Panhandlers Paradise | News | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Panhandlers Paradise 

Pin It

How can you tell that the Olympics are over? Because those nice people you meet on the sidewalk downtown don’t want to trade pins, they just want your spare change. Someone ought to propose panhandling as an Olympic Demonstration Sport. Or perhaps Mayor Rocky Anderson could come up with a pin-trading scheme that would allow panhandlers to trade tokens for hot buttered rum. And what about berets for transient alcoholics? It might dress the place up a bit.

Back then, former Mayor Deedee Corradini had truckloads of business cards printed up that she gave to people who worked and frequented downtown. When a panhandler would ask for money, citizens were advised to hand them a card that provided the address of St. Vincent DePaul’s soup kitchen and the homeless shelter. Just say no to panhandlers—or something catchy like that—was the slogan that accompanied the program. But it didn’t seem to work too well. After all, that nice man asking you for 50 cents for a phone call really wants a pint of Popov vodka. And thanks to your four bits, he’s only three bucks shy of his high.

Maybe Mitt Romney could do something.

n Speaking of Mitt Romney, now that the Olympics are getting glowing reviews, the Mittster’s name is being put out there for such things as governor of Massachusetts, governor of New Hampshire and even president of Enron. Who knew that the Olympics could be such a political springboard?

The new phenomenon reportedly has Hillary Clinton and Al Sharpton positioning themselves to push a New York City bid for the Summer Games. Al Gore is rumored to be considering a Winter Olympics for Tennessee, too. Of course, it doesn’t snow much in Nashville, but so what? If the Jamaicans can have a bobsled team, why can’t Al?

n Our Olympic spirit, however, didn’t rub off on citizens of the small Southern Utah hamlet of La Verkin. Although the newly elected City Council threw out a previous ban on the United Nations, a number of La Verkers have signed a petition to get the matter on the ballot so the town can again be a “United Nations-free Zone.” The move seeks to keep those blue-helmeted peace keepers from invading La Verkin from Bosnia. As everyone who listens to Rush Limbaugh knows, the U.N. is an evil force known for fighting war, hunger and disease around the world.

n Former U of U theater student Christina Axson-Flynn is back in the news. She unsuccessfully sued the school after her professors refused to let her substitute words like “golly gee” for “God” and “fuck” in theater dialogue. She’s appealing the case to the federal 10th Circuit Court based on freedom-of-speech issues. The Actors Equity Association retracted its support for the student.

n And finally, this: Club Blue, an establishment that caters to gay patorns, has had its liquor license suspended for 60 days for alleged lewd behavior during “underwear night” when members are invited to take off everything but their Hanes. Nicholas Hales, the chairman of the Utah Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, was incredulous: “I still question why you believe it is good management to have an underwear night ...”

Get a clue, Nick.

Pin It

More by Christopher Smart

  • Flying Dinosaur Days: Christopher Smart (Editor 1996-2002)

    It’s all a fog now, but as I review the fossil record—with carbon-14 dating, of course—it appears that I started at City Weekly sometime in 1993 as a freelancer ...
    • Jun 23, 2010
  • Breaking Free

    The healing force for one prison inmate was the discovery of his art.
    • Sep 6, 2007
  • Ruben Retaliates

    In an unusual move, Salt Lake City Police Chief Ruben Ortega released protected personnel documents to news media in an apparent attempt to embarrass or retaliate against one of his police officers and president of the local police union. It was the...
    • Sep 6, 2007
  • More »

Latest in News

  • Sousa Mendes' List

    Holocaust rescuer's legacy lives on in Utah.
    • Jan 17, 2018
  • New Kids on the Block

    Freshly sworn-in council members are energetic, optimistic.
    • Jan 10, 2018
  • My First Year as an American

    Not quite a dream, one woman's first year as a U.S. citizen has been flecked by challenges and personal struggle.
    • Jan 3, 2018
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Wild and Dead

    Cause of burro deaths a mystery for BLM.
    • Jun 22, 2016
  • High and Dry

    Developers, preservationists at odds over Granite High's future.
    • Apr 26, 2017

© 2018 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation