Beautiful Godzilla: Livin’ The Daydream

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Illustration: Ryan Perkins
When I was in high school, I lived in a podunk town where good little Mormon kids like me had to come up with “creative” social activities. We had the obvious options available to us: Watch the popular kids at school wave pompoms and bash their heads together, loiter at the super Wal-Mart, make something dumb and girly with hot glue guns at mutual … but those of us with more motivation (who would eventually leave Cedar City and its mindless inhabitants behind) had different ideas of fun. From water ballooning, toilet papering and tumbleweeding (ask me sometime) to trampoline sleepovers, sneaking out and making out––my friends and I found every possible angle for trouble that didn’t require drugs and alcohol.



I really can’t complain––I have had an adolescence full of good stories that I wouldn’t trade now (except maybe to add some cool bike gang activities), but back then, I was always daydreaming of something more. These daydreams were perpetuated by the music videos we’d watch over and over in my friend Zach’s basement. You see, before Zach’s basement, I was listening to Backstreet Boys and the Titanic Soundtrack. Though I moved on to the post-hardcore trend of the early-’00s, which isn’t much better, I really owe him and a handful of other friends for the direction my life has taken. Other than the unspoken competition we had going on “who heard this band first,” which kept me looking for new music, the music videos we’d spend hours watching always had me aching for beachside fire pits and underwear parties. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my hand hanging out the window of the back seat of a vintage car on Highway 101 during an endless sunset while someone with a resolute timbre in their voice called out inspiring, patriotic phrases about life and love. It’s taken over a decade, but all my daydreams came true a couple of months ago at the Monthly Mystery Ride.



Maybe it was the starting location on the steps of the eerie Masonic Temple; maybe it was the yards of tin foil wrapped around the cyclists, who had made the most of the “Leftover Disco” theme; maybe it was the blinking red lights, pulsing life into the bicycles around me; maybe it was the drugs (my mom doesn’t read this)––but everything came together that night like a Jimmy Eat World music video––or a Levi’s commercial. The night concluded with a fitting dance party under an overpass, complete with music videos (mise en abyme?), beverages, daredevil light dimmers and a handsome boy. I was so overwhelmed by the scene, I could only watch from the sidelines while I stuffed my face with a burrito. They don’t ever show the guy in the corner with the munchies in the music videos …



Jacqueline Lopez and Brandon Smith of Led By Lite organized this daydream of mine, and fortunately, for those of you looking to realize some emo fantasies, the Monthly Mystery Ride is every third weekend of the month. These actually happen in other places across the country––I bet you can guess which overrated bike mecca it started in, though it’s called the Midnight Mystery Ride there. I’ve been told that the reason why it starts at 9 p.m. in Salt Lake is because people are too drunk to show up at midnight. Maybe the theme of the next ride should be “Intervention” and we can all wear plaid button-ups with sobriety pamphlets in the front pocket.



Different people sign up to organize a ride each month, and the destination is the “mystery” part of it, which is kind of neat, ‘cause I’m down for any plan that doesn’t require too much commitment––though I do hate surprises. The next Monthly Mystery Ride will take place Aug. 18. The theme has to do with summer camp, which means some of you will get to relive other adolescent fantasies (or nightmares), and I hear Bouncin Bins is even supplying blow-up toys for children 18 and up. Join the SaltCycle group to stay in the loop on the ride and all other urban cycling events in Salt Lake. I’ll tell you what “tumbleweeding” is if you show up.
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