Tom Clyde: El Chapo on the loose
It’s been an interesting week. The US, Russia, China, France, the UK, and Germany closed a deal with Iran to limit Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons for 10 years. It was being described as either a pivotal moment in the history of the world, or as cheating the GOP presidential contenders out of a chance to start a war of their own. It’s potentially a very significant move.
But nobody cares because El Chapo Guzman broke out of a Mexican prison. El Chapo! Escaped! Unless you play some kind of fantasy drug lord league, you probably had not heard of El Chapo before this. I certainly hadn’t. But now he is polling higher than Ted Cruz. And nothing else matters. El Chapo could be hiding behind your shower curtain at this very minute.
El Chapo, which according to one Internet site translates sort of like "the fireplug," in reference to his short, stocky build, is apparently a notorious drug kingpin, and a truly vicious and rotten person. He was in a maximum security prison in Mexico, where he was supposed to be for life. But he escaped. The escape was through a tunnel — a mile long — complete with a ventilation system, lights (I noticed in the videos that they used compact florescent, so he was at least an environmentally aware villain), and a motorcycle that shuttled from one end of the tunnel to the other. Prison officials concede that he may have had inside help. A mile-long tunnel generates a good pile of dirt, and it had to go somewhere.
And now he’s gone, without a trace. A world-wide manhunt has been launched. Donald Trump is convinced that El Chapo dug this escape tunnel in a matter of days and is coming to New York to murder Trump, just to prove Trump’s assertion that people crossing the border illegally are all murderers and rapists (and some, he assumes, are nice people). Trump’s GOP competitors have started a "Gofundme" page to assist in that effort.
Officials with the Mountain Accord insist that they played no part in digging oEl Chapo’s tunnel. They claim they don’t even know El Chapo, and that if they did, they sincerely doubt that El Chapo has any interest in moving to Sandy. We should be on the look-out, though, because his tunnel could connect to the Daly-West or Ontario Drain Tunnel, and somebody of El Chapo’s status would certainly be looking to hide out in a first class property. The Daly-West is right next door to the Montage. You can’t be too careful.
The elaborate escape would make a great movie. The paint isn’t even dry on our new movie production studio, and already there is drama. The money guy, who stepped in and rescued the project when construction stopped, is now suing the promoter. That’s a plot twist you could have seen coming from the opening scene. The facility isn’t even open yet and the action is hot and heavy.
The studio announced that there is already one TV show that will start production as soon they get the building finished. It’s an ABC series called "Blood and Oil" that premieres in September. The show is set in Williston, North Dakota, and follows the lives of people caught up in the oil boom there. It sounds like a re-make of "Dallas." We could do worse. If you wanted to film a show about oil fields in the prairies of North Dakota, Park City would certainly be the first choice of the location options because — well, there must be some reason. Getting the stars of the show to live in the Holiday Inn at the Williston airport for months at a time might have been a problem.
The real Williston used to be a fairly stable small town serving the local farms and the Northern Pacific Railroad. Then the oil boom hit, and the town doubled in size. It’s now a tangle of strip malls, Walmarts, motels, and tacky fast food restaurants. Housing is scarce and expensive. Traffic is insufferable. So it’s just like Kimball Junction. When they need scenes on a drilling rig, they can follow one of our oil tanker trucks to Duchesne or Vernal. Heber’s Main Street could pass for the original part of Williston. I guess it begins to make sense.
But there is no way to make this look like North Dakota. Well, OK, Richardson Flat comes close. There is not much a director can do to make the mountains disappear. So my guess is a lot of the action happens in the studio, using the green-screen technology to patch the Great Plains into the shots when necessary.
Maybe they can use the green screen to make this look like a good idea.
Tom Clyde practiced law in Park City for many years. He lives on a working ranch in Woodland and has been writing this column since 1986.