5/23/09

Shrinealot

How bad do you have to act, and not on purpose, that the Mormans don't even want to make the sales pitch to you? These are the same people that go to every house on the face of the planet and will literally talk to anyone. Anyone except a couple of dads with 2 kids under the age of 2 and two 3 year olds. Those guys just get a card and "thanks for stopping by" smile.

I will take my kids anywhere. I'm comfortable with it. They are the crew that pilots my starship Enterprise. And one of the things that we do in the summer is explore. I have all day everyday, what else am I going to do? You can only color so many pictures before you start wanting to jam that crayon right up through your nose to the pleasure center, ummmmm forest green.

So I take them to historic places. Old battlefields, WWI musuem and once to a graveyard to see the final resting place of Jessie James. That thought in your head right now, the one that says "man, this guy kicks ass", go with that one because I do.

Uncle Bricksalesman thinks I'm a little nuts. But what does he know with his "free time" and "disposiable income". He can suck it. So while you are at work I'm hiking through the woods looking for alligators. Not really but I would so do that if I could find it.

And the kids don't care, they are just glad to be outside with dad. Think about it, what is an old battlefield? It's a big ass field, usually with grass. What 3 year old and 1 year old doesn't dig that? Sure, I take them to things that are just for them but on occasion, I need something a little more stimulating than laminating yet another picture that oh honey you made that all by yourself, yes it is beautiful, is that a tree? No, is it Daddy? Yes, of course it's daddy because it's all fat look how cute you are showing me my distorted body image like that so I'm even more self concious. And look, the picture doesn't have any hair either, how sweet and depressing.

This time I convinced another stay at home dad to come with me, Pappa Scrum. He likes Rugby, as if being a SAHD didn't make him weird enough. Rugby people have issues man, that's all I'm saying. He has a little boy that is Little Hoss's age and a little girl that is Bubba Hoss's age. I call them Big Scrum and Little Scrum because I'm original. Don't judge me, just worship the genius.

This time we were going to THE HISTORIC JAIL! FULLY RESTORED AS IT WAS IN 1830 (echo, echo, echo). Sounds cool, right?

Here's my take on advertising. If you say your shit is historic, then it better be. If you say your shit is restored, it better be. And if you say your shit is a historic jail then I goddamn well expect to see a restored historic jail and not a puppet show. Take that as you want it, I'm just saying.

So Pappa Scrum and I bring all the minions in tow to the historic jail where Joseph Smith was once kept as a prisoner in the 1830's. Are you catching where I went wrong yet?

Joseph Smith is the founder of the Mormons. Some outings go good, some not so good.

We walk in dressed like stay at home dads kicking the crap out of summer. I'm in shorts, he's in flip flops and the kids are in various states of undress as my daughter now enjoys showing people her underwear. The people that great us are in suits and ties. The ladies have on full length dresses. They wear name tags like "Elder Johns" and "Sister Margaret."

Yup, should have just turned around at the door and told them I was actually looking for the beer festival. But no, I had to see the HISTORIC JAIL. I hate my awesomeness at times, it can really be a burden. I would prefer to just give up but I'm forced to be cool dad of the year, every time. And now I have dragged a cool guy with a full head of hair with me to some place we shouldn't be.

They were very nice and inquired as to the nature of our visit, did we need directions. No thank you, we would like the tour please.

They brought us into the lecture room which oddly looked a little refined. Somewhat church like, very solemn. It looked like a lot of soul searching and introspection was required. Which I would have been happy to do but at the current moment Bubba Hoss was trying to climb a picture of said prophet, Joesph Smith.

Now Big Scrum is potty training, which can be an ordeal. And if Big Scrum has to go potty the Little Hoss has to go with him because she's got on her new Spongebob Squarepants big girl panties and must show him. So Pappa Scrum takes those two and I'm stuck with the two one year olds and Sister Margaret the Mean Stare.

As soon as Pappa Scrum left Little Scrum lost it as most 1 year olds do when dad is not at their beck and call. My son on the other hand has forgotten about the picture of Joseph Smith and is now trying to kick down chairs. Little Scrum has a voice, a voice I did not know she possessed. And now it is unleashed right in the middle of me answering religious questions.

