Thursday, 16 September 2010

Earth Fruits Yogurt: The Journey

it has the power to save us, but can it save itself...from itself?

For those of us who have, up until now, been living in a state of ignorance and savagery by consuming food that exist on the same physical plane as ourselves, Earth Fruits Yogurt has come to Orvo with the promise of something greater.
Sliding itself into the vacant shell of the short-lived Yoasis, Earth Fruits has established itself as Bulldog Boulevard’s latest froyo installment, oozing its hempy wholesomeness out onto the intersection it so charitably illuminates with its 5 Million LED display (blinding flashes of blue and white can be especially calming when one is stressed out by day-to-day activities, like driving in a straight line). This display--if you are lucky enough to catch a glimpse of it before you go crashing through your windshield, your assaulted corneas smouldering slightly as your mouth moves in what witnesses would later report to be, “Why why oh God why?”--proclaims Earth Fruits’ motto for you to See and Understand: Fuel your body. Feed your soul.

Also their logo is all lowercase, which means it’s hip and understands you. Giving your logo the all-lowercase treatment is freaking magic. Getting rid of all those offensive capitol letters can turn even the most anger-inducing logos into wordmashes (SHUT UP SPELL-CHECK YOU KNOW NOTHING) so friendly you just want to squeeze ‘em! Watch and learn:

To be honest, that did not turn out at all like I’d hoped.
Because you may not have had the chance to experience Earth Fruits for yourself, I will now lead you on a journey through Thought and Perception itself, where we shall walk the glistening linoleum tiles of its storefront together. Take off your shoes, light up your favorite Scentsy, and let my words (and the sweet, sweet smell of FresiaBloodLight) flow over you as we begin...
    When you enter Earth Fruits, you feel Enlightenment ebb and flow around you. It tickles your cheeks, it makes the hair on the back of your hands stand up. But you cannot grasp it. WHY DOES IT TAUNT AND ELUDE?! You search desperately, flinging your head from left to right, looking for the source of this spiritual ascension, this well of perpetual understanding...
The cashier beckons you forward, looking irritated. No, not irritated. That’s just the word your primitive mortal mind drudges up in an attempt to explain the radiance of this higher being’s countenance. Surely a vendor of the only product that will feed your soul is a creature of great wisdom and dignity.
“What would you like?” She asks, tapping a fingernail against the cash register. You close your eyes and listen to the taps. Is this the beat to some ancient, sacred song describing the mysteries of existence? The rhythm of the universe? Is this what Forever sounds like? A hundred years passes through your fingertips. A solar wind plays in your hair and a choir of Spacefish begin a cantata which you know is Your Life. Your destiny is suddenly laid bare before you, and you see the whole of creation dancing to this One Truth--the Beat.
“THE BEAT!” You proclaim loudly, eyes opening wide. The cashier quirks an eyebrow.
“We have Vanilla and Cherry and, um, Chocolate Karma, and...what are you doing?”
Your foot does not taste like joy. Those cosmic fish lied.
“Give me everything,” you cry, “I want it ALL!” You fling your arms wide, emphasizing just HOW MUCH of everything you desire.
“...Okay.” the cashier says after a moment. You feel withered in her effulgent presence. “Do you want it in separate cups, or, like...” she makes a swirling motion with her finger. You do not comprehend.
“I think I’ve transcended the use of cups.” You say, knowing she will understand.
“So...did you want to buy a pre-packed pint?”
“My soul can be fed in pints?” You ask, stunned by this most happy of revelations. She nods.
“But we only have Vanilla left.”
You can’t just have vanilla. You want it ALL. You need it all.
“Here,” you say, stripping off your shirt. People around you fall silent for no reason at all and the cashier takes a step back.
“Just fill it up with everything you have, okay? I have no patience for the confines of this crude physical world anymore.” You hand her your shirt, which she takes after a nod from her supervisor. It takes a few minutes, but eventually the shirt is filled, the fabric bulging and looking quite moist.
“Fifty-five ninety-four.” the cashier says, reading off a post-it note her supervisor had stuck on the register while she was applying the final layer of Strawberry Bongo Banana.
“A small price for enlightenment!” you proclaim happily as you hand over the money, hoisting your now-dripping shirt’o’yogurt onto your back. An icy stream of Macaw’s Mango descends your bare skin. It feels like sunshine and childhood.
“When next you see me, I shall have shed this clumsy form and will be The Radiance! Farewell, teachers and fellows! May your path be light!”
You depart. Your shirt’o’yogurt is swiftly losing its bulbous shape and the stream of summer dreams and innocence has become a veritable river. You remember that you are still a slave to the conditions of a mortal existence. Amused by the irony of this, you chuckle and take a seat in the parking lot of Earth Fruits Yogurt. Literally in the parking lot. Right in the center of it, cross-legged with your shirt’o’yogurt dripping serenely into your lap. Cars cannot harm you, for they have no meaning now.
    You dip a hand into the swirly soup of multi-flavored yogurt, raising it to your lips with a child-like sense of anticipation. You slurp what you can from your palm, pausing to savor the taste.
“WHAT THE HELL,” you scream, punching the shirtload of liquid failure that has begun to pool around you, “THIS TASTES EXACTLY LIKE THAT YOASIS CRAP.”
“Well yeah.” a passerby snorts, taking a sip of Dr. Pepper like it was nothing, “It’s the same place. They just changed their name.”
Somewhere far away, in a direction that is neither up nor down, you hear the soft laughing of the Spacefish and you know it to be true.  

