This goofy smile is a tip-off that the person is grossly inebriated. The landscape is a tip-off that the source of intoxication is sandstone. Getting high on nature is common around Moab, but some people overdo it. Most of the time, agents of the law are inclined to “look the other way” because Moab’s economy depends on tourism. If all violators were punished, the recreation industry in Moab would collapse and the town would wither and die. But the Landscape Police draw the line at the most blatant altered states, such as the one shown here. The worst violators are given a one-way ticket to Michigan or Southern California and escorted onto the first available bus.
Seasoned sandstone junkies learn ways to cope with agents of the law. One such junkie was heard to say the following to another who was “learning the ropes of avoidance”:
“I am compelled to get high on sandstone to the point of developing “Marty Feldman eyeballs,” so I have had to develop a reliable way to conceal my goofy smile and suspect demeanor. When I see a Landscape Sheriff approaching me, I start thinking about things that will jolt me out of my reverie: TV programs like “Big Brother” and “American Idol” work well. Occasionally I visualize being sent to Michigan, Putney, Toronto, or Long Beach. The unpleasantness of these topics sobers me up real fast, causing my smile to vanish, my slurred speech to fade, and my walking to become controlled. As a result, my exploits continue without legal interruption.”
This is one example of how Sandstone Deprivation Syndrome corrupts otherwise upstanding citizens of good moral charater. It’s sad.