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News » Deep End

Mama Always Said ...

Local leaders’ attempts at civility go awry.


It was a great day for civility in Utah. Standing together before the mikes up in Memory Grove, giving each other energetic trademark Utah shoulder massages, Lt. Governor Greg Bell and Salt Lake City Mayor Forrest Gump announced the 2011 Utah Civility Initiative.

“Me and Lt. Greg go together like peas and carrots,” said Mayor Gump. To demonstrate his commitment to civility, Mayor Gump circulated through the appreciative gathering with a big box of chocolates. “My mama always said Utah was like a box of chocolates. You got mostly vanilla creams, but also a few rum-filled, and a fair number of nuts and fruits. That’s all I’m going to say about that.”

Mayor Gump moved methodically through the crowd, every once in a while sprinting off for a run, his Flexolite ping-pong paddle clutched firmly under his arm. He was always unfailingly polite.

“Hello,” Mayor Gump said in his measured monotone. “People call me Mayor Gump. You want a chocolate?”

Meanwhile, Lt. Greg was working the crowd with his trusty colleague Curtis Bramble, R-Provo, who is universally acknowledged to be a shining example of civility, especially when dealing with pizza-delivery girls or butt-fucking liberals. With a kindly grin and twinkly eyes, Lt. Greg would introduce Rep. Bramble as “my good friend, wise adviser and loyal bitch.”

Both Lt. Greg and Rep. Bramble demonstrated their civility by handing out colorful cards to unsuspecting bystanders, who in some cases were seen scratching their heads or growing red in the face. Lt. Greg’s cards read, “Civility. Pass it on.” At least one recipient thought “civility” sounded like some sort of STD, and considered the advice rather unmannerly, if not outright rude.

For his part, Rep. Bramble kept a sharp lookout for suspicious-looking anal liberals, and whenever he spotted one, he trucked on over and thrust a card, reading “Up Yours!” into his pants.

Another noted patriot, Rep. Carl Wimmer, R-Herriman, planned to be at the civility ceremony, but was committed to his twice-daily weight-lifting routine. Contacted at the gym, Rep. Wimmer, between squats, voiced support for the civility initiative.

“I agree with Mayor Gump that it’s really important that we all consider how we’re interacting with each other. Utah is indeed like a box of chocolates, but I just want to say that I don’t ever want to interact in the same box with one of them chocolate-covered fruits. You can bet your sweet patootie that here at the gym I keep my eyes peeled in case some muscular good-looking guy doesn’t sneak up behind me while I’m doing a snatch and lift. Thank God for mirrors!”

Despite the chilly day in Memory Grove, Mayor Gump took a break from playing ping pong and ran all the way down to Baskin-Robbins to get ice cream for all the people at the civility celebration.

Lt. Greg was enjoying his double scoop of chocolate-chip cookie dough, carefully licking around the edges but with it still dripping on his shoes, when a rude-looking person asked him about the Civility Initiative’s conclusion that Utah politics are “too polarized to be healthy.” The rude guy, ice cream dripping on his chin, pointed out that Utah politics are too totalitarian to be polarized. Don’t you need at least a modicum of balance to begin with for things to get polarized? he asked.

“That’s a very uncivil question, young man,” said Lt. Greg. “We will be civil to everyone who agrees with us and goes along with the program. The reason we like Mayor Gump so much, besides the fact that he always gets us ice cream, is that he always does what the drill sergeant tells him to do. And here in Utah, everyone ought to know by now who the drill sergeant is, and the sole purpose of all civil citizens is to do whatever the drill sergeant tells them to do. Isn’t that true, Mayor Gump?”

“Yes, sir, Lt. Greg. I always do what the drill sergeant tells me to do. But I’ve noticed that Drill Sergeant Bramble doesn’t talk civil or even do civil. He snatched the ice cream right out of that Mexican man’s hand. My mama always said, words is easy, but deeds is hard. In other words, civil is as civil does. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.”

Almost immediately, Mayor Gump was ticketed for incivility and had his ping-pong paddle confiscated. That’s all I am going to say about that.