Carl showed me the lit-up sights of Salt Lake City, including the Capitol, and the Beehive which is one of the oldest buildings and where Brigham Young (another LDS prophet) lived with his 50 wives. This is why the highway signs have a beehive on them. Carl's family of four children and one niece waited until we arrived at 9 pm before they sat down for a barbecue dinner of salmon, pork and other delights. Carl hailed from Montana and worked with the Water Board, or whatever they call it out here. The children were a lot of fun, wise-cracking, taking the mickey out of my accent and teaching me stuff about Utah. They were not LDS, Carl votes Republican, but the rest of the family are Democrats. I find people's knowledge of their towns, states and US pretty impressive, even if they don't know much about Britain. Apparently Salt Lake used to part of Lake Bonneville, which covered about three states in dinosaur times and explains why fish fossils can be found up mountains. I didn't know that it (and the Dead Sea) are salty because no rivers flow out of it, and it's seven times saltier than ocean water.
I was a bit embarrassed by my luck in the Scrabble department, as I had good letters in the two games we played as a foursome, especially in the second game when I opened with a bingo (FORGING) and soon played another (SELLERS). The kids described each achievement as “dropping a bomb”. Carl volunteered as a football coach for his son's school team and he said he would often shout at them “You're a bunch of w**kers!” As this isn't a rude word here. Then he showed me his metal pin badge collection relating to local events, teams and so forth. It's popular to trade such badges and I was presented with an honorary badge of the 2002 Winter Olympics. There was another badge bearing a picture of green jello, which is a humorous Utah symbol, relating to Mormon spartan tastes. I drank several cans of Heineken and seemed to lose my power of speech every time Carl refilled the glass. It was midnight by the time he drove me back to the motel in downtown Salt Lake and they were all getting up at 6 or 6.30, but they didn't seem to mind.