Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Ward Gossip!

To: The wonderful people who follow my blog
From: Donna Banta
Subject: Ward Gossip is one year old today!

A year ago today, I began posting the e-mails I receive from the Abbottsville Fourth ward for you, my wonderful readers. In honor of this anniversary, and in a flagrant act of self-congratulations, I invite you to revisit the year in review:

We began in September when Bishop Paul Zimmerman made the following confession:
"My apologies to the young men in the ward who mistakenly received my employer's form 10-Q quarterly report last week. My intended message, "Hands Off: Tips on Avoiding Masturbation," was sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission."
In October, Brother H. LeVar Turley declared, Holy Fetch! These folks would make great Mormons:
President and Mrs. Carter
President and Mrs. Reagan
President and Mrs. H. W. Bush
President and Mrs. George W. Bush
President Bill Clinton
Chelsea Clinton
Socks and Buddy Clinton
Barack Obama's mother

In November Stake Single Adults Leaders, Ricky and Mindy Foote, decided to cancel the Swinging Seventies Party after the Stake Singles obtained a pair of Ricky's old Scooby-doo underpants and engaged in a bidding war over them on e-Bay. Also because nobody turned in their Official Worthiness Questionnaire.

Then December rolled around and the Abbottsville Fourth Ward Celebrated the Season, Mormon Style with a week-long party that included a visit to the Cultural Hall by "Joseph and his Elves," a priesthood-only viewing of The Passion of the Joseph (rated X for historical accuracy) and a stake sing-a-long of Handel's The Joseph.

January proved to be a full month.
First Former Stake President Taylor described his visit to Southern Utah and the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre:
"I recalled the St. George I visited as a boy. A stark, dry planet hanging in the void. Even in the 1940's, the town was much like Brigham Young intended, a solitary outpost, accessible by a single road, shunned and left to itself, a deep compost of Mormon shame."
Then an old e-mail for former Bishop Loomis (whose shocking murder has yet to be solved) provided the blog with its most popular post, LDS Temple Garments: Wear Them Or Else. Thanks to a mass fascination with secret Mormon underwear, or underwear in general, this post gets at least 5 or 10 hits a day. So far my favorite search words are:

mum lets me borrow her panty girdle if I promise not to soil it

And the Young Women Were Keepin' Busy with a super special class schedule:
Beehives: "Avoid All Loud Laughter." Girls will practice quiet tittering.
Mia Maids: "Self-Reliance Part II." Learn how to turn your glue gun into a money-maker.
Laurels: "What I Really Want for Graduation." Breast implants or a car, which will take me where I need to go?

In February See Zion First! Mormon Travel and Tours unveiled some of its summer excursions, including a Book of Mormon tour that visits the Tree of Life, the Waters of Mormon, the Rameumpton, and 
"El Footsteps de Nephi Trading Post, where proprietor Manny "Moroni" Gonzales stocks a host of treasures, such as authentic pieces of Nephi's steel bow and chunks of Lehi's ship. (Cash only, all sales final, vendor is armed and does not have access to the safe.)"

Scroll down to March to read how the Three Nephites Shaped History. According to Ward Spiritual Giant, Sid Dooley, the Three Nephites,  
"might have been with Lincoln at Gettysburg, probably were with Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis, and definitely were with George W. Bush during the Florida Recount."
In April the LDS Young Women Think PINK! when they are assigned to:
"List the divine qualities you were endowed with in the Pre-Existence, such as sweetness, subservience, thriftiness, buxomness, a flair for macrame, a profound lack of curiosity, etc. Pick your favorite divine quality and embroider it onto a PINK pillow case using PINK thread and surrounding it with pretty PINK flowers or sea horses."
Sister Millie Loomis took a See Zion First! tour of Paris in May, and came home to claim,
"Only the Church could send us on a trip like this."
Ex-Mormon spies TBM's at Giants game

In June the Mormons kept a low profile at the San Francisco Giants' Game.

