Utah Isn’t Flat


Utah isn't flat

Utah – The beehive state

Flats. Have you heard of them? They’re a Potbelly sandwich made with less bread and therefore flatter then your usual sandwich.

My teen ran into Potbelly to pick up a sandwich and came out with a story….

“Mom, Utah isn’t flat.”

OK, so it wasn’t a question.

Potbelly is selling these sandwiches called flats, he explained, and on a store chalkboard a graphic compares the sandwich to a flat tire, flat shoes, flat screen, flat top, flat iron, a rolling pin that is flattening dough…and Utah. “But Utah isn’t flat,” he asserted. “So I asked the server behind the counter why Utah was included in the flat comparison and she said because the state was flat. I told her that Utah was a mountain state in the Southwest region of the United States. It’s not flat.” (I knew those trips with my dear dad and sweet mom would pay off.)

I asked him how the Potbelly server reacted to the geography lesson.

“She argued that the state looked flat.” Clearly Cole was not impressed with her style of debate. “Looks like” does not a fact make.

I asked him if he had taken a picture of the chalkboard with the drawings. No, he had been too busy trying to clear up the misconception of Utah’s geography. So I asked him if he’d like me to go in, buy a shake and take a picture. He did.

I’m a blogger. There was more to this story, or there soon would be.

As I turned the car around, Cole admonished me not to park in front of Potbelly again, lest my undercover work be compromised. So I pulled into a parking spot a few rows over and slunk out of my car to complete my mission. (Insert the theme song from the Donny & Marie Show*).

I noticed the chalkboard making the flat comparisons while the server was taking another order, and was able to take pictures unnoticed before placing my order for a shake. While the server made my shake, I wondered out loud about the flat-Utah connection. The server explained that the state was flat on top, and so when people think of Utah they associate it with other things that are flat. But what about all the mountains and skiing?

“Well,” she said. “The whole state isn’t on a mountain and not everyone skis,” she volleyed back at me defensively.

I agreed and wondered if the sandwich might be more accurately be compared to the state’s Bonneville Salt Flats but the server explained that the potbellies flat has less salt than a regular sandwich. Ok, time to let it go and move on.  I picked up my shake and remarked that I was probably the only person who would notice the compassion anyway. (OK, I’m a little evil.)

“No,” she said. “Not five minutes before, some guy asked the same questions.”

“Really!” I exclaimed. We both agreed that was very odd.

She then said she would talk to her manager in the morning about changing the picture. I told her Florida is the flattest U.S. state (don’t ask me how I know that—probably El Morno research) and reminded her that pancakes are flat. I’m helpful that way.

Returning to the car, my mission completed, I showed Cole the picture and shared my conversation. My teen was amused and pleased that Utah’s reputation as a mountain state would be left unsullied.

Utah, we did our best.

Odd Loves Company,

*In case you’re not old enough to understand this reference: Donny and Marie are from Utah and had a show way back in the 70’s.

12 thoughts on “Utah Isn’t Flat

  1. Way to go, Katybeth! Undercover sleuthing, all in the name of blogging, plus working with your teen to make sure poor Utah doesn’t get kicked out of the mountainous region of states. A good day’s work, I must say. Btw, how was that milkshake??!

    • It was most excellent, thank you for asking. They put these little cookies on the straw which is such a nice touch!

  2. Katybeth, we live in Park City, UT (elevation 7000′) where roughly 1/2 of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics competition was held. Thank you for trying very hard to convince the poor service worker that Utah is mountainous 😀 ! By the way, a small point of interest for you, the Utah Olympic Park Ski Jumps are still used. They are the highest elevation ski jumps in the world – Take that Potbelly!

    • Hi Bill,
      So nice to have our facts verified and added to by an honest to goodness Utahn. You know what they say you have to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything!
      Cole visited Utah a few years ago with his grandparents and had a great time – in the mountains and along the salt flats. :-D.
      Nice to meet you and thanks for visiting Odd.

  3. This is funny. I am miserable at geography but I would never consider Utah flat. Kansas, maybe, but never Utah. Interesting comment about Utah from the Utahan above. I hope Potbelly takes note.

  4. Thank goodness you and Cole set them straight. You even had a Utahn speak up. I’ve been to Utah (beautiful state) and it is not flat. Kansas isn’t the flattest state? I’m surprised but I don’t doubt you. I’d go back and check the chalkboard and report back.

  5. Katybeth, Laurie G and Bella have a picture from my hike in Deer Valley last weekend that you can show Potbelly a mountain in Utah. Also really impressed that you knew Utahn!

  6. I loved Utah! Salt Lake City is such a fun and neat city. We also loved the Great Salt Lake. We were the only ones out the day we went so Trinket got to run and even stuck her toes in the water.

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