Friday, 23 July 2010


Hello, one and all, our dear dear friends. Have you missed us? Of course you have. Perhaps your life has been lacking in wit since our abrupt departure. Perhaps it has become a cold, cruel wasteland of somber sincerity. Perhaps you have even trekked into Orvo itself, confident in The Guide, only to find that the information we have lovingly provided is shoddy at best and criminally misleading at worst.* But never fear, dears: we have returned, and we brought you a treat.

That's right. It is now time to divulge the ins and outs of dating in Orvo. This is a vitally important chapter because the entirety of Orvo--from its government to its events and venues--is geared towards one thing, and one thing only: encouraging Orvish adults to devolve into awkward teens. It is all part of a sinister plot to help Orvo win the coveted distinction of being the "Youngest (and Consequently Least Functional) City in America," and it is achieved through rampant date-mongering.

In Orvo, you will not find a single activity that you are not encouraged to share, and you'd be better off not trying. After all, being tipsy from chugging two Cokes and several packets of Pop Rocks is just not fulfilling unless there's someone to watch you belt Lady Gaga songs to the skies as you laboriously crawl over a fence to get to an apartment complex hot tub, in clear violation of the 8:00 p.m. curfew. And heaven help you if you think you're capable of navigating a book store solo. The clerks and clerkesses have eyes and earesses, and they are well-trained to spot stragglers. Buying a copy of Thus Spoke Zarathustra alone says, "I'm a disaffected college student with sinister intentions towards established religion, government, and frozen yogurt establishments. The bombs are already in place and OH WHY DOESN'T ANYONE LOVE ME????" Buying a copy of Twilight with a suitable partner, on the other hand, says, "I'm a perfectly well-adjusted, whimsical creature of fancy, off to change the world for the better through the all-consuming power of love and glitter and repressed fantasies."**

So. Now that we've impressed you with the importance of dating, how do you go about it? Never fear! We have plenty of great hints, based off plenty of (sorta acceptable) experience.

1.  Don't Try to Blend In.
This is a common mistake that visitors make; they seem to think that mimicking Orvo culture will put native Orvites at ease, making the dating process easier. NOT SO. See, the Orvish operate on a subconscious hive mentality. The greatest thrill for a true Orvite is gathering a newcomer under his/her wing and introducing them to the joys of homogeny. If you act as if you already understand the Orvish culture, the thrill of the chase will be gone long before the actual capture. Instead, let your natural curiosity run wild. Stare openly at the Orvish while asking hard questions like, "Why are there carrots in my jello?" and, "Why are there so many tandem bikes around?"  This will almost certainly lead to a torrent of information, as very few Orvish can resist the urge to discuss their uniqueness to an exhaustive degree. Prepare (bring along light snacks and reading material) and endure; by the end, your Orvish companion will consider you to be a suitable subject for acquisition.