July brought panic to the Abbottsville Stake Singles when President Knightly suspended the Single Adult program. That is, until the single sisters realize their divine roll in the church and the single brethren stop being menaces to society.

And thanks to the inspired "And I'm a Mormon" ad campaign, in August we met Brian, who proudly proclaimed:

I'm a billionaire, a philanthropist, a recycler, and a biker. I have a $75,000 watch, and a friend who might be gay. I'd love to buy your home for cheap. I am a husband, a father, and a masochist. My name is Brian Swensen, 

and I'm a Mormon.

Now here we are in September. One year and 56 posts later.

I must add that the really "funny -- interesting -- cool" writing is in the comment field. For example:
  In OctoberSarah  said,
"Our stake presidency wasn't so great at filtering the music for our youth dances . . . they allowed "Brass Monkey" by the Beastie Boys and "I'll Make Love to You" by Boyz II Men for several months before getting a clue! Not to worry, we just sang "I'll make cookies with you" instead. Yes, for real!"
In November, Anonymous said,
"Mormons NEVER acknowledge art unless its created by a faithful member of their own tribe. I remember the so-called Rodin exhibit at BYU. "
In FebruaryflattopSF asked,
"Can you forward (me) the address for that Abbottsville Leather, Latex and Fetish Factory? It may come in handy some day."
In April, My Temple Name is Deborah suggested,
"Mormons should hire you as a PR consultant and pay you the big bucks." 
In MayInsana D said,
"What the LDS love to proclaim, "The church is the same wherever you go" is a bit like a self condemnation. It's like saying, We are the McDonald's of Religions. McMormon nuggets, all lined up and pasty fatty white, deep fried, overcooked, pressed meat like and completely tasteless. MMMM, McMormons!" 
And Chino Blanco made my day when he told me,
"You've got all kinds of win going on here."
 In July, Donavan, the 4th Nephite said,
"Gay heaven looks very similar, except there are drag queens who LOOK like the above and MORE Calvin Klein or D&G (Dolce and Gabanna) underwear models running around. Nearly naked. And looking ever-fit and tan."
In AugustSteve said,
"Judging by those garden gnomes, I think the rice krispy treats sold so well because they were laced with mushrooms. Yikes!"
This Septembergoodbye kitty asked,
"Donna, can i sit next to you in hell?"
Ahab said,
"Aye aye aye. BYU sounds "interesting", to say the least!"
Leah  said,
"I find it ironic that so many Mormons get upset when people say they're not Real Christians, and yet they feel entitled to define what is and isn't a Real Mormon. Or to define Real Marriage, for that matter."  

He's back by popular demand

Lisa said,

"thanks for the pic going with the "intimacy in marriage" class, mmm ;) "

And Carla said,
"What really, really makes me sick is when people blame violence on everything but the real cause: poverty."

That's only an abbreviated sampling of the great comments I've received, and I appreciate every one, almost as much as I enjoy reading your blogs.

 All in all, it's been a good year for me, the blog, and the Saints from the Abbottsville Fourth Ward.

Since it doesn't look like they will be taking me off their e-mail list any time soon, is there a particular ward member you would like to hear more from? Or a topic you might like to further explore? (I already know about the underwear.) While I don't pretend to have any clout (not having priesthood and all), I can at least send the bishop a cheerful suggestion now and then . . . anything to please you, my wonderful readers.


  1. Congratulations Donna. You always make me laugh!

  2. Holy fetch you crack me up! Can I make out with your brain for a little while?

  3. LOL, "Can I make out with your brain" is going in the best comments list next year -- if I make it another year.

  4. Happy Anniversary, hellmate! Woot! I will drink a toast to you tonight!

    I'm in love with your blog and especially this --> The Passion of the Joseph (rated X for historical accuracy)


  5. Gawd, I love your blog, Donna. I don't know who the "back by popular demand" dude is, but please forward him my email and phone number, because I'm sure he's crazy about me (he just doesn't know it yet).

  6. Thanks everyone for your kind words, and @ Sideon, I kind of thought you'd go for him. :)