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Another crazy year in Utah

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DEAR FRIENDS AND FAMILY:

Well, another year has come and gone, and our Utah family has had a rocky time — ha, ha, "rocky," get it? — while getting ready for the big Olympic party in February. Not that the Olympics have been painful or troublesome. Next time we'll just order root canals for everybody.

Rocky still has trouble getting along with the other children, but he finally made some friends. He took some out-of-town visitors bar-hopping one night to show them how to drink alcohol in our town. Isn't that nice?

Tom went on trial on bigamy charges. He tried using a unique defense strategy that consisted largely of telling every TV, newspaper and radio reporter he could find all about his bigamous lifestyle. He just loves a microphone, our Tommy, and became an instant celeb. The strategy did have its drawbacks, however; jail, for instance. It probably didn't help that all his wives and children kept showing up in court, either. It was like bringing a sack of loot to a robbery trial.

John and Karl got a year older, although it doesn't seem like it. It seems like much more. John doesn't say much; Karl says too much. Same old, same old. Karl put his foot in his mouth so many times he has athlete's teeth. Among other things, he said he would like to play for a contender somewhere, which was strange because we thought he was being paid $17 million a year to make the Jazz a contender. Karl also made more friends when he campaigned to carry the torch into the Olympic stadium.

We're so proud of Tom and Dave. They were given full credit for pulling off the entire bid scandal operation and for keeping it a secret from everyone. Such smart boys! If these guys had been on Richard Nixon's staff, no one would have heard of Watergate.

We saw Deedee recently for the first time in months, which some people said was much too soon. She carried the torch, because supposedly she helped secure the Olympics for Utah. Which is funny, because when the scandal broke, she was saying, "Olympics? What Olympics?"

We haven't heard much from Mary, either. I can give you 279,500 reasons for that.

Olden looked for a higher-paying job and wound up sitting in the stands with everybody else. He is thinking of returning to his part-time job as a cop. He also is making a lot of friends on the golf course. I think he's given up his plans to go to law school and become a lawyer, despite all the invaluable experience he is gaining in court.

Our friends in small Utah towns got bored this year. La Verkin proclaimed itself "U.N.-free" — whatever that means — and Virgin has decreed that every resident must have a gun in the home. I can't understand why people think Utah is such a weird place.

LaVell has been puttering around the garden and the golf course and bouncing the grandkids on his knee. He's happy, but if one more guy asks him if he misses coaching, we're going to whack them with a seven iron.

Our uptown neighbors finally cracked. They sold their newspaper business but said the new owner didn't have any right to actually run the newspaper. If they sold you a car, they'd say you couldn't drive it.

The economy went sour here, just as it did everywhere. A lot of people went to the unemployment line, most of them former staff members for Rocky.

They finally finished the new freeway here. To celebrate the occasion, they immediately organized their first traffic jam on the new surface. One of the cultural exhibits at the Olympics will be a display of orange cones.

If you're planning to visit, don't. Or let us know and we'll save you a room at a rate that will be competitive with a mortgage. You'll be in good hands. The health department recently issued a set of instructions for hosting Olympic guests. Among other things, they revealed that if we're going to cook for our guests, we're supposed to wash our hands after we go potty (I'm not making this up). What will they think of next?! They want to ensure that our houses are healthy environments for Olympic guests, instead of whatever it is we do for our families.

Happy new year from Utah, everybody.


Doug Robinson's column runs on Tuesdays. E-mail drob@desnews.com.