2. Speed Dating. Don't Bother.
Speed dating has flourished in Orvo, but the experienced can tell you it is a waste of time because ALL dating in Orvo is speed dating. Once you have encouraged an Orvite to acquire you, sit back and wait. Eventually you will receive an invitation to do something together. Something innocuous and in no way romantic.  Babysitting a stranger's children, visiting elderly, and walking extensively around big lawns are all suitable options. Accept this invitation without hesitation and make sure you get plenty of rest the night before; it's time for the Eligibility Questionnaire.
The Eligibility Questionnaire is an opportunity for the Orvite to determine your mate potential. The Orvish are nothing if not concerned with the future; if you cannot show yourself to be suitable wife/husband material, do not count on a second date. On the bright side, the Questionnaire is never very long or creative. As long as you remember to mention that you can cook, love kids, and can sing Disney songs by heart, you'll pass with flying colors--though occasionally you may be encouraged to actually sing "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid, just to prove you weren't lying. If you passed, congratulations! You're 2/3 of the way towards marriage!

3. Dress to Impress.
When dating an Orvite, always dress as if you were about to meet his/her mother. About to meet his/her mother on a day when she's just broken her hip and the doctor refuses to give her any sweet, sweet narcotic relief, instead leaving her chained to a hospital bed with a bowl of lemons and a sappy suggestion to make lemonade, printed on yellow paper adorned with bad clipart. And, in fact, you are about to meet said mother--even if your chosen Orvite has never had such a spectacularly unfortunate relative. For you see, thanks to the aforementioned hive mentality, each Orvite you encounter will not only be judging you according to his/her own standards, but also according to the standards of anyone who has ever had an opinion on anything (and the good social standing to make it count). Luckily, this approval is relatively easy to earn by covering up every inch of exposed flesh. If you're visiting during the summer and have run out of sunblock, all the better: you can impress the locals and save your skin at the same time.  If you're feeling daring, feel free to flash a little earlobe now and again.***

4. Congratulations!! You're Married!!
What's that? You can't remember the wedding or even deciding that you were willing to marry anyone in the first place? Well, don't worry too much. We here at Orvo: The Guide are here for you, with plenty more sound advice for the future. Now sit back with this exotic Tahitian health cocktail and hang on to your Croc sandals; it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

* This is your fault, not ours. If you have only LOVED us like we DESERVED, we could have reached our full potential. We could have been writers for National Geographic and spent our days eating bonbons off the backs of graceful giraffes while our interns did our research.

** In case you hadn't realized (and A and I hope, we truly do, that you HAD), this is not the case solely in Orvo. It is a phenomenon that is raging across our great country, threatening its greatness more than Socialism and Hitler COMBINED. If you want to join our fight, as concerned celebrities Kevin Spacey, Winona Rider, and Tom Cruise already have, donate to ACT NOW!

*** But only if no one's looking.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Broadcasting

It has come to our attention that there are people out there who devote some time to reading this guide; and, after resuscitating ourselves from the initial shock with a few sips of Coke (don't tell our mothers), we are resolved to endeavor to bring those valued readers more posts with something approaching consistency.

That said, it is our pleasure to present:
Orvo in Summertime: A Few (Namely Two) Handy Tips
1. Weather Concerns:
Visitors to Orvo often remark on the variety and sheer amount of sunscreen that is available. Rest assured that the rumors have not been exaggerated: Orvo is constantly stocked with suncreens, mostly of the SPF 80 variety. This is largely due to the population of Orvo, which is almost entirely composed of people of the more pasty skin type. However, the sunscreens are also almost necessary for survival--not because of the brutal Western sun, which is at its most lethal from 8:00 am - 8:00 pm, but because of the equally uncomfortable dryness of the environment. Approximately 50% of Orvo's water supply is sucked directly out of the air by high-pressured vacuums and used by private citizens to maintain lawns that were never meant to thrive in anything remotely resembling Orvo's terrain. The remaining 50% is the private property of Seven Peaks, the local water park (although I have heard that they are willing to rent water to customers who appear at the east entrance after midnight and whisper, "Lagoon-A-Beach is a giardia fest," three times). Given these conditions, a thick slathering of sunscreen can serve a dual purpose: protecting from the sun while sealing in precious moisture.*

