There's a move afoot to combine the cities of Provo and Orem into one super-city - a mega-metropolis, at least by Utah standards. The thinking is that a Provo-Orem combination would result in greater political, economic and commercial clout for Utah County's largest residential area.

A merge is not a new idea. Some people may not know that Orem was once called Provo - actually, Provo Bench - until 1914, when it was named after the president of a railroad line that ran through town.But the current merge concept is more than mere nominal - it's total togetherness.

First of all, consider the concerns over what to call the two-in-one city. Folks get a chuckle out of name combinations like "Prorem" or "Orvo." Or throw all nine letters together from the two names and you get possibilities like "Poor Mover," "Vroom Rope" and "Moo Prover." And then there is a most delicious name: "Oreo" - albeit resulting in a few extra letters left over.

Take a closer look at Provo and Orem. They say that opposites attract, but we're looking at dozens of differences.

Provo has a city council and a full-time mayor; Orem has a city council, a part-time mayor and a full-time city manager. Provo has separate fire and police departments; Orem has a combined department of public safety.

Orem utilizes Utah Power and Light; Provo has Provo Municipal Power. Orem has Insight Cable; Provo has TCI.

Provo is east benches, river bottoms and the valley floor; Orem is essentially restricted to Mount Timpanogos foothills and the overlooking hills west of Provo. Provo is the county seat of Utah County; Orem only recently became a full-time addition to state road maps. Honest.

Orem is WordPerfect; Provo is Novell. Orem is the mall; Provo is downtown. Orem has the former Osmond Studios; Provo has Osmond Lane.

Provo is Brigham Young University; Orem is Utah Valley Community College. Provo has BYU basketball coach Roger Reid; Orem has UVCC basketball coach Duke Reid.

Provo is established; Orem is the extended outgrowth. However, Provo is becoming dominated with rental properties, while Orem is geared toward a homeowner's market.

Provo is the Municipal Airport; Orem is the Utah Transit Authority offices. Provo is predominantly domestic auto dealerships; Orem is primarily import dealerships.

Provo is East Bay, hotels and motels, the Provo Temple, Academy Square, the Provo River, courts and county offices and more. Orem is Geneva Steel, SCERA, the Miss Utah pageant, the Orem Fitness Center, fruit orchards and more.

The invisible boundaries separating the two cities don't restrict the choices of a potential homeowner, employee or shopper. We're free to move about and make choices - to pick the best that both Provo and Orem have to offer.

There you have it in simplistic form - "A Tale of Two Cities," so to speak. And it seems to be working out just fine.