Monday, it was a roll of Mentos peppermint candy. A couple days earlier, it was a bottle of 100 Spectro multi-vitamin capsules "in a base of Siberian ginseng."
A few years ago, someone delivered a bowling pin and positioned it upright and center on the small desks they use to conduct the state's business. No one remembers the group, but most remember the bowling pin.Another day, during another session of the Utah State Legislature, lawmakers got virility pills.
From creative to cluttering, cute to creepy, lawmakers receive all sorts of booty, dropped on their desks each day by groups and individuals trying to draw attention to their causes.
There are key chains and denim hats, note pads and rolls of Life Savers. "Real Salt" gets pushed aside for the poster given by the Utah Highway Patrol. The posters eventually make way for dental-care packs from the Utah Dental Association that contain a toothbrush, toothpaste, travel mints, toothpick and Kleenex.
"I do pay attention. It does bring your focus to an issue," said Rep. Brian Allen, R-Holladay. "But I couldn't tell you what I got yesterday."
He did remember Monday's second offering, a paperback-size wooden house, constructed out of glue and carefully carved Popsicle sticks - and meant to remind 104 Utah lawmakers that not everyone has a nice house in which to live.
The Beehive State needs affordable housing, says a message by the J.E.D.I. Women stuck to the house. "We ask you, our Legislature, to encourage safe, decent affordable housing by supporting. . . ."
A listing of several affordable housing bills followed.
Red and pink carnation corsages rounded out the daily Monday deliveries to those who represent their colleagues and neighbors in the Legislature.
There have been books, pins and candy, candy, candy - all inscribed with a nice message and encouragement about a how to vote on some political issue.
It's easy to get something placed on a desk. It can't be homemade cookies because of rules requiring commercially prepared food, and it's not smart to have anything that draws too much attention, but all a person really needs is the OK from a member of the House of Representatives.
"People get very creative about how to get your attention," said House Minority Leader Dave Jones, D-Salt Lake.
Do lawmakers notice the candy and trinkets placed carefully on their desk each day? "Yes," Jones said.
Does it influence their decision-making? "Not at all."
"I have a role of Mentos on my desk right now. I had one today. But I could not tell you who gave it to me."
The Exchange Carriers of Utah, that's who.
There are bottles of water to drink and bottles of water to think about: Rep. Trish Beck OK'd a Kerr jar full of water from the White City neighborhood in Salt Lake County, long embroiled in a dispute with Sandy City over water service.
"Open Your Mind - Mental Illnesses are Brain Disorders" reads a mug from a campaign to end discrimination against people with a brain disorder."
Some lawmakers complain about the extra clutter on their desks, already jammed with a phone, laptop computer, books, paper copies of bills-in-progress and various personal photos and mementoes. Some immediately throw the trinkets away.
Two legislators in the House want to avoid all appearance of impropriety and have asked their pages not to deliver the goods.
Some say privately they find some of the offerings creepy. Every year someone brings stickpins of tiny, gold feet. The feet are the exact size of those of a 10-week old fetus, says the attached card from the American Anti-Abortion Association.
The trinkets, candy and memorabilia make up only half of the daily freebie picture. The other half is the food.
Someone brings a morning break snack; someone provides an afternoon break snack. Someone usually provides lunch and dinner.
"Happy President's Day from the Eagle Forum," reads a basket full of Granny B's pink-topped cookies. Utah State University provided Aggie Ice Cream one day; the Utah affiliate of the American Diabetes Association provided healthy, vegetable snacks on another.
Monday, the Utah Association of Student Body Presidents provided dinner in the Capitol Rotunda. Tuesday, it was the Chamber of Commerce, and Wednesday an open house sponsored by the Utah Republican Party.
Bringing a snack allows some smaller, nonprofit groups access to lawmakers they wouldn't regularly receive, said Janet Geyser, chief "social secretary" for representatives.
"They can stand in the kitchen and chit-chat with them while they have the snack," she said. "That's the way it works."