandoned when the entire Republican team refused to participate in drawing straws (or, in this case, greasy suppositories).

“At this point, we were all feeling pretty down in the dumps,” said Bramble. “We were all sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves when the news came on and we saw a piece on a moose rampaging through an east-side neighborhood. As soon as we saw the guys from Fish and Wildlife taking down the moose—now there’s an ugly critter—with a tranquilizer dart, an exceedingly loud collective shout arose from our midst.

“We immediately called the Department of Fish and Wildlife and made an appointment with a their best sharpshooter who, as you know, was able to track down Sen. Buttars in the wilds of West Jordan and take him down with a medicated dart. Actually, it took several darts. But, finally he went down and we hoisted him up in a sling and airlifted him by helicopter to the capitol building.”

As everybody knows by now, Buttars has undergone an amazing transformation. He spends his afternoons watching rap videos in his office and has rented every Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence movie he can find, his favorites being Big Momma’s House, Big Momma’s House II and Norbit. Buttars now greets visitors with “Wassup?” and has put out an announcement to all and sundry that he is to be addressed from here on out as “Big Momma.”

Tracked down in the rotunda of the capitol, Buttars, who looked fetching in a chocolate-colored latex fat-suit underneath a billowing floral print dress, said he had finally found his voice, which now sounds like Hattie McDaniel in Gone With the Wind.

“I finally discovered the real me. Inside the angry white guy was a fat black woman screaming to get out. I say it loud, and I say it proud: ‘Black is beautiful.’”

D.P. Sorensen writes satire for City Weekly.