Many things could have turned my nice, cheerful fall day here in Saint Paul upside down. Waking up calm and serene, I was nervous that this sunny disposition would soon be shot to shit in some way. Normally a very cheerful, happy-go-lucky person, life stressors and severe lack of sleep have interfered with this lately. Determined to start the day off on the right foot, I proceeded with a cautious enthusiasm.
Needing groceries, I hopped into my car and drove down my street, peacefully unaware to the chaos. My quaint little neighborhood, Grand Avenue, is known for high levels of foot traffic, people always wandering between the scenic homes, boutique shops, local farmers markets and the drunken patios that fill up every single day from March to November because here in Minnesota, tomorrow could just be the start of another seven month winter. Take into account on-street parallel parking, the fact that any left turn will likely result in either an expensive accident or a pedestrian death, chronic cross walk disobeyers, and the fact that people still exist who find one way streets so confusing that they simply choose to ignore them, and you essentially have a parking lot clusterfuck situation. But it is a great neighborhood, and so we put up with it. It’s clean. Charming. Urban, but safe. Home to only one robber, if you have been paying any attention.
And I let this all just roll off my shoulders. I sang along to the radio to horribly bad music too pathetic to mention, flipping through to a new station every time I heard that damn ad come on.
I did not even run my mouth when I got cut off by a 1985 powder blue molester van on University Avenue with a “Jesus Saves” bumper sticker on where I can only assume the bumper used to be. Because many of you who read this do not live the Twin Cities, I will take the time for contextual purposes to explain that Uni is essentially the ghetto road that connects, in a long winding fashion, Minneapolis to Saint Paul. On Uni you will find the most prevalent methods of transportation to be the Metro Transit bus #16, which some people actually live in, shopping carts tied together with scraps of twine, and cars that cannot get up enough speed to take the 94 interstate that runs parallel to this road. Unfortunately, this is home to the closest grocery store. (Flip the radio station. Again.)
Now, I did get a little concerned when Molester Van barreled through a red light, but I guess the “Jesus Saves” bumper sticker really worked some magic. The old woman I presumed would become a human speed bump and subsequently left for dead in the middle of the cross walk survived with what looked like only a mildly potential heart flutter and a flip of her middle finger. You rock, J-dude.
Even inside the grocery store, fully surrounded by the ghetto fabulous, I was able to hold it together when a lady cracked open some unpaid Similac in aisle #8 and poured it into a sippy cup. We’re not on Grand Avenue anymore, Toto. I was able to maneuver somewhat with ease around people who manage to push their shopping cart in a zig-zag throughout the aisle, thus taking up the whole damn thing. When five-year-olds fought about Twinkies vs. Zebra Cakes, I skipped that section. Apparently that shit is bad for you anyways. While Mommy didn’t understand that you can’t use your government card for Shasta Orange and beef jerky, I read about Ashton Kutcher’s texts to his new girlfriends. (Umm…Ashton??? I’m single…) So all in all, it was a successful shopping trip. And so I packed up my bag, loaded it into my trunk and headed home to tackle my next task of laundry.
Now, I physically CANNOT drive without the radio on, and I have musical ADD on top of that. As a result, I usually just flip through the radio rather than take the time to decide on a cd because my little drive between errands it too short for all that nonsense. But all I could find were these ads. The rotation of the FIVE stations that I listen to frequently were all playing a slightly different variation, but once you hear one you can spot them all a mile away. And this is when I lost my shit.
We are talking about the Mormon infiltration of the airwaves here in MSP. If you are lucky enough to live outside of one of their “target” areas, let me fill you in quick. The Mormons want us to know that, they too, are real people. They are saddened by American stupidity in our national belief that all Mormons are hiding in plain sight suburbia with connected backyards and angry clan leaders back home at the compound a la “Big Love.” (I love you Margene.) They are out to promote that Mormons are normal people who are more likely to describe themselves as surfers and motorcycle riders and fans of other bad-ass activities than as a bible group leader. Apparently they tried to get this message out a few years ago via other methods, but the American public was too dense to understand ads of such “sophistication.” (their words, not mine.) So they have kindly dumbed things down for us this time around and have crossed their fingers that if we didn’t get the point at first, it will start to come together after a couple hundred repetitions.
Now, I like Mormons. I didn’t know I knew any until recently, but that is exactly how it should be. I don’t care if you are Mormon, Catholic, Lutheran, Agnostic, Jewish, whatever that Madonna/red string bracelet religion is, or some kind of halfsie like me. As long as you don’t whip cats around by their tails, kick homeless people’s teeth out for humor, and shower on a daily basis, you and I are going to start off on solid footing. But these ads need to stop. Are other people really this dense? If politely raised, although severly lagging in the “practicing” part, Catholic/Lutheran hybrids such as myself respond to your ad with an angry “Jesus Christ” and a flip of the radio station, are you really accomplishing your mission? Can’t there be a better way? Or is that where we get into the territory of “too sophisticated?”
So Mormons drive motorcycles. Not around a compound. Not home to dine with their 3 wives. Just on the road. Just like non-Mormons. Now you know. Please also note that your bachelor party stripper might be a Lutheran, that flashy gambler at the black jack table is probably a Baptist, and you just know that the old bald guy bellied up to the bar in suspenders on a Tuesday is an Irish Catholic. Of course, as with all things in life, the inverse here is also true. I don’t care about your “Jesus Saves” bumper sticker, you know behind that steering wheel was a molester in waiting.
So there you go. Myths busted. Pass on the knowledge, and get off my radio.