How I stayed domestic: God Bless America

Posted by Zamfir on May 26, 1998 at 16:29:55:

I have nothing constructive, intelligent, or well thought out to add here. Just a stupid story.

I was reading average joe's comments about the kid who wanted to go on a foreign mission and it reminded me of the foreign vs domestic, Netherlands or Nevada, Ford or Chevy, tastes great less filling thing. When I was about to receive my "inspired" call in 1986, actually, what's inspired about it? I think whoever it is in SLC that makes these calls are actually expert dart throwers who secretly belong to a citywide bar league and regularly kick ass in whatever tournament they enter. "Oh, no, Jake! Our next match is against "The Callers"! There's no way we can win, we might as well forfeit. We're screwed!" One flick of the wrist and you're off to Bangladesh. Having been out of the country before, I was in no hurry to take my chances at an extended visit. My experience eating dogs and cats in China was more than I bargained for and I wasn't about to wait for something that came straight out of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Don't get me wrong, other countries and cultures are just fine for 2 weeks, but 2 years is a different matter. When it was my turn to go thru all those mission call pre rituals, I noticed many guys in my small eastern Oregon ward were going to places like Italy, Ireland, S Africa, Spain, and the Phillipines. There was a good chance I was going to get sent to Dogburger China. NO WAY!!! I want to eat at Denny's on p-day! I want to ride my bike on the right side of the road! When people yell and swear at me I want to know what they're saying!!! I don't care if I come back and can't bear my testimony in some kooky tongue or have no cool stories to tell and have to settle for a sweet spirit for my wife because of it! To hell with that dart with my name on it! I'm going to make a stand!! It was then that I came up with a plan. A wicked, evil, unrighteous plan that would have made Korihor himself think twice. I was aware of the language aptitude test that I'd be given. Not as secret as the temple, so I knew what to expect. Does anyone know if they still do this or has a revelation changed and now they don't? My test consisted of sitting in an empty room listening to a guy on a tape. He was an old guy, of course. I think he'd been a sheetrock worker on the Tower of Babel back when they invented all the different languages. He would say a word in english and then say the word in a different language. The other language wasn't real, just something they made up. NO! They didn't say pay ay ale! They said other things that they made up! The old guy would say some words and phrases and I would write down the right words for what he said. The only word I can remember was "sherm". It kind of sounded like a Dr. Suess book. "The sherm had a glerm with derm on it's verm" or something like that. Knowing what was at stake here, I proceded to totally bomb that test. I made every wrong answer I could. I even had the audacity to say "the sherm had a worm with sperm in it's perm" These guys won't let me out of the stake! I'd be lucky if they even let me ride a bike.

When my call finally arrived, I opened it with dread and anticipation. Where had my dart landed? Did my caller have a bad commmute to work and was going to send 20 guys to the Tapeworm JungleBug mission? Did my dart maybe just bounce offf and hit the floor, thus making me exempt? (yeah, right) As I opened the letter I couldn't help but feel like Charlie Bucket as he opened up his Willy Wonka chocolate bar looking for a golden ticket. Had my sherm plan saved me from cat casserole for 2 years. 2 long long miserable slimfast years?

My dart had landed in, drumroll please,.................................
GEORGIA!!!!!!!! WAHOO!!!!!! USA RULES!!!!!!!!!!
Burger Kings and Dairy Queens! Piggly Wiggly grocery stores with Froot Loops on aisle 12 and Spam on aisle 9!!!
National Enquirers to pretend I wasn't reading as I stood in line!!!!!!

Awhile later it ocurred to me that I must have REALLY done bad on that language skill test to have been sent to the deep south. There's no way they're going to trust this enemahead with sacred doctrines in Europe or Asia. It kind of sounds like the spy biz. Agent 007 gets the cool foreign assignments because he's suave and sophisticated and good looking. He's what the US wants everyone else in the world to think what American men are all about. Meanwhile, Inspector Gadget gets the domestic assignments because we don't have to worry about him stealing away the member's daughters.

Yep, I reckon I done went to Georgia cause of them there language scores I got me on that test. A year later my brother was a'fixin' to head on out to his mission, so I says to him " I reckon ifn's y'all bomb that there language test, y'all can stay here in the good ol' US of A." So he did and got sent to Mississippi.

I reckon me and my brother done went and fooled them callers real good this time, yessir.