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Feelin' Lucky? 

When I was a student at Bingham High School back in the ages between Dark and Bronze

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When I was a student at Bingham High School back in the ages between Dark and Bronze, it was common for young boys to share stories about whatever took place on a recent date. You know, the stuff you see in old movies, like "Did you score?" or "She did what?" Unlike today, back then, talking about sex—especially if members of the opposite sex were nearby—was very much not in the open. We didn't have sex-education classes; instead, we watched scratchy films about "evil sex" once a year during health class.

I'll never forget the day one of my classmates (unnamed, of course, so that he may maintain his good standing in the local dominant faith) came into gym class with a sobering announcement. "The rubber broke," he said in an angry whisper. "What should I do?" Well, how would we know? So, a couple of us took him up to one of the more experienced guys in the school. The experienced guy was pretty matter of fact about it.

After asking some particularly probing questions (to this day, I think he was scouting out his next amour), he said, "Well, you're either going to be lucky or you're not," and that was that—except for the sage addition of, "Next time, use better rubbers!"

We all went our way. None of us said anything but for sure, his girlfriend knew we knew. Her books and jackets were held just so whenever we saw her, covering up what might have been another teenage pregnancy. Eye contact was limited and never sustained. At some point, it was clear there was no "baby in the oven," one of the code words for "pregnant." Eyes lit again, smiles returned, jackets remained in the hall locker.

It became more than obvious that the nearly doomed couple were happier than ever. We just figured such happiness was the outcome of them flitting on the edge of the disaster cliff, but not falling into the abyss. The funny thing is, after that episode passed, our buddy rose in rank and became one of the "experienced guys." One day, in one of those whispering sex talks, he said assertively, "You have to use better rubbers. That's what I did." Well, no wonder they were smiling!

I think of that story when I'm around former classmates, or at high school reunions when they give prizes for having the most kids, most grandkids and all that. It never fails that a good number of my classmates have kids the same age or older than the number of years we are out of school. I got married 15 years out of high school—so I won the prize that year for waiting the longest. But by then, I had a classmate who was a grandparent.

Such are the courses of various decisions we make in life and every day. Some people buy good rubbers, and some don't. Some people take precautions, and some don't.

I've become a precautionary snob these days with omicron running all over the place, pretty much taking my mind off other worthy topics like Wordle. Since the Utah Legislature convened, it seems every GOP politician in Utah has a firm thought about the efficacy of wearing masks. They all believe—with cult-like adherence to the same talking points—that masks are useless, and mask mandates are akin to (pick one) communism, socialism, fascism or devil worship. Social media is bursting with our state leaders declaring their freedom from the tyrannical yoke of big government. Pats on the back all around.

But, I'm yet to see a single one of them attribute a single of their beliefs to anyone or anything credible. Nary a one has gone up to the "experienced guy" and asked, "Now what do I do?" They simply quote and reassure each other—the crass high school term "circle jerk" comes to mind. They aren't credible people, but their unity makes them powerful. To make it worse, the "experienced guys" in this case are doctors Anthony Fauci and Angela Dunn. The gerrymandered-for-life GOP leaders reject Fauci because he is an adviser to President Biden, he is a foreign agent who profits from COVID deaths and because he's a stupid old Italian. They reject Dunn because she is female. She's also smarter, more compassionate and bolder than the full lot of them.

They'd all rather have sex without a rubber, let alone a bad one. They want you to do the same. That is, they want you to risk everything based on their belief it's better to die than to be saved by a Democrat or by science. At the top of the heap is Gov. Spencer "Ah-shucks" Cox. Cox recently got a spanking in an editorial from The Salt Lake Tribune's editorial board, a quaint relic from the days when the Tribune actually held sway in these parts.

His feelings got an "owie." So, his team went on the offense and soon, a bevy of defenders including Utah's entire federal delegation (minus Mitt) began claiming Cox's COVID management has been magnificent.

Truth is, Cox hasn't done a single proactive damned thing to mitigate COVID. Not a single hard call in a year. Now, his Utah state government is punching down on smaller governing bodies—Salt Lake County and Salt Lake City (both with female mayors) and local school boards (with many female leaders)—denying them the authority to manage their own domains. Isn't that what these folks claim is big government overreach?

Yes, it is. And such cheap rubber solutions are going to result in the same outcome per COVID—you're either lucky or you aren't.

Send comments to john@cityweekly.net.

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About The Author

John Saltas

John Saltas

Bio:
John Saltas is a lamb eating, Bingham Canyon native, City Weekly feller who'd rather be in Greece.

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