Friday, July 3, 2009

The La-yand of the Freeeeee

Hey! Join us for a Meet n' Greet on Friday, July 10, 7:00p.m. at the Skybox at the Gateway. Click here for more details, and hope to see you there!!

(And the following post includes two biblical words, so more sensitive readers may wish to avoid the one that starts with "H" and rhymes with "ell", as well as the one that starts with "D" and rhymes with "amn.")

As you may or may not have figured out, I'm a music gal. And I'm a history gal. Oh, and a scripture gal. And do NOT even get me started on the dessert gal thing. And as I've been reading my pals' blogs, namely Crash and Melanie, they've got me thinking about some of that stuff.

Except the desserts. That one is Sherrie's fault, mostly because I'm feeling obligated to eat all of hers while she cleanses her body and gets healthy and stuff. Someone's got to keep balance in the cosmos, and once again I guess it will have to be me. Sigh.

Though I haven't lived in Utah for nearly 19 years, I am still personally aggrieved when my husband has to work on July 24th. As far as I'm concerned, it's the best of all possible religious holidays on account of your getting to go boating and barbecue everything that can't flee for its life and attend the only parade in the world where the Grand Marshall also happens to be the mouthpiece for the Creator of the universe. Put THAT in your giant Spongebob balloon and smoke it, Macy's!

Picture this: A church parking lot in San Juan, Puerto Rico. It's (hang on, let me check the almanac) exactly two billion degrees with 700% humidity, and the heat is radiating off the blacktop like hell's laundromat.

Now, add a couple dozen gringos attempting to cook blueberry cobbler in a Dutch oven, right there on the pavement. They've got BBQ briquettes fired up and everything. They're on the ragged edge of full-core meltdown, but everyone's rejoicing because the crust is starting to brown.

Why are these foolish Americans doing this, you may ask? Well, because they're a bunch of ex-pat Utah Mormons, it's the 24th of July, and that's just what you do. Duh.

Anyway, in the spirit of the month, and because I seem to be wearing all my gal-hats at once today, I thought I'd put up a little quiz to test your knowledge about all the brave, faithful, and blissfully insane people who brought to this land a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that you can cook blueberry cobbler any damn place you want, as long as you can demonstrate that your ancestors would have done the same thing, given the chance.

I'm just pulling these out of my head, so go easy on me. I never claimed to be a walking encyclopedia. OK, maybe I did that once, but it was only to get out of a loitering citation.

There are actual answers to these questions, and hopefully I won't forget to include them this time. You know how easily distracted I am...

Good luck! And let me know how well you did!

1: In the first several drafts of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson included what now-altered phrase?

a) "Certain unassailable rights"
b) "Life, liberty, and property"
c) "Ensure national tranquility"
d) "Promote the general well-being"

2: We all know "The Star Spangled Banner" is our National Anthem (more on that later). What is our National Hymn?

a) "What a Friend we Have in Jesus"
b) "Onward, Christian Soldiers"
c) "God of our Fathers, Whose Almighty Hand"
d) "Little Brown Jug"

3: For a time, "America, the Beautiful" was the frontrunner in the contest to choose a National Anthem. However, it was suddenly disqualified from consideration. Why?

a) It didn't include any notes high enough for pop singers to riff and scat and generally torture to within an inch of their formerly harmonious lives.
b) It didn't mention bombs and rockets and weapons of mass destruction enough times.
c) It had never been on America's Top 40.
d) The committee chair discovered it was written by a woman.

4: At one time, the Utah Territory was bigger than some countries, and its size as well as the power it gave Brigham Young made folks nervous. In an effort to make nice with national leaders, the location of the State House was moved from Salt Lake City to what town, in what county, in Utah?

a) Lincoln, Washington county
b) Ulysses, Grantsville county
c) Williamstown, Taft county
d) Fillmore, Millard county

5: W.W. Phelps wrote the words to "Praise to the Man" just days after Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred. However, the original tune was a very somber one called "Star of the East." (Someday if we're ever in the same room together, I'll sing it for you. You probably think you know it, but I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of another one.)

It wasn't until the saints had migrated west and settled in Utah that the poem was set to the much peppier melody we sing today. What is the name of that tune?

a) "London Bridge"
b) "Scotland, the Brave"
c) "When Irish Eyes are Smiling"
d) "Oh, Canada"

6: According to Utah Mormons and perhaps their descendants, AND NO ONE ELSE ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH, a "scone" is what kind of food?

a) A flaky pastry filled with fruit.
b) A hollow cookie you drink hot chocolate through.
c) Bread or roll dough, deep fried and slathered in honey and butter.
d) A thin pancake, served with powdered sugar, fruit, eggs, snails, toenail clippings - just about anything you can lay your hands on.

