Friday, July 2, 2010

Testing the Waters

Hello, my dear ones.  Summer's reign of terror continues, as I am now preparing to spend the holiday weekend with my family.  Do NOT get me wrong.  I love my family.  I mean it.  So much, in fact, I'm taking a camping trip for the team.  Remember when I said I wished I could go camping more, and boating and sleeping in a tent and going potty in a little building that ends with "o-John" and generally communing the hell out of nature while it attempts to eat me, burn me, stab me, or drown me?  Really?  You don't remember me saying that, huh?  How very odd.  

Well, whatever the case, I am joining my loved ones at Yuba Lake and Mosquito Preserve for four days of laughing and eating and abandoning all shame and decorum by making an innocent bathing suit wish it had never been born. 

So while I'm gone, enjoy this little history quiz I pulled out of my ... what?  Were you expecting a naughty end to that sentence?  Well you just get to repenting, potty brains, cuz I was going to say "ARCHIVES".  A warning: You'll learn a bit more about the early history of the Mormons by reading this post, but I don't always explain what I'm referencing.  If you have any questions, put them in your comments and I'll make up the answers when I get back. 

Happy Fourth, Everyone!  

Though I haven't lived in Utah for nearly 20 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 accounta you get 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, 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 argue persuasively 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 killed. 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 Mormons 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.)


Hel said...

I am still choosing Hillary Clinton for that last one. I hope by next year (when I've been in the country for about a year) I'll have learned why Hillary Clinton didn't save anything during the house fire. :)

Good luck camping - the closest I've come to camping since being married is a camper-van (with a fan heater installed).

Braden said...

Good luck camping. Yech. Kind of been a rough summer in that department for you hasn't it?

InkMom said...

I'm still trying to figure out why anyone would possibly want to preserve the mosquitoes. Are you that low on wildlife out in the desert?

Mallory said...

I was first introduced to "Utah scones" last Halloween at our ward's trunk or treat. Pilsbury flaky biscuits fried?? Weird. Obviously, I am not a Utah Mormon, nor a descendant of one. But, obviously, there are some in my current ward!

Sher said...

You had me at camping at Yuba lake. The only problem with that place in particular is that there are NO TREES anywhere! That means, no shade, and no privacy. Make sure you pack your canopy/shading producing thingy.

I have to know: if we are the only ones (yes, I live in a bubble) that called our deep fried deliciousness "scones" what are they to the rest of the world?

Kristina P. said...

Do you know I only found out that our scones were not actual scones, about 4 years ago, when I was 19? Yep.

My grandma makes the best scones in the world. And whatever they are they are delicious. To bad we don't have a National Stripper Day, like Vegas.

Uptown Girl said...

well, I got 1 right...

Good luck with your Great Outdoor Suffering. If it makes you feel any better, I will tell you how I'm spending the 3 day wknd:

1 bedroom beach apartment with 2-3 couples and Miss Single Me. At least we have indoor plumbing and the beach. I plan on a small pity-party.

I'll drink some booze in your honor (I know Mormons don't drink, so I'll have enough to drown both of our sorrows). It's the charitable thing to do.

Out Of My Head said...

I am discovering that Mormons are really funny, really. The only experience I had was watching a bit of Mitt Romney (yawn) and being a liberal democrat we seldom find any conservative, really really conservative republican funny. And I have to tell you he might be a funny man, but it didn't seem to seep through. (yawn) However, I digress as i have given up all things political, it depress me and at 74, with celebrating 57 years of marriage to mate tomorrow, i don't need anything else depressing. I have sort of lost my zest for the blog writing but will get it back and i will ask if I can use a line here or there and will say it came from you and all that I am supposed to do. Right now I am thinking my next blog will have something from the comment you left on my page, which was pretty funny. Much more so than Mitt Romney. (yawn) Have a wonderful camping out. Gotta tell you, my idea of camping out is a motel across from a park.AND if i can't have air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter, NOT going. You Mormons may think suffering is a point getter but we Church of Christ members don't buy that. Beverly said...

OK! NOW, I'm educated! ;-)

Lisa said...

I got every freakin' one right. Because I'm brilliant, with you, the walking Encyclopedia, as my tutor.

Cheeseboy said...

I forwarded this post to Macy's. They are so turning red right now. I think I know who will be their next year Grand Marshall and it rhymes with Bomus Mess Gomson

Connie said...

I hope you, your swimsuit and Caladryl become good friends by the time your camp-out is over!

Thanks for the education! I'll include these facts in my RS message for the ward newsletter!

Just ME the MOM said...

This is actually so great, glad you pulled it out of the ol' ________ archives! I think it's actually going to be required participation at our 4th celebration this year.


Annette Lyon said...

EIGHT. Not bad at all.

Kimberly said...

Despite being Canadian? I totally rocked that. I'm not going to list my score though because it'll make people who got less than three feel bad that a Canadian kicked their butts. =P Enjoy?

Lisa Loo said...

Are we being graded? Cuz if we are, i get a SP for Super Participator--yeah baby.

Camping is right up there with water boarding in my book. Hope you survived.

Scones--are those anything like elephant ears--cuz I love me some extra large pachyderm auditory appendages!

Mikki said...

Oh my gosh. THe Mark Twain one killed me!! I was choking on laughter. So funny. I totally knew the scones one. Man I want some of those right now!!!

Gina said...

Hi DeNae. I finally got around to taking your quiz. I missed the music ones and the liquor ones. Hmmmm. Interesting? I guess I don't know a lot about music or liquor.

Melanie said...

Oooo Oooo, I knew the answer to number 6!! Only because I tried to correct someone once, she was in the act of making "scones", and I got the glare down OF MY LIFE. Huh, well maybe she was right and I should have backed down before her eyeballs lit the grease on fire. In the end they were pretty tasty.

Melanie said...

WAIT! Lisa loo, whoever you are, they're TOTALLY elephant ears!! I forgot we used to make those all the time and they sold them at the fair. Yes, that's what "some people" call scones.