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Summit Up

Special to the Daily

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the worlds only daily column grateful to be written in the great state of Colorado, where state lawmakers have better things to talk about than anatomically correct vehicle adornments.Just this past week, we heard, the Florida state government so decisive and principled back in 2000 voted to enact a law making it illegal to drive in the state with whats known as truck nutz or bumper balls hanging from ones car or truck.Sometimes we wonder if weve been in Summit County too long. Sometimes we fear weve gotten out of touch with the rest of the country. We suspect the rarefied air of the High Country has somehow warped our consciousness. After all, where else can one talk about back-county skiing or trail running or adventure racing pretty much 24/7 without being thought of as a nut?And then we hear about the debate in Floridas state senate. For those who, like us, live in a bubble and have never seen the offending ornaments, truck nuts are molded plastic or metal sculpted to represent an oversized scrotum, complete with anatomically correct-looking testicles and usually suspended from a trailer hitch or back bumper. They range in price from around $24.95 to more than $50, and come in a variety of colors, including beige, pink, white, orange, camo (!), black, brass, and, or course, blue.Were sure you can imagine all the sophisticated humor inspired by the product.According to pop culture experts, the phenomenon of hanging a replica of male genitalia from ones vehicle first surfaced in the late 1990s. We pause for a moment here to imagine who first thought of the idea.Evidently, theyre pretty popular in some circles. Vermont isnt big on them, but they sell like hotcakes in Texas. Some people find them offensive, but lots of people think theyre funny. During the Florida State Senate debate, one senator confessed to having a pair himself.Never having seen them out on the road, were not sure what wed think. In pictures on Internet sites, they look pretty ridiculous to us, but as one advertiser claimed, The photos dont do them justice. We wonder.We suspect that, when it comes down to it, the idea is funny, but wed rather not find ourselves at a stoplight first thing on a Tuesday morning eye to eye with an anatomically correct pink plastic scrotum dangling from the bumper of the truck in front of us.Its just a matter of personal taste.Attempts to ban the balls failed in both Maryland and Virginia. The legislator who proposed the law in Florida reassured his colleagues that decals of Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes fame) relieving himself on a Chevy wouldnt be affected by the ban. Apparently its okay to use the organ in question, but not to show it.Well see whether other state governments follow Floridas lead. Maybe debate about truck nuts is a healthy distraction from all the disturbing and seemingly unsolvable issues our society has been faced with lately like global warming, the war in Iraq, and the housing crisis. Maybe if we obsess about bumper balls, all that other stuff will go away.Back to our original statement: were just glad we live in Summit County and have our own unique set of concerns such as When is it ever going to stop snowing? and How am I going to afford my rent/mortgage this month? Every different community in the world surely has its own particular charms, but the recent Florida debate about truck testicles only serves to convince us even more than before that Colorado is a great place to be.***Good news. Luke Fatora, son of Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Fatora of Silverthorne and a Junior at Summit High School, has been selected to be Concertmaster of the Colorado Youth Symphony Orchestra. Luke will be playing this Sunday, May 4, 3:30 at Gates Hall in Denver University’s Newman Center for the Performing arts. Congratulations Luke! ***Its Friday, folks, and were out shoveling as usual.

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