7: Bishop Edwin Woolley, a contemporary of Brigham Young, once wrote a letter to the newspaper in Salt Lake City, complaining about what?

a) People were paying their tithing with incontinent livestock, and he was running out of aprons.
b) Because a few members of the church couldn't hold their liquor, Brigham Young had made it impossible for moderate drinkers like himself to even get their hands on a decent beer.
c) Too many people were naming their kids Mohonri-Moriancumr, and it was just getting stupid.
d) He was fed up with the state not having an NFL franchise.

8: For a time, in an effort to get members of the church to take the Word of Wisdom seriously, Brigham Young saw to it that residents of SLC could only purchase their alcohol from...

a) Their bishop.
b) A bootlegger.
c) A doctor.
d) An Irishman.

9: Who was the first Latter-day Saint to run for office on a national level?

a) Orson F. Whitney
b) Ezra T. Benson
c) Jedediah Grant
d) Joseph Smith

10: What did Mark Twain have to say on the subject of Mormons and polygamy?

a) He had seen those Mormon women himself, they were the homliest lot he'd ever clapped eyes on, and any man willing to marry more than one of them was doing the rest of the world a favor.
b) As long as they didn't expect him to babysit for them, they could do whatever they felt like doing.
c) One man having that many women cooking for him had figured out the secret to a happy life, and was already in heaven on earth.

11: There was a huge fire at the White House, and one very brave First Lady ran back and forth from the burning building, rescuing furniture and priceless works of art. Who was this awesome woman?

a) Martha Washington
b) Dolly Madison
c) Hillary Clinton (I know, I can't even keep a straight face long enough to finish the answers!)
d) Abigail Adams

And finally, I leave you with my favorite quote from my favorite statesman, Thomas Jefferson:

"The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time. The hand of force may destroy, but can not disjoin them."

Have a wonderful, peaceful, reflective, and gratitude-filled July! Eat a scone for me!


1 – B (TJ was very influenced by the writings of Alexander Pope, who asserted that all men were entitled to property. "Pursuit of happiness", however, was both more poetic and less subject to litigation, so it made the final cut.)
2 – C
3 – D (lame, huh?)
4 – D
5 – B
6 – C (A is what they call a scone in the Northwest US; B is a Tim Tam, introduced to me by Crash; and D is a crepe.)
7 – B (no kidding!)
8 – A (also no kidding!)
9 – D (He ran for president with the idea that doing so might improve relations with the US government. It didn’t.)
10 – A (The big jerk)
11 - B (And when you take the tour, the guide will point out every single item she saved. Every. Single. One.)


Shauna said...

Hope you have a Happy 4th of July weekend :) ♥ HUGS ♥

Anonymous said...

You might enjoy a book that I have recently read. Its called American Gospel by Jon Meacham.

Kristina P. said...

Tests are hard!

I'm meeting Amber for lunch on Tuesday. We will have an empty chair for you. :(

Brooke said...

Hey, this is great stuff. I have to speak in church on the 12th - my topic is "America & the Restoration." Maybe I'll use some of these facts. In my ultra-liberal ward, I bet they'll love the idea of being able to get booze from the bishop.

And YES! A true scone is deep fried and smothered in honey butter. Anything else is just a lame biscuit.

Lara said...

Well, I only missed one, and I am ashamed to say that it was a musical question. I had no idea what the national hymn was...I was sure it had to be "The Little Brown Jug." (Okay, so I chose "Onward Christian Soldiers.")

Thanks for the laughs there...this: "It didn't include any notes high enough for pop singers to riff and scat and generally torture to within an inch of their formerly harmonious lives." especially made me laugh. Still laughing, in fact. :)

Smith Family said...

Your paragraph about July 24th gave me a great laugh - thanks so much - what a talent you have for writing! Keep it up - I'll be reading it. :)

The Garden of Egan said...

DaNae, I have just finished reading this and you have made my tired ache. I have to get up at the crack of dawn and work for 12 straight hours in the ER on the craziest day of the year....for the love of all that is holy, could you have just kept it a little more simple???
Sheesh woman? How much caffiene did you have? Did you have that much extra time on your hands while you enjoyed a blissful week at home alone doing nothing?

