To the right of this column are Chris Smart’s Hits & Misses for the week. Among them is his take on the ousting of Utah State Sen. Terry Spencer. It was reported in the dailies over the weekend that among the reasons that Spencer fell from favor within his party was because he has a short temper. While I can’t relate to Spencer’s politics, particularly his “I have the power to get even with you”-side as evidenced by his asinine, mean-spirited legislation targeted at Rocky Anderson, I can sympathize with his short fuse. It happens to me too, every year when we produce our annual Best of Utah issue.
This year is no exception. My fuse in recent weeks is best described as nonexistent. My temper at times has been barely containable—a direct and opposite corollary to my use of swear words, even cursing in front of dogs and children. Meanwhile, I’m as anxious as ever to see how you all take to this year’s edition. We’re used to the joy and we’re used to the anger that will both come our way. However, we never get used to the hurt feelings of some people at being left out. It ain’t personal.
We just try to be honest and fair. And we try to do so with the full knowledge that some people will do anything to win. We know that and we have a fix in the works. It rankles our editors to no end to be asked to write favorably about places and things that they feel are simply not deserving. And, no, they do not consult with the sales staff, either. Our sales departments will see the results at the same time you do.
Over the years, we’ve seen ballot-stuffing to a degree that it would make a South Side Chicago Alderman look like a saint. We’ve had offers for food and drink. We’ve heard of people loading up on papers so they can disperse ballots to patrons, friends and family. When we detect bad form, we discount offending ballots, but that causes doubts on legitimate ones, too. If we find out about ballot-stuffing, yerrrrr outta here!
Best of Utah presents to you many of the best reasons to live and work in Utah. We want it to be our best effort as well, and the pressure to do so is daunting. Like, how do we top last year’s photo collages—remember Deeda Seed massaging Rocky’s back, or Paula Houston as a Playboy bunny? Or how do we find a singular theme, like that of our 1998 issue featuring former District Attorney Neil Gunnarson mandating that each of you “Steal This Paper,” just like he did? The answer is, we can’t, at least not every year. But it sure is a blast trying.
We’re all worn out. It’s windy as hell outside, and dark. We know it’s because we took out the Best Weather Guesser category this year. We’re all very tired and in need of vacations and rest. We want to go home now. We know Eubank has cursed us with a Hatu. We hope you enjoy this year’s offering. And if you don’t, #%$@#%.