Friday, May 17, 2013

"The Accidental Jaywalker" Discussion

It's fine to talk about what you think of the piece, but we'd like to focus on what the piece makes you think about. Some questions to start:

Everyone know Mormons are weird. Why don't many people seem to know how quirky and self-consciously goofy Mormon weirdness actually is?

I have never known a couple who met while baking outside an emergency preparedness store, but I did have a seminary teacher once who'd met her husband when he ran over her while jet-skiing. What strange Mormon meeting stories have you heard--or experienced?

Why is mild fictional suffering so entertaining? Is there something wrong with you if you thought this poem was fun?

18 comments:

  1. This is only semi-related, but once at BYU-Idaho my friend and I were walking to the local movie rental place, when a photographer asked us to cross the street and started snapping pictures. When we got to the other side, the photographer took our names and hometowns and told us that we were going to be in The Scroll, the student newspaper!

    When the issue with our picture came out, we discovered that it was attached to an article about jay-walking. So, there we were, breaking the law for all to see. Names. Hometowns. Everything. I found the Scroll's ethics a little suspect after that, but I also liked the fact that I got my picture in the newspaper with a girl who I was trying to make my more-than-friend.

    Incidentally, she later made it clear that she did not want to be more than friends, that any relationship we had was mostly in my head, and that I had best look elsewhere for an eternal companion.

    It was rough, but at least we had jaywalking.

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  2. I'm curious how one makes bread on the sidewalk, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the poem.

    My wife thought I was a deadly dull gospel doctrine teacher--and showed it by consistently skipping class, but she was at the door like a cat on a mouse hole when class ended. I thought her skirts were too short and her campaign was too aggressive, but here we are with three kids and a mortgage. Getting hit by a car in Puli while driving my scooter home from the Single Adult conference in Sun Moon Lake was the clincher for me.

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  3. I met my husband on a blind date. We were set up by two people whose judgment we considered a little suspect, especially when we heard the original plan was to set him up with my sister. But luckily, she left on a mission. He proposed to me on the side of the road while kneeling in a gutter, right after we saw the very romantic movie "Jurassic Park."

    On another note, I was interested by how the guy in the poem bought food storage to impress his nice-looking girl. What funny things we Mormons find attractive!

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  4. Good stuff: very wryly and affectionately Mormon. Also, "A girl walked into an emergency preparedness store" is a great first line for a joke.

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  5. I have nothing to say about this poem except that I really really really really like it. Like like it. A lot.

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  6. My husband and I met at ysa dance in 1988. He asked me if I wanted to participate in a church sponsored exercise program.... dancing.......and 10 months later were married. I actually knew that night he was it for me. We both said we were older than we looked and he still thought he was older than me...I'm 6 years older.

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  7. What I really want to know is this: should necroglossophilia be considered as "love of dead languages" (like Latin) or "love of speaking languages to the dead" (like having conversations in French with zombies and vampires)? Or maybe even "love of speaking languages the dead speak" (like the weird grunting noises made by Frankenstein's monster)? I certainly hope it's the second or third. Those would make Ben's life very interesting. (Also, does Ben have a last name that I missed?)

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    Replies
    1. Ben's last name is [redacted].

      But it rhymes with Crowder. And starts the same as Crowder.

      Delete
    2. Also: my sons definitely speak in weird grunting sounds sometimes. Glad I now have a word for it.

      Delete
  8. My husband and I were in the same singles ward, and we both thought each other were snobs. Then, even though neither of us play video games, we ended up spending a Friday night playing Mario Kart, followed by a documentary. The rest is history.

    I like how this poem is funny and clever and truly Mormon quirky.

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  9. I was laughing with I was thinking about tithing, laughing harder at two young single adults buying hundreds of pounds of wheat (very peculiar to our culture). I also wondered how the wheat became dough. The only pause point for me.

    My husband and I met in a typical place--a student ward, but my situation was atypical; I was a single parent. Thankfully no traffic collisions, however.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I think the poem would be stronger with some added lines about pulling out their pocket grinders to make wheat into flour first, and going to the store's back yard to get eggs from some chickens. Etc.

      But that would be over-the-top, and might not fit well with the subtle of the rest of the piece.

      Delete
  10. Marianne Hales HardingMay 19, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    I'm charmed again. The feeling of reading this poem seems similar to the experience of watching that short film "Validation"--anybody know the one I'm talking about? With the parking validation guy? This has the same quiet, out-in-left-field quality. Very quirky but not loud, in-your-face quirkiness. And, yes, it seems like Mormon-land is the one place where young, single adults would buy hundreds of pounds of wheat as a way to flirt. That cracks me up! And it makes for a heck of a "How We Met" story :-) (which seems to be very highly sought after...the 7 cow wife of modern Mormonism)

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  11. I'm just here to click "like" because this one really made me smile. Yes, we Mormons are weird.

    But I gotta say I think there's a case for arguing that a collection of food storage pieced with bread-making skills is more attractive than body piercings, tatoos, and alcoholism.

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  12. .

    I loved the surreal quirk in this little love story. I suppose it will surprise no one that I love surreal quirky love stories.

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  13. My dear husband and I met at a dance...a church dance. When I told him where I went to school he insisted that he thought he had gotten recruitment information from there. I said, no I didn't think so. He said, yes I really think I did. I said, well I hope not because it is a women's college. He was mortified but also handsome. And who can resist a man who uses the word mortified. (Or something like that. Isn't it fun how even our meetings evolve in to a lovely story to reflect the enchantment we feel with our lives now? 16 years is a good long time to edit and hone a story. I wonder how I will tell it to my distant grandchildren.) k.

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  14. Sorry I'm late, but...

    I liked the linear thinking of the character (perhaps because I'm the mom of a very literal-thinking boy with autism). Cute girl, must impress cute girl, all conventions of traffic laws and machismo are inconsequential. :) His near miss with the various vehicles had me giggling out loud.

    As for meeting spouses, I met my husband in the back of a dump truck, literally. :) We were both working grounds crew at BYU and we were riding in one of their trucks to the flowerbed we were supposed to weed that day. There's a bench in the bed of the truck and we struck up our first conversation while sitting on it. To this day, we still love to garden together.

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