Art by mail: A dazzling wasteland

Postcard collage of Great Salt Lake Desert, woman, and fish

Message on postcard:
Hi Tara! When asked to choose between a kid-friendly and non-kid-friendly postcard, you specified, “Vulgarity, please.” So I am gosh dang happy to bring you the most foolin’-est vulgar postcard my pottymouth mind can muster.

My Aunt Christine keeps telling me, “Sweetie, you should use less profanity when you write! You’re too good a writer to use such a lazy trick.” And I’m like, “Dang it, yo! I don’t think you appreciate how flippin’ rough life can be, and how my unique blend of personal experiences has contributed to my one-of-a-kind street flavor. I love you, but you need to respect my fudging work, please.” And the truly sad thing is that when she steps with this bull hooey, she doesn’t even realize she’s instigating the kind of soul-wrenching internecine conflict that legitimates my casual use of profanity.

Anyhowski, take a peep at that map to the right and sit back while I regale you with tales of my fantastic voyage across the American West. It was hot as the blazes of heck the day I drove through the southern reaches of the Great Salt Lake Desert on U.S. Highway 50. Western Utah is home to a few rough-and-tumble street gangs, including the Wasatch Blood Donors and the much-feared Salt Lake Safety Razors. Tensions were running high during my visit, and earlier that week the two gangs had exchanged a particularly cutting volley of letters to the editor. If I broke down in the desert I would have to rely on my own wits and survival skills for up to forty-five minutes, which is how long the sheriff told me I could expect to wait before encountering a random act of good samaritanism.

“Shucks, sir,” I said to the sheriff, “I don’t think you realize what a bleedin’ tough son-of-a-good-mother you’re talkin’ to.”

But the sheriff was unimpressed. “Don’t be a silly fool, son. Stay the night in my guest cottage and you can chow down at the senior center spaghetti dinner tonight. My treat.”

Well, I knew better safe than sorry, so I looked him square in the eye and took him up on his hospitality. I learned a valuable lesson that day, I assume.

Map of Great Salt Lake Desert

The above-mentioned map of the Great Salt Lake Desert.


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