Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Utah Immigration: Like A Day At Lagoon

Imagine this scenario:

You are at Lagoon with your family and, even though your children are teenagers, you are told by park management that you and your family can only ride on Bulgy the Whale.

Then, someone on the ride says that they had heard that there are lots of open seats on the Colossus.  You ask around and discover that it is common knowledge that there are open seats.  You leave Bulgy the Whale and travel across the park to Colossus.

When you get there you discover there is a line of people from Bulgy the Whale, Tilt-a-Whirl, and a few other inferior rides stretching for a hundred yards waiting for their turn.  Then you notice a curious thing.  While there are ten empty seats available on Colossus, the attendant only lets one person on at a time while leaving nine of the seats empty.  Meanwhile, there is a sign posted that says:

"Line Jumping will not be tolerated and may be cause for ejection from the park." 

Another thing that you notice is that, rather than waiting in line, many of the folks are jumping the fence and seating themselves in the empty seats.  Often, in the confusion, this means that more are climbing over than there are available seats.  The attendant seems to shrug off this violation of the rules yet continues to dutifully administer his gate keeping responsibility with the folks still in line.
You hear someone in line talking about this situation and discover that park management has no intention of enforcing its line jumping rule.  Yet, bafflingly, it also does not want to reduce the amount of seats available or increase the allowance of passengers to promote order and safety either!

Then you notice the Colossus' mechanics at work with welding torches cutting into the fence and creating another gate.  The mechanics are tired of cleaning up messes created by the disorderly way people have been climbing on the ride.  They are also upset with park management for making the ride unsafe and worse for wear.  They have taken a vote and decided to create another gate so that the ride is full but not overflowing.  The new gate will cut down on people line jumping while bringing order to a chaotic situation.

While this is going on you can hear a few original riders on Colossus yelling loudly: "Hey, you can't do that! That's against park management policy!  Only park management can make new gates! And get all these Bulgy the Whale people off our ride!"

And thus, you see the mechanics reviled by the riders - the same mechanics who know the strengths and weaknesses of the ride and expend their efforts in correcting a problem so they can protect and preserve the very same ride in which they serve as caretakers.

On Saturday, June 18th, the majority of quiet voices in the Utah GOP will have a chance to be heard.  May we hope that reason prevails and the loud and angry voices give way to those of sound judgment.  Let us reject the resolution to repeal HB 116.

UPDATE: You can find a lightly edited version of this at the Standard Examiner website HERE.

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