Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Taylorsville Dayzz

Yes I know what you’re thinking, and yes I do realize that adding two ‘Z’s is not the correct way to pluralize the word “day.” I know that because of the little red spell checking line that popped up under the word Dayzz as I was typing it. If it wasn’t for that line, then I would be just like every child growing up in Taylorsville who for that last few months has been taught by city-wide signs advertising the city’s celebration that the correct spelling of “days” is “Dayzz.” Now the fact that this entire town is confused about proper spelling is not surprising news, a quick google search for information on Taylorsville schooling reveals that only 55% of students at Arcadia elementary in Taylorsville are proficient or better at language arts. The curse of the double-z pluralization clearly has a grip on this community.

That being said, Taylorsville dayzz is clear evidence that the abilities to spell and to throw are party are not correlated in the least. Honestly my 5 hour trip to Taylorsville could not have been a more awesome and wonderful experience for one reason alone: the excellent quality of the people I met there.

The true Taylorville experience began as we made our way through the mazed streets of the Salt Lake suburb to pick up Lacey, our local Taylorsville tour guide. The first item on the tour agenda was a stop at Papa Murphy’s to decide on what type of pizza would serve as our dinner. Upon entering I knew we were where the locals came to buy dinner. It suffices to say that the company joining us in Papa Murphy’s wasn’t your classic Provo fare. This was good because I have a theory on travel: try to go to the local hot spots, not the real touristy places; try to blend in with the indigenous people and have the most authentic experience possible. In order to increase the authenticity of the experience, I asked Spencer, the local high-schooler working behind the cash register, what kind of pizza to get. He recommended the stuffed chicken and bacon pizza with the garlic sauce. I could tell by the look on Spencer’s face that he was honored to be asked his opinion on pizza as this is a topic he clearly holds dear to his heart. There is no other conceivable reason he would have taken that job. With respect to his expertise, we got the stuffed pizza, which is really like a giant calzone with cheese and sauce on top. Lacey ordered a veggie delite pizza as well. Apparently because her family was all girls they hadn’t yet discovered that you can get meat on your pizza. Preston and I also bought a bottle of lemonade to present to Lacey’s parents Terri and George, formally known as St. George and Mother Teresa respectively. We then headed back to Lacey’s house.

When we got to Lacey’s home, I got to meet Mother Teresa and St. George in person, which was an honor. Then I had Melissa, Lacey’s new roommate/semi-unofficially adopted sister take me on a tour of the clocks St. George has collected over the years. These were some amazing clocks! In preparation of this trip I had studied up on my clock facts. The only one I can really remember is that the mechanical clock was invented around 1300 a.d. Pretty fascinating stuff!

After the clocks, it was time for the photo tour. There really isn’t a better way to get to know someone quickly than by seeing the photos of their past. These windows into someone’s history are really worth a thousand words. I made Lacey explain to me all the photos of her adorning the walls and shelves of her home. Mother Teresa offered to break out the photo albums to show off the really embarrassing pictures, but Lacey refused to allow us that privilege. Fate also refused us the opportunity to watch the Powell home videos as they had loaned out their video camera and had no other way of playing the videos.

Dinner was full of sparkling conversation as the Powells dispensed their wisdom upon us. We learned that sometimes it’s okay, even necessary to propose on your first date and that if you think of eternity in terms of billions of years, it suddenly seems really, really long. We also learned what it feels like to look across a crowded room and see the way the light attaches to a special girl. In the words of St. George, that’s called “only having eyes for her.”

After dinner we got a tour of the Powell garden. As an avid mental gardener (I currently have no place to garden other than my mind), I really enjoyed the tour of different vegetables used in making magic Powell salsa. At least four types of peppers are used in the salsa which magically transforms between sweet and spicy flavors, kind of like how kettle corn goes from sweet to salty. I also learned that there is a type of tomato called Mr. Stripey, a name I would have reserved for a clown on a children’s game show.

We finished up our evening with the Powells by hearing a few stories about the devious local raccoons that haunt the neighborhood. Now if I ever have any sort of raccoon problem I know exactly who I’m bringing in as my senior anti-raccoon strategist. St. George has great technique.

We jumped in the cars and drove over to the local rec center behind which Taylorsville Dayzz was taking place. The crowd was already growing rapidly as blankets covered the grass claiming the best fireworks viewing spots. We were greeted by skydivers falling out of the sky carrying American flags as a Beatles tribute band informed us that they are Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
After marking off our territory for the fireworks we went to go explore the fairgrounds and meet up with some people that Lacey knew. That morning Lacey had run in a 5k and had a sore knee from it. In an action deeply rooted in chivalry, I offered to allow her to ride on my back rather than stumble around painfully on her hurt leg. When she accepted the piggy-back ride I took advantage of her severely limited mobility to have the face-paint artist paint “kiss me” and big set of lips on Lacey’s cheek. She was not nearly as appreciative of this as I expected her to be. She said something about “having to see people from her home ward and what will they think of me.” It was thoroughly entertaining watching her try to cover the side of her face with her hair.
One of the many booths set up at the fair was for the UQA, or Utah Quidditch Association. These people are serious about the sport. The tried to recruit Preston and me to be on the team after we told them that we are both fast and strong. Check out the website, if anyone wants to start a Provo team, The Drick has already suggested the name: Provo Prefects.
Before too long it was time to head back to our blankets and get ready for fireworks. What I did not know at the time was that I also needed to prepare for a brawl. Sitting behind us were two rambunctious little boys who were having fun throwing a foam ball back and forth. Then one of them threw the ball at our group. My competitive edge came out, and I grabbed the ball in a sort of taunting manner. Immediately both boys pounced on me. Encouraged by Preston they began using all sorts of WWE moves to dislodge the ball from my hands and my spleen from my abdomen. This sequence happened repeatedly throughout the evening. At one point during the fireworks one of the boys even managed to sneak up on me and give me a noogie. These kids were definite bullies.The fireworks themselves were awesome. There is nothing that epitomizes summer more that lying on a blanket on a warm night watching the dark sky explode with color and light. Patriotic tunes filled the air as we were mesmerized by fantastic display above us.
Yes summer time is officially here in Utah. To celebrate that fact we ended the night with milkshakes from Iceberg, home of the biggest “mini” sized shakes ever. I still have half of mine waiting in the freezer. I’ve been asked several times what my favorite season is. I always hesitate to answer because there is so much great stuff that happens all year. Fall, with its natural colors and mild temperatures, Winter with the beautiful snow and Christmas celebrations, and Spring with its rebirth and release from school all are wonderful. But after a summer night like Taylorsville Dayzz, I can with confidence say that none of them can hold a candle to the beautiful torch that is summertime, when our spirits are high, stress is low, the nights though short offer endless fun, and the long days welcome us with the sun’s bright rays.


Ie Ling Gail said...

Taylorsville Dayzz looks like a marvelous time. I love reading about your adventures and I'm digging the hair cut =)

Lacey Ann said...

I love Taylorsville! Seriously Greg, way to capture the whole experience even down to the strange Taylorsvillians in Papa Murphy's. :) I'm very impressed. Taylorsville will welcome you back anytime.

aubrey said...

not even i have had the privilege of st george and mother teresa's clock exploration and garden extravaganza!! SO JEALOUS!!