Travelers are likely to be bemused by a mock Utah road map that spoofs everything from the Great Salt Lake to Gov. Norm Bangerter and includes towns like LaVerkin and Shirley.
The "Escape Utah" map was designed for "for tourists without rose-colored glasses" by brothers Dale and Don Christensen, who would just as soon keep their backgrounds a little vague.They will let on that they were born and raised in Bountiful to a couple of loving parents who are now embarrassed beyond belief.
You want irreverence? The map has it.
The state's population is listed as "2,000,000 and falling."
The state bird is the California gull, the state tree is the Colorado blue spruce and, according to the map, "Narm Bangerter" is the state dinosaur and Attorney General David Wilkinson the state twit.
The "Narm" comes from the distinctive Utah accent that skews pronunciations to something like, "Whut? Were you barn in a born in Spanish Fark?"
The Utah Arts Festival is described as "a sort of paint-by-numbers art festival catering to the kind of art that is usually painted on velvet."
Besides irreverence, there's a little gallows humor - "Bonkers State Park" features such sights as Gilmore Falls, the Bundy Trail and the misspelled-for-legal-reasons Francis Schroder Youth Hostel.
Points of Interest that Almost Were include Heritage Mountain Ski Resort, the supercollider project and (Republican Sen.) Orrin Hatch Living in Utah.
The map has a designation for non-primitive areas in the state, but there are none listed.
"What an oxymoron," exclaimed Don. "A non-primitive area in Utah."
"Utah is one of those places with a big `Kick Me' sign on its back," said Dale. "Everyone in Utah takes themselves so seriously. And everything out here is so sacrosanct. We decided to pick on those things."
Still, they settled on several rules before going to press. The brothers said they "didn't want to pick on anyone because of their looks, we didn't want to just take a bunch of cheap shots at people and we wanted to keep it cerebral."
Well, one out of three isn't bad.
The map compares the smell of the "Mediocre Salt Lake" to "that of the Soviet women's track and field team locker room."
For morning drive-time disc jockey Tom Barberi of KALL Radio, the map provided enough material for a week.
"That's about the funniest thing I've ever read," he said. "I love the twin towns of LaVerkin (real) and Shirley (not real). And the ghost town listing with a picture of the Triad Center. And Mediocre Salt Lake has to be the topper."
"That's how we first got the idea," said Don. "We were laughing about all these people coming from all over the world to see the Great Salt Lake and it has to be one of the dirtiest, smelliest places around. Calling it great breaks all of the truth-in-advertising laws."
In most cases, the humor is sympathetic, the pair maintains.
"I'm real pro-Utah," said Dale. "Utah has the greatest potential in the United States, but it also has a whole lot of problems and the only way to solve a problem is to recognize that you have one."
The map is being sold at several Salt Lake locations for $3.50.