Part 8: Word of Wisdom

The next time the missionaries came to see me they brought with them an elderly couple, the Stengers. These were a very typical elderly, American, Mormon couple. They couldn’t stop smiling and seemed to be hopped up on some everlasting happiness drug. Apparently ignorance is bliss. They were very pleased with my progress and told me how great they thought I was. These people didn’t know almost a single thing about me and they could already tell that I was awesome? I guess I just shout awesomeness wherever I go. That of course is not the case; don’t take me for an arrogant, obnoxious fool. The Mormons wanted me to feel as comfortable as possible, and to grow a liking to them. I have to admit that I was rather starting to like the Mormons, which ultimately made it much harder to bash them and toss them aside in the end. That’s how they work.

This time they wanted to tell me about the Word of Wisdom. But the thing was they didn’t just tell me about it, but they asked me if I was willing to keep it. This would mean no drugs, tobacco, alcohol, coffee or tea (except herbal tea. Whippiie). Well, I don’t do drugs. Wuss. I rarely smoke. I’m not much of a coffee drinker. Seriously, I can’t remember when I last had a cup of coffee. Maybe a month ago. I’m a social drinker. But alcohol and tea? No way. Not for an imaginary god who’s best miracle nowadays is appearing on toast, or leaving a cross-like thing in the debris after 9/11. But of course, these Mormons weren’t god. They couldn’t keep checking up on me and see whether or not I followed the Word of Wisdom. And when they looked at me with those big, stupid, hopeful eyes, I just couldn’t say no. I told them that I’d try, and that it probably wouldn’t be much of a problem.

At the end of our meeting, it finally happened. I didn’t know what to think. It felt quite exciting to admit it. The missionaries invited me to come to church on Sunday. I said I’d be there, and off they scurried all giddy. Church, I thought for myself. Man, last time I had been to church was over three years ago, and the only enjoyable part was the communion wine. That was the time when I looked up at the church afterward and thought “maybe I should stop kidding myself”. I took of my cross hanging around my neck, and never touched it again.

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