In this contest, hard to root for the home team


The lovely water tank from Brady, Montana’s sole entrant in the ever popular Tank of the Year contest.

A lot of goofy stuff crosses my desk, and this week nothing was goofier than a press release from Tnemec Company Inc., which describes itself as a “leading provider of high-performance coatings.”

The release went on: “This is the 10th year that Tnemec has recognized the aesthetic, creative and innovative uses of its coatings on water storage tanks, including one from Brady, Montana.”

That’s what it says. But look at the Brady (between Great Falls and Conrad) water tank. Innovative? Creative? Aesthetic? It looks to me as though there are exactly two criteria for entering this contest: 1) you have a water tank and 2) it’s painted.

How else would you explain this entry:


Palatine, Ill., knocks itself out.

Maybe it’s avant-garde, inviting the spectator to project his or her own image onto the blank canvas, as it were. Maybe it is meant to suggest the immensity of time, the infinite possibilities of life as it is lived on Earth. Maybe there was a sale on white paint.

Anyway, if by some wild chance you do want to vote in this contest, which is at least as meaningful as trying to pick a favorite among the field GOP presidential candidates, just go to Tnemec’s website. The deadline is 5 p.m., CST, a week from today, Oct. 16.

Take my word for it, though: If Gaffney, S.C., fails to win this contest, the thing was rigged:


Gaffney, S.C., actually seems to have created something worth looking at.


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