2. Activities
Let's be honest here. Orvo's brutal summer temperatures are not conducive to activities of any sort. Frankly, that's the REAL reason all of the students leave for the summer, reducing Orvo's population by approximately 90%. The best way to endure Orvo summers is to take advantage of the mandatory food storage that can be found secreted away somewhere on all Orvish properties and stay indoors for the next 4 months. If you MUST venture outside, we recommend using sunscreen (2-3 bottles) and then lying facedown on the concrete to reduce exposure and to conserve energy. Don't bother considering a destination; you'll never reach it anyway.

Barring that, there are two native Orvish activities you may wish to attempt. First, you may wish to ride tandem bicycles. You may be thinking, "Aren't those archaic, impractical things that were only good for something in the '40's, and then only because they inspired lots of sentimental songs?" The answer is yes, of course.

But the tandem bicycle is the transportation of choice in Orvo, particularly for young couples who wish to prove their undying affection by riding an unwieldy, yellow mutant bicycle under the afternoon sun while trying to avoid any sign of sweat because FOR GOODNESS' SAKE SWEAT IS JUST UNATTRACTIVE. Hem. Excuse me; I believe I've been out in the sun too long.

If proving your love through restrained physical activity doesn't interest you, you might also try visiting Seven Peaks. It is only fair to warn the innocent visitor, however, that the park reserves most of its water supply for the ice skating rink, and depends on the mirage effect to convince its patrons that there is actual water in the pools.

Because we at Orvo: The Guide care only for your welfare, we strongly urge summer visitors to curl up inside with a good proselyting pamphlet and a cool mocktail and wait until September or so before trying anything strenuous.

*Works best if the layer of sunscreen is thick enough to prevent any skin from showing and if you avoid touching anything while wearing it.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009


As stated in Wikipedia,

"Wild deer (and less frequently, cougars and moose) still roam the mountains (and occasionally the city streets)."

"Wow," you might say, "Wow, are they talking about Africa or something?"

No, dear reader, you would be wrong. They are referring to our very own backyard. That's right: all these wonderful, wild, and weird wenizens of the wilderness can be found RIGHT HERE IN ORVO! Whether you glimpse these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, or run one down with your SUV/pick-up/minivan, an encounter with Orvo wildlife can be an extremely rewarding (if at times messy and damaging to your front bumper) experience.

As anyone who has frequented the front lawn of the MTC at three in the morning can tell you, the wild things of Orvo are shy, beautiful creatures with a penchant for diving in front of motor vehicles at random, though remarkably inconvenient, times. Here at Orvo: The Guide, we have compiled a mini-guide for dealing with the stress and chaos of those times when NATURE ATTACKS: (printable version coming soon)

a mini-guide brought to you by
ORVO: The Guide

Part I: So you've hit something.
This can be a very confusing moment. What did you hit? Is it dead? Is it endangered? Is it edible? These thoughts, and more, will without a doubt be buzzing in your mind like the hordes of WNV-y* mosquitos flocking to the still-bleeding carcass of whatever you ran down in your minivan on That One Street. Remain calm, take a deep breath and a sip of Xango or something, and pull your copy of Orvo: NATURE ATTACKS: the miniguide from your glove compartment.

