Say hello to Hollywood: The movie stars in the Utah County assessor's office really shine, especially at night.
Take the life-size, cardboard cutout of Batman, for example. More than one night security guard has mistaken the cardboard caped crusader for an intruder in the office, prompting them to hit the floor or draw their guns. Officers get a kick out of sending the new guy to check on the office."We're well protected in the assessor's office," says Ron Smith, county assessor.
Besides Michael Keaton as Batman, the office features life-size cutouts of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover of the "Lethal Weapon" movies; Richard Gere and Julia Roberts from "Pretty Woman" and Melanie Griffith in "Born Yesterday."
Employees brought the cardboard statues into the office because they were lonely after county commissioners cut the assessor's budget in the late 1980s, forcing three real-life workers out of jobs.
Smith likes having the stars in his office. "Some of their work is better than the others we had. I haven't had a complaint out of Danny Glover yet. They don't ask for raises," he said.
That doesn't sound like the stars we know.
No contest: After all the hoopla over our last contest we thought you'd want to know of a couple we're not going to make you do.
Just so you can appreciate our thoughtfulness.
Out at the Orem Wastewater Reclamation plant the management was showing off the fertilizer product they can now press from the, ah . . . previously raw sewage.
Handing out plastic surgical gloves they offered us a chance to get a feel for the stuff. It was spongy and sort of disgusting even through the gloves.
And it occurred to us in order to really sell well, this fertilizer would need a catchy name.
Hence, the fleeting thought of holding a contest. Instead of Chanel No. 5, how about "Orem No. 2?" Rather than Charlie, it could be called "Daryl," for departed city manager Daryl Berlin.
We thought of "Orem's Finest," "Hefty Humus," or "People Chips" or "Bouncy B.M." but it seemed like a stinker of an idea, actually.
Aren't you glad we dropped it?
No contest II: Rommyn Skipper is leaving for the Texas desert for another job in Odessa, so our office fish is going to be homeless. He doesn't like planes and there's no room in the U-Haul.
Again, it occurred to us to hold a contest where people could compete for the privilege of taking on the care and maintenance of our betta.
It could be like one of those "win a house" contests where people had to pay a $100 entry fee and write a two-line essay on why we should give them the fish. It had great possibilities.
We could throw it open nationwide and collect dollars from ocean to ocean.
However, very quickly we realized this could bring on more than we could deal with.
How would we choose? Would we be legally within our rights to collect money from a bunch of suckers and keep it? We'll probably appoint a guardian in the office and carry on as we have been.