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Front Page » August 28, 2012 » Opinion » Stuck in the middle with you, and you, and you...
Published 845 days ago

Stuck in the middle with you, and you, and you...


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By By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate publisher

Well I don't know why I came here tonight,

I got the feeling that something ain't right,

I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair,

And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs,

Clowns to the left of me,

Jokers to the right, here I am,

Stuck in the middle with you.

This is the way I have been feeling about this political season. As a moderate my voting choices seem so limited. I'd like to think that most people are in the moderate category, but recently as I looked at polls it seems that is not true. Does that mean that Nixon's "Silent Majority" has slipped away into the night?

It's interesting as I thought about this dilemma a couple of weeks ago, that I got caught in an actual "stuck in the middle with you."

My sister and her husband had come to Utah from Texas for a funeral of a family member and we were all in Salt Lake. It was a Sunday night, but despite the fact I knew that the City Creek Center was closed on Sundays I wanted to show it to them. We drove downtown, but as usual parking on the street was a problem. As I passed the entrances to the parking plaza underneath the center all but the 100 South entrance had closed signs on them. I entered there grabbed a ticket from the machine, and parked in, well almost any space I wanted. It was fairly empty except for cars that were there for restaurant patrons (the only establishments open in the mall).

We walked up to the sparsely populated plazas. Of course the main areas were closed, but the outside was beautiful. We also walked across South Temple to the LDS Church Office plaza and looked at the gardens. We then came back and took the elevator down to where we had parked.

We got in the car and I drove up to one of the exits, deposited my ticket in the machine, which did not charge me (thank you) and I drove up the ramp to go out.

It was then that I almost hit the big steel gate blocking my exit.

Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you,

And I'm wondering what it is I should do,

It's so hard to keep this smile from my face,

Losing control, yeah, I'm all over the place,

Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,

Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.

It was perplexing. How could we get out. I started to laugh, but realized we may be in a fix. There was enough room to turn around my truck and go back through another gate across from the one I had just deposited my ticket in, and luckily the machine there gave me another ticket and let me through that gate back into the parking plaza.

I drove around in circles, going up and down the various levels trying to find a way out. I saw the State Street entrance/exit, but this time I looked beyond the ticket gathering machine and saw that gate was down too.

All of us were laughing as we did this. But it was rather nervous laughter. My wife made fun of me. My sister made jokes about being stuck driving around forever in the bowels of the church's commercial complex.

I thought, "Maybe this is hell. Maybe I should be a member."

We passed another exit and I peered beyond the ticket booth. It too had the gate down.

Well I don't know why I came here tonight,

I got the feeling that something ain't right,

I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair,

And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs,

Clowns to the left of me,

Jokers to the right, here I am,

Stuck in the middle with you...

Then it dawned on me. DUH!!! Try the entrance you came in on, 100 South. Since that was the only one we hadn't checked, it might still be open.

It was, although the way it exits once I went through the ticket gate it looked like it was blocked. I am sure we all had a little chill thinking it might not be a way out as we burst out onto the street.

It was a symbolic thing for me. The politics in this country are so polarized, so out of touch with what I want our leaders to do, that I feel like I am driving around a parking mall all night, trying to find a way out.

But there doesn't seem to be one.

Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you,

(Lyrics from the song "Stuck in the middle with you" by Stealers Wheel.)

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August 28, 2012
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