Step 1: Check if it's still alive. Don't touch it, for gosh's sake! If possible, angle your rearview mirrors to reflect the mangled remains. Is it moving? If the movements are slight and sporadic, it might still be alive. That, or you messed the poor thing up so bad its nerves are still reacting to the impact. Way to go, you stupid Californian. If the crushed carrion is out of sight and NOT under your car, leave it. Drive/run away. It's probably a female or protected or something and there's no way it's worth the ticket you'll be slapped with when your friendly neighborhood Orvish law enforcement officer realizes that you've been following this poor creature for miles, waiting for it to take that one teeeeeny step into your lane so you can finally take out that cheeky squirril. If it IS under your car, turn your car OFF. The heat from the undercarriage will cook the roadkill unevenly, and we Orvites know this: there is nothing sadder than poorly-cooked roadkill (Extra Orvo points: try your car-cass roasted, with potatoes and fry sauce, for a more local flavor!)

Step 2: Check for damage to your vehicle. As an Orvite, or even a visitor to our beloved region, your car is your life. It is your friend, your dear, dear companion. You fill it full of imported fuel! You put those exquisite yellow stickers on the back! Your FAMILY is there, in stick-figure form, plastered to the rear window in a neat little row! Perhaps this darting foe, this feral product of an unforgiving environment, has sullied your kin with its foul, wild blood! Check thoroughly for dents, scratches, and entrails before moving on to Part II.

Part II: Where do I GO from here?.
If your vehicle has been disabled, don't panic. It's just a car. At least you're okay, right? If you're not, please proceed to Part III.
Hitchhiking in Orvo is very, very safe, as our town is full of wholesome, good ol' folks with the best of intentions. That being said, you should not attempt the thumber's way if you are alone, female, 18 or younger, rather short, are without hearing/psychic powers, or are/have ever been human.
You might want to get your car out of the blood-spattered crime scene which you have made that particular part of That One Road. There are a few tow truck companies which you can trust not to report you to the proper authorities, but you'll have to look under "Florists-Forklifts" if you want to find them in the phonebook.

Part III: Dealing with the Physical and Emotional Aftermath of a Natural Attack.
If you're hurt, seek medical attention immediately. I mean...seriously.
If you've been emotionally damaged by this, go back to California.

This has been a public service informative from ORVO: The Guide.

While in Orvo, enjoy our local critters! There are few things more rewarding than teaching your children about animals by viewing them in their natural habitat, and perhaps learning a few things yourself!
Traveller's Tip: Arctic Circle has the best fry sauce. If you're travelling on a budget, go through the drive-thru and order waters, then ask for the sauce at the window.

*West Nile Virus. Orvo's got it. Don't get it.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Orvo Nightlife

The Orvo nightlife is a flighty thing. Visitors should be aware that, should they go out looking for a party, they will undoubtedly fail to find it. Instead, we recommend that the uninitiated practice the same kind of willful ignorance that Douglas Adams touted in Life The Universe and Everything, and follow this advice: "Your only hope is to catch it by surprise out of the corner of your eye."

If you are the brave sort who wishes to hunt Orvo for nocturnal adventures, A and I have two recomendations that may aid your endeavors:

1. The Historic Mall, on Provo Center St. A and I were wandering past blocks of darkened windows and closed stores when we just happened upon a dance being held here during the witching hour, which may explain why we are no longer sure exactly where it is. It can't be found through Google, either, but I swear that was the name printed on the flyers that littered the ground as we stepped inside. The dance was a Latin one, full of energetic rhythms and Spanish lyrics.*

A and I felt distinctly out-of-place, given our traditional Orvo winter attire: sweaters, coats, and caps. Not to mention our--or rather, my--clearly proper-English-white-girl dance moves. A can move her hips like a natural, while I was just thrilled when I could manage to move at all (I tried rolling up my sweater sleeves to give me more freedom, but I only ended up looking like a body-building sheep). No one made fun of me, though--or if they did, it was all in Spanish too advanced for me to grasp (a mercy which was greatly appreciated).**

2. Spark, a pseudo-bar/restaurant located at 86 N. University Ave. This establishment is of particular interest because it is one venue that will almost certainly remain unique to Orvo...because it is unlikely to thrive anywhere outside of Orvo. Patrons are welcome to lounge on trendy furniture and enjoy the dim lighting while sipping pricey drinks with exotic names, but none of the offered drinks are alcoholic.

