Sunday, July 22, 2007

Park City Sunday: (semi) environmentalists & arms-dealing clowns

A Tale of Two Sundays: Driving through Bountiful on a Sunday reminds one of the opening scene from The Andromeda Strain, or perhaps the classic window-shuttering confrontation in High Noon. The big grocery store is closed. The strip mall is closed. Tumbleweeds roll down the street.

In Park City, by contrast, Sundays are happening. In the city's "Park Silly Sunday Market," artists and belly dancers and vendors line Main Street to hawk their wares. Park Silly's goal is environmental neutrality. Accordingly, there is a sign at the entrance declaring it a Zero Waste Zone, every item purchased for consumption, including its packaging, to be recyclable or compostable, and a row of decorative bins into which one is supposed to deposit aluminum, paper, compost items, etc., as labeled.

It's not foolproof. If, after wolfing down a scrumptious falafel sandwich wrapped in aluminum foil, one walked over to the Aluminum bin, one would learn that no aluminum foil is to be placed therein. But it's not compostable, either, and it doesn't fit any of the other categories.

"Where is this supposed to go?" one might ask the vendor who provided said foil, only to be told,

"Just throw it away."

"But it doesn't seem to be allowed in any of the cans."

"You can put it here," the vendor might offer, pointing at a small trash can under her makeshift counter.

"Wouldn't that sort of defeat the purpose?"

Shrug.

"I mean, don't you guys commit to using only materials that can go in the bins?"

Shrug.

Oh, well. At least there's a clown to alleviate one's guilt at being environmentally unsound. Wait--he's handing out balloons? Aren't those environmental disasters? Apparently not, according to articles churned up on Google; they're compostable. Oh. And this kid is one heck of a balloon maker. In mere seconds, he can twist and curve and fold that latex into a pumpkin, a dinosaur, or an AK 47. Yes, that's right; one of his most popular products is an automatic weapon for the younguns to enjoy. Only in Utah? Please say yes.

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