"Do you believe Christ walked the earth?"

"yeah, sure, fantastic, hold on, could someone just point me to the bathroom?"

"Do you believe that Christ walked in Missouri."

"Ok, I'm down with the religion. Got it, Christ in Missouri, cool. I need my diaper bag I think I have some candy."

"Well then, you're practically Mormon."

"I'll be the second coming if someone can just please get me something to distract this kid, she's about to break some windows."

Pappa Scrum soon returned and confirmed to my daughter that she has very cool Spongebob underwear on. Then she hikes up her skirt again and flashes Elder John.

Now when I do most of my historic tour type stuff I very calmly explain to the tour guide that movies and lectures are wasted on us and we should probably just head on up to whatever cool thing we need to see unless you want to try and see who talks louder, you or a three year old.

This time they don't go for it. They usually do when their first impression of my daughter is when she's trying to break open the glass case with the very shiny object in it. But nope, the Mormons are going strong. They want to give the lecture.

No problem.

Sister Margaret of the Exasperated Sigh starts her presentation. She's going good, she's a believer. I was willing to hear the time share pitch because I wanted to see the RESTORED HISTORIC JAIL! so no big deal. The kids however, decided fuck it and started doing what kids do. In this case, Bubba Hoss was chasing Little Scrum around, what I now I realize it was, the antechamber to the shrine of Joseph Smith. And they are screaming, because that is what kids do.

2 other tourists walk in and it turns out they are on a pilgrimage and following in Joseph Smith's footsteps. Don't worry guys, we are going to make this real memorable for you.

Sister Margaret of the Determined continues her speech, despite my warnings. And it turns out, not a whole lot of history was given. Mainly just the good things about Joseph Smith. But eventually we get the story I'm after, the history of the HISTORIC JAIL! The jail fell down, then was bought by a man who built a two story house on it. Then he died and the Mormons bought the land and the house, then bulldozed the house and "restored" the jail and built this shrine on top of it. And by "restored" I mean completly built it brand new. When I asked if any thing was preserved or original, it turns out there was. The ground. Because bulldozing is a fine way to preserve ground.

Eventually Sister Margaret of the Can't Take It Anymore gives up and we head into the tour. I tried to tell her, that's all I'm going to say.

I will admit, it's nicely done. Brand new almost. Not bad for a RESTORED HISTORIC JAIL! I mean, it's got to be at least 5 years old by now.

Now it's supposed to be really solemn and the lights go out while testimonies are given to the hardship Joseph Smith faced. Pappa Scrum is asked a question. He's a practicing Catholic so he was supposed to talk to the religious people. Instead, he throws me under a bus. I am assuming it's payback for taking him.

"What do you think Hossman?" Thanks dude.

I'm thinking that I want to push Pappa Scrum down and make a break for the door.

"Joseph Smith was brave." Hi, I'm Chicken Shit, nice to meet you.

Luckily this didn't go on for much longer because by now the kids realized that the only thing better than seeing a shrine is climbing on it. Eventually we get all the kids in our arms like we are carring a football and proceed to the tour but this also doesn't last long because when the lights go down again Little Scrum takes this opportunity to show us how loud she can scream. I'm doubting that the other tourists with us are getting much out of this. I would say that she screamed for a good 5 minutes. A proper tribute in a Holy place.

Finally the lights come on and I'm thinking we can just get out of here before Little Hoss and Big Scrum actually make it over the protective barrier. But Sister Margaret of the Persistent opens a hymn book and begins to sing which intrigues Big Scrum and he rushes to her and is almost tugging on her dress. I push Little Hoss down before she can take two steps. She's probably going to flash her so I act fast. I scoop her up and start walking for the exit before I am struck down by God.

We do make it out and I was expecting some more religious talk and a short pitch at conversion for me and the Catholic. But instead we got a card with a web address on it. That was pretty much it. It would appear that we are the rif-raf that the Mormons want to keep out.

You win some and you lose some with adventuring and today we lost a little. Now let's head over to the Jessie James bank robbery museum. He was a murderous villian and maybe the kids will get along a little better there.

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