The lounge has a nice atmosphere to complete your safe drinking experience. We assume the wall consisting of one woman's eyes and eye-themed jewelry constantly staring at you (no matter where you sit)would be far more unnerving if it were witnessed through an intoxicated haze, and we think patrons will appreciate that. We also think patrons will appreciate the balcony, which allows single, attractive young women to sip their virginis and chat without ever becoming aware that a pack of single, attractive young men sipping Japanese beer-shaped soda bottles are sharing virtually the same space, with only 3 inches of balcony floor to prevent them from mingling.***

We are developing increasingly effective ways to thwart the Orvo Effect,and hope to provide you with more friendly (and safe!) advice to aid your search for Orvish entertainment in the near future. Until then, happy (and safe!) hunting!

*A and Jessica Rabbit accept absolutely no responsibility for the Orvo Effect, which may make it impossible for readers to locate this event, or even the building it was held in.

**A and Jessica Rabbit accept absolutely no responsibility if the patrons of this event are not as forgiving of your dance moves, or lack thereof.

***This really happened.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Entering Orvo

Orvo has three main points of entry, all of which require diligence and sharp wits to navigate:

1. The Southern Entrance, which is marked by a plethora of "This Way to Las Vegas" and "Are You Sure You Wouldn't Rather Go to Vegas?" signs. This entrance's attractions include a mall with a built-in cinema that allows you to view films for roughly the equivalent of a week's groceries. This is also the most efficient place to view the diverse subcultures that Orvo has to offer.*

This is also the district of Orvo where you are most likely to hear gunshots in broad daylight.** Keep your windows rolled up and blast threatening music to give yourself a more intimidating aura; when all else fails, take refuge under the bridge and carefully make your way across the tracks to safety.

2. The Western Entrance, which is marked by Orvo's two greatest social arenas: UVU and Wal-Mart. This is also the beginning of Insurance Claim Parkway, which merges onto Insurance Claim Avenue near the Southern Entrance. These sister streets are perhaps the most perilous areas of Orvo that a visitor will need to navigate. When citizens need to locate policemen, they check these streets before they call 911. The accounts of near-fatal left turns and pedestrian dodges are legendary, and mostly caused by California natives ogling the snow.

The best coping strategy we can offer for these streets is to never make a left turn on them. Just continue making right turns until a dizzying and frankly illogical spiral leads you into the heart of Orvo itself.

3. The Northern Entrance, which is relatively tame compared to the other two. It originates in the mountains and is constantly patrolled by cops who have nothing better to do than to make sure no one with unclean thoughts or an imperfect driving record is allowed to enter Orvo proper. Also, this area can be spectacularly treacherous in winter, as it is almost never plowed.

We recommend practicing virtuous expressions and tripling your snow chains on your tires. If you get pulled over anyway, your best hope is to claim that you are late to give a talk in Sacrament meeting.***

* A more detailed guide to Orvo's subcultures will follow, but for now be aware that these include disaffected students of two varieties: the catastrophically chipper BYU students and the catastrophically shoulder-chipped UVU students.

** Does not apply during hunting or election seasons.

*** May be less effective Mon. - Sat. Or if you have a Flying Spaghetti Monster visible.

Orvo Stats

Population: 100,000 - 200,000. You'll know the difference when you're trying to get a parking spot come August.

Elevation: 5,000 feet above the norm, and still climbing.

Frozen Yogurt Shops: 22

Frozen Yogurt Shops worth their mochi: 1 (ORVO: The Guide does not officially endorse any yogurt shops, but would just like you to know that YoZone is located at 1286 N Freedom Blvd., Orvo, UT 84604 Mon-Sat 11am to Midnight)

Percentage of residents who have, at one point in their lives, taken piano lessons: 97%

Percentage of residents who, according to recent and extremely reliable polls, do not resent their parents: 3%

Official Sport: Dating/Hunting, depending on the season and/or marital status of the participant.

Whiny Californian Refugees: 33% of total population

Population that pretends to be from California so that they'll have an excuse to whine about the weather/drivers/general lack of Californianess: 78% of total population