What, the Heck!? 

Welcome to heck

I've fretted way too much over what to call this weekly column formerly known as "Lingo Yarns." But no matter the setting, the company or the intoxicant, the answer just wouldn't come. Then, against all odds, the answer hit me when I was in Southern California for a family event. I was trapped in smoggy, starfish-paced gridlock on Highway 1, heading back from a round of golf on Friday (I was in a foursome with country music artifact Glen Campbell--no kidding!) when it hit me: L.A. is Hell.

Boise, on the other hand, isn't Hell. I've lived in the Treasure Valley from the moment I slid into the waiting arms of some doc at Saint Luke's, and I've had to defend the virtues of my hometown against naysayers almost ever since. But I see in this area, and in the budding population bent on settling every corner of it, a puzzling admiration of larger cities, that type of glossy lifestyle, those types of people ... that type of Hell. And as a result, we're having some serious growing pains. We want unlimited power but no power plants. Bling, but no gold mines. Fresh produce, but no farmlands.

Boise is a metropolis that can't yet deal with what it means to be one. Our version of urban Hell is one with rounded corners and bumpers over the gutters. We're safety scissors. We're not in Hell ... we're in Heck. And all of our wars over clean mouths and dirty minds--the nudity ordinances, the same-sex marriage moratoriums, the anti-abortion marches out side of clinics that don't perform abortions--only reinforce our heckishness. But if there was ever a paper fit to pull back Heck's veil and titter maniacally, it's Boise Weekly.

--Nicholas Collias

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