Melanie J said...

My new claim to fame is that I knew "Scotland the Brave" without guessing. I'm putting that on a sash and wearing it everywhere, including to run errands in my sweats.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

I think I got about a 60%, which means I did considerably better than I did in Biology 100 my freshman year at BYU. I am a red-blooded American, what can I say?

damselindisdress said...

My first visit...

sweet post, sweet quiz.

DeNae said...

To those of you who took the test before this comment, you should know I had two answers wrong. I re-arranged the questions, and didn't adjust the answers to numbers 1 and 11. They are now correct.

I realize this has plagued your minds considerably, and I want you to know I will gladly testify in your behalf should your having missed those answers so thoroughly unhinged you it led to a life of crime and/or general debauchery.

Travis and Amber said...

The only one I missed was that last one. I dies laughing about the scone thing-I was so surprised the first time I ordered a scone somewhere else ;o)

Melissa said...

I cannot WAIT to hear Star of the East. I am going to demand it.

Hysterical. I was laughing so hard while trying to read this out loud to Splenda Daddy, that he finally just got disgusted with me

InkMom said...

Funny . . . I knew all the national ones (including Scotland the Brave without guessing, Melanie J. That makes two of us!) but almost none of the Mormon ones. And I have to say, when I went to Sconecutter for the first time, I was thoroughly confused. Thoroughly.

Debbie said...

I forgot to study! And that thing about it being written by a woman, yeah, that is what makes our forefathers so great.
Wait a minute...

InkMom said...

Totally off-topic warning.

MommyJ and I are having a Meet&Greet every Thursday until our kids go to school in the fall. We'll go to the pool with 7 children, we'll eat Little Caesar's $5 pizzas & peanut butter M&Ms & Rice Krispie treats, we'll drink Coke, and we'll plug our children into a movie so we can hang out. Well, not actually a meet & greet, because, you know, we're sisters, and we'll be the only bloggers there. But we feel so left out that we thought we'd call it a Meet & Greet so all of you out there could feel just as jealous of us as we do of you. Any are welcome, although we will neither subsidize your flight nor pick you up at the airport. Both of our vehicles are rather full of small ones, who leave little or no room for extra grown-ups and their accoutrements. No takers? I didn't think so. Miss us on Friday, okay?

Sher said...

I can't wait for you to sing Star of the East for us at dinner!

AS Amber said...

OK, I've read this a few times but I'm just now getting around to commenting. I got all of them right except the last two. I really thought it was Hillary No I didn't.

And the only reason I got the drinking ones right is because I heard you talking about it at the vah-ding.

And I'm all for changing the national anthem to America the Beautiful. And not just because it has my name in it. Although, that does help. It's just more about our country than about the flag which is what The Star Spangled Banner is.

I'm not a communist. I'm just sayin'...

The deets have been posted for the meet & greet!

AS Amber said...

Oh one more thing. Have YOU clapped your eyes on those polygamist women?? Sorry, but I'm with Twain on that one.

And mommy j and inkmom: I wanna come to your meet & greet! Will you pick me up from the airport and pay for my flight? Sweet!!!

charrette said...

Just what I needed this morning...the opportunity to fail a history quiz!

SO said...

I missed two! The Mark Twain one and the one about the complaint to Joseph Smith. I guess that too many people were naming their kids Mohonri-Moriancumr.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Hi DeNae, just popping over to say aloha cuz I miss you and cuz I love tests and I got a zero on that one. Man, you're smart. I'm a dummy.

Okay, I knew that Mark Twain thought Mormons were homely.

So, I'm so wanting to meet you and Motherboard. That's the day arrive and will be in Springville that night so it ain't gonna happen. Take a photo of the two of you just for me okay. Oh, and post it on your blog.

And I love love love a few of your phrases in this post. The hells laundry mat one and . . . put that in your giant spongebob balloon and smoke it.

ha ha ha ha

R Max said...

And I was going to invite you to my house for tea and scones...

Mark Twain can suck eggs.

Homer and Queen said...

OK I suck...and...What the Helk?!! I thought for the 24th you sang "Pioneer Children" and ate dutch oven food! Why do I gotta take a test?!

Lisa Loo said...

Until I married my husband and checked out his family tree I had no idea people were ALLOWED to name their children Mahonri Moreancumer or whatever. He has a great something or other named that--how do you shorten that??

Once again I bow to your educational skills madame..