Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Book Of Mormon

Our tiny, 700 sq. ft. cottage in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle was a maze of walkways, with a few steps down & a few steps up, & covered walkways & several gates to maneuver before arriving at the front door.

One splendid summer afternoon in 1987, with temperatures in the 80s, I had every door & window wide open. I had the music cranked up to the limits. I was having a lovely time: singular, stoned & sublime of spirit.

I was listening to my beloved Eurythmics. There was much dog barking as I made my way to the first gate, where a pair of rather good looking Mormon missionaries, in black slacks & white shirts buttoned to the top button, stood & smiled as Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart were blasting out Missionary Man. I smiled & greeted them with the news that they were most certainly at the wrong address. I did compliment them on their perfect teeth as the lyrics to the song reminded us not to mess with the missionary man.

This would not be the only time in my in my life that I would scare away someone with my bare presence & music choice.


Well I was born an original sinner
I was born from original sin
& if I had a dollar bill
 For all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money
 Piled up to my chin

My mother told me good,
My mother told me strong
She said, "Be true to yourself
 & you can't go wrong"
But there's just one thing
 That you must understand
You can fool with your brother
But don't mess with a missionary man

Don't mess with a missionary man
Don't mess with a missionary man
Don't mess with a missionary man

Oh, the missionary man,
He's got God on his side
He's got the saints & apostles
 Backin' up from behind
Black eyed looks from those Bible books
He's a man with a mission,
 Got a serious mind

There was a woman in the jungle
& a monkey on a tree
The missionary man he was followin' me
He said:
 "Stop what you're doin',
 Get down upon your knees
I've a message for you that you better believe"

Believe, believe, believe, believe
Believe, believe, believe, believe
Believe, believe, believe, believe
Believe, believe, believe, believe
Believe, believe, believe, believe

Well I was born an original sinner
I was born from original sin
& if I had a dollar bill for all the things I've done
There'd be a mountain of money

Money, money, money, money
Money, money, money, money
Money, money, money, money
Money, money, money, money
Money, money, money, money

No, don't mess with him
 No, no
Oh baby
Don't mess with a missionary man
Oh, Please
Don't you mess with him
 Don't you mess with a that man
He's a missonary man!
Stewart & Lennox
1986


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5 comments:

  1. I love Mormons showing up unannounced. When I was 16 there were a bunch of us living in a suburban house w/o adult supervision. We had Mormons show up the day after Halloween. We'd sacrificed fruit and vegetables on the front lawn, made a web of rope across the living room, there were empties and drunks around, and they showed up to this scene. My roommate answered the door holding a BIG carving knife because she was cooking chili.

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  2. I was not entirely sure what you meant by your bare presence....

    were you naked while talking to Mormons? That is quite a picture!

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  3. Great story and music. I can't remember the last time I heard that song.

    We see American Mormon missionaries here and there in Spain. Amazing how immediately recognizable they are. The white shirts, skinny ties, and those dead smiles -- white-toothed grins and unsmiling, staring eyes.

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  4. Mormons are cute when they're that age.

    Then they grow into Osmonds and Romneys.

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  5. I don't remember the last time I had a Mormon show up at my door but I do remember the ones that showed up weren't as persistent as the ones that used to come around in the past.

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