Scrapbooking is big business in Utah. I would venture to say it is as big as country music, Republicanism, and Jell-o. Somewhere down the line, Utahans decided that photographs in of themselves just don’t cut it. After all, it's impossible to accurately preserve a memory without colorful backgrounds, cutesy stickers, die-cuts and felt markers. Maybe it's the Utahans' ancestor-loving nature that pushes them towards this craft. Maybe it's just another kooky side effect of living in large, happy-go-lucky Mormon communities. Whatever the reason, scrapbooking is huge. Seems to me it must comprise at least one-third of the Utah economy.
So you can imagine the financial devastation Utah would suffer if scrapbooking suddenly became unpopular. Well give your imagination a rest. I know exactly what would happen. How? Time travel, of course. On my latest jaunt through time, I stopped off in Utah to witness “The Great Scrapbook Crash of 2011.” Let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty. Fortunately I managed to recover a soiled newspaper I found in the gutter. I had to wrench it away from a dirty little toddler who was using it as her blanket. She'll probably freeze, but at least you’ll get to read this article:
FEBRUARY 12th, 2011. SALT LAKE CITY – The bread lines grew longer Tuesday as 500 more scrapbook stores were forced to close their doors. The majority of Utahans are now out of work, the streets of Salt Lake City brimming with shanty towns, impoverished families struggling to feed their children.
“I suppose we can only blame ourselves,” said Sheila Peterson, 43, whose family lost everything shortly after the tragic crash. “When you have to take out a second mortgage to finance your scrapbooking habits, you know something isn't quite right. I guess it was all just a matter of time.”
Sheila isn't alone. Millions of Utahans gambled their financial stability on glitter pens, squiggly markers, and specialty scissors. In a state that struggles to curb the steady rise of cheap Methamphetamine, who could have guessed the real danger stemmed from a much more deadly drug; the drug of creative memory preservation, or “scrapping” as it's now known on the streets.
“I'd been scrapping for 15 years,” said Kaydee Young, 32, from Pleasant Grove. “It was more than a habit for me. I couldn't stop. Even after the crash, I just couldn’t help myself. Sometimes I'd raid neighbors' closets, looking for whatever I could find. When things got really bad, I sold five teeth for a few sheets of paper with little American flags on them. I mean, how was I supposed finish the page on my Nephew's Eagle Court of Honor without the proper backdrop? Now pattern pages will cost you a kidney and I already sold one for a couple acid-free glue sticks. All is lost.”
Yet among the rubble and ruin of this once bustling economy, there still shines a beacon of hope. Franklin Covey has reported a dramatic increase in sales. Once shadowed by the scrapping craze, Daily Planners may yet prove to be just the medicine Utah needs. Instead of praying for more seagulls, Utahans would find a better miracle in the personal organizer, whose efficient dedication to time management may soon overshadow the dying art of the scrapbook.