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A FEW THINGS I NEED TO GET OFF MY CHEST

SHARE A FEW THINGS I NEED TO GET OFF MY CHEST

Today just feels like one of those days to get things off the old chest. You know, the little things that you try to figure out? Not serious enough to trigger war or depression (at least the economic kind) but irritating enough to cause the best of us to blurt, "Why in the world . . ."

- I've visited the airport several times in the past few weeks, and each time I have complained to myself about the signs. When you park at the airport, doesn't it seem to you that the signs ought to indicate clearly what portion of the parking lot is nearest to the airline you are either flying out on or meeting someone coming in on?Other cities do this as a matter of course, yet the Salt Lake International Airport gives no hint. It would seem that you just have to live here long enough to carefully memorize the locations of airlines, concourses, escalators and parking places.

- I like the Salt Lake freeways. They are direct and contain relatively light traffic, but they are also idiosyncratic.

Does it seem strange to you that freeway lanes mysteriously disappear with no explanation at all? Do you ever notice strange configurations? For instance, as welcome as the completion of I-215 is to my commuting pleasure, I can't figure out why the route from Wasatch Boulevard to I-215 West was designed the way it was. The stop light and left turn I am obliged to make there seems unnatural, and no matter how many times I make it, I always sense imminent disaster.

But I saved the worst freeway problem for last. Can anyone understand why there are not always entrances at the same places as exits? Having gotten off and then not being able to get back on several times, I am suffering freeway frustration.

Why not cloverleafs? They're used efficiently in the East, which has a much greater population.

- Air inversions are a way of life in Salt Lake City, and I grew up with them. I thought that everybody had to grapple with fog so severe that they can't see the road in front of them. In 20 years in Boston I never had a similar experience.

Inversions often lock the valley into an unbelievable mist of souplike proportions that destroy visibility. It is likely to be worse if there is snow on the ground. I also realize that there is probably not much we can do about this one! (Except it might help to dig a tunnel through the "point of the mountain." I've been there in a driving rainstorm and thought I might be catapulted off the edge of the earth!)

- Recently, I listened to a number of noisy radio promos for a Rod Decker KUTV News report on "SLC S-E-X. Tune in tonight!" Decker is a respected political reporter, and so why would he allow himself to be used in sensational advertising to plug a sensational news report?

The crux of the report was that "a lot of Salt Lake vice is gone." But in the report I saw, Rod explained how a local club offers prizes to patrons who are willing to strip on stage. And since this is TV, the camera shows a woman in black lingerie starting to take it all off. Afterward, she said in an interview that she did it because "I feel good about myself."

Then Rod tells us that men also participate in the strip show, and, interestingly enough, women patrons show more visible excitement over the male stripping than males do over the female. Rod said that all this is perfectly legal as long as alcohol is not served. Then the report ends with the camera showing a different woman dancing while removing white lingerie.

Is this serious news, or justTV station trying to boost its ratings?

- Finally, have you noticed that when driving into the city at night on the 600 South off-ramp that the most striking single view, in fact the focal point of the city, is of the very gaudy Shilo Inn on West Temple, completely outlined in red neon? Well, with the Christmas season upon us, now there is a fake Christmas tree on top, too, (a mass of lights in the shape of a tree) that adds to the visual shock. I'm sure that the owners are thrilled that it dominates the city's skyline, but what city planners were sleeping on this one?

That's all. I'll get off it now. I promise never to get carried away again with my gripes and make you suffer through them - at least for another year.