Of course, it’s not all butterflies and red balloons in the Beehive State. We would be remiss if we didn’t include a list of losers as well. 

Heads will roll

Rep. Paul Ray calls for a return to the firing squad as an “efficient” way to execute folks. Rep. Oda, who once advocated the clubbing and decapitation of stray pets, is expected to one-up Ray with a guillotine option.

A Kiss is Still a Kiss

Pioneer Theatre Company Managing Director Chris Lino got national props for his cheeky reaction to a mother of a teenager who was angry they were subjected to the “repulsive” sight of two male characters kissing in the whodunnit Deathtrap. Lino noted that the customer apparently was more disgusted by a pretend gay kiss than the play’s depiction of murder. In a coup-de-grace, Lino unilaterally removed the offended woman from the theater’s mailing list and released her season tickets.

Family Feud 

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes not only rolled back Utah’s brief moment of same-sex matrimony, but he pushed to undo a slew of adoption filings of same-sex couples—legally dismantling families, which as any real Utahn knows, are the building blocks of civilization.

On the other hand: Tyler Glenn, lead singer of Neon Trees and an active, believing Mormon, came out of the closet in a Rolling Stone article. Who’s next? Donny and Marie? The entire Mo-Tab? (As far as asking how a devout gay could remain a committed Mormon—don’t go there.)

Moroni’s Spidey Sense

Utah, accustomed to being highly ranked for volunteerism and wing-nut politics, surprised the world by being named the nation’s No. 1 Nerdiest State, based on our geeky fascination with Pokéman, Doctor Who and characters like Darth Vader, the Joker and Green Goblin—putting to rest questions of how Orrin Hatch could be reelected for four decades.

Baptism by Fire

Utah’s new and extremely hideous federal courthouse opened with a bang. In the first hearing in the building, federal marshals riddled a defendant with bullets, giving new meaning to the term “swift justice.” Suspected gang member Siale Angilau made the mistake of not saying “I object!” before leaping over a table to shank a smack-talking witness with a ball-point pen. 

Lurching Toward Oblivion

It was an accelerating year of bad news at The Salt Lake Tribune, which has spiraled from the state’s Independent Voice to the Rodney Dangerfield of rags. Its new owners—who, as best we can figure, office above a pawn shop in Queens—laid off staff, sold its presses and profits to the LDS propaganda ministry—otherwise known as KSL/Deseret News for some pieces of silver. 

A dragon ate my hard drive!

Former Attorney General John Swallow, investigated in 2013 on allegations he “put a for sale sign” on his office, suffered an unprecedented run of bad luck with digital devices. Swallow was stymied in proving his innocence by negligent and AWOL electronic devices, including a lost Ipad and a cellphone that erased all evidence of what a stand-up dude he is. Most frustrating, Swallow lost his back-up drive during a family vacation in Disneyland. (Check the “Mad Tea Party” ride. We understand Swallow rode it repeatedly.) Critics weren’t sympathetic. “Unless you believe in some sort of mystical technology-eating dragon,” said one, “there’s got to be some obstruction.”

Real goblins stand up!

Three Boy Scout leaders/Visigoths destroyed a rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park. To prove beyond a doubt that they are indeed idiots, the youth leaders made a video of the crime and put it on YouTube. Oops.

Bundies in a bunch 

San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman in May led 200 ATV-ridin’ yahoos into fragile Recapture Canyon. The “overreaching” BLM, which owns the land, had the audacity to close the area to protect its prehistoric sites. A deputation came from Nevada slavery advocate Cliven Bundy who denies the existence of the U.S. Government, not to mention its overreaching Emancipation Proclamation.

U of U researchers chill out 

Police busted four U of U students in February who were smoking pot in an igloo. Even the cops were impressed with the students’ science project, a 5-foot-high igloo with 10-inch-thick walls, which theoretically concentrated and cooled the marijuana smoke, much like, one of the researchers explained: a humonguous, live-in, cold-fusion bong, dude! It also kept beer cold. “They did quite an elaborate job on it,” said a police spokesman. “There was a cardboard door and a stick acting as a hinge.” Nevertheless, the young innovators were turned over to university officials for discipline. The police, apparently not that impressed after all, destroyed the igloo.

Mountain Don’t

In a world of caffeine-fueled energy drinks—Red Bull, Reload, Hype, RockStar, Monster, etc.—Utah fires back, as only Utah can, with Chillax, an unenergy drink, bottled from a natural spring in our most listless, uninspiring city, Sandy. Thus, if you’re so “hopped-up” you are considering something off the hook like same-sex marriage or passing an anti-discrimination law or wearing a color, quaff a bottle of Chillax.

Back>>>Read other sections in the 2014 Best of the Beehive.

Back>>>Read more stories from our July/August 2014 issue.