West Valley City? I'm not falling for it.

Okay, I've been slow, but I have finally figured it out. West Valley City is a paradise. In all of America, there can be no finer place to live and raise a family than West Valley City. Lake Woebegone has got to look like Flint Michigan compared to this place.

Of course, whenever you have a paradise, you have a problem: How to keep the secret that it's a paradise?

The city fathers (some of whom are undoubtedly mothers) have come up with a clever way to prevent anybody from ever saying "Hey, Mildred, that West Valley City sounds like a great little place to live. What say we look into building us a house and moving out there?"

In cooperation with the news media, the City Council of West Valley City has mounted an aggressive campaign to portray their little hamlet as the worst of all possible places to drive through, much less move out into and raise a family. Every single newscast in the state of Utah contains between one and three stories about some heinous crime that's just been committed or is in the act of being committed in West Valley City.

If you google "West Valley City" you will get a message saying "Did you mean: Crime Death Destruction West Valley City"

If you live within nuclear blast radius of Salt Lake City and you own a working radio, this will sound familiar:

In West Valley City today carjackers led police on a high speed chase. Armed robbers everywhere suspended knocking off of convenience stores to watch as the chase wound its way through drive by shootings and parking lots full of people stealing stereos. Three rapists barely escaped injury, having to get their victims phone numbers before fleeing to safety to avoid the speeding cars.

I'm sure this campaign has been very effective. I'll bet people in West Valley City are sitting on their decks looking out over verdant pastures and ponds, sipping lemonade while they watch hummingbirds flit from lilac to lilac. They're just passing the time until they run over to baseball fields to watch the little league game. After the game little 8 year old Suzy will go with the team to get the best banana split on the planet for 10 cents down at the malt shop then walk home through the business district after dark to her home filled with Norman Rockwell paintings.

The residents can live this idyllic life because nobody outside of the community wants to live there. A sign that says "Welcome to West Valley City" means "Get out! Get out while you still can!" Decent folk think it's a haven for criminals and criminals look toward their fair town and say "Good grief (or words to that effect), I'm staying away from that place. There's a freaking glut in the market in my chosen industry."

The people who came up with this campaign had a great idea. But they didn't count on one thing.


I'm not falling for it. These people, for all their good intentions, have committed the error you always see in these kinds of fabrications. They've way overdone it.

A murder or two a day, the 7-11 getting held up every other night and twice on the weekends, and maybe three or four carjackings over the lunch hour--that I could have believed. But the rate that West Valley City crime is being reported on my radio? No way.

I'm not falling for it.