Rule #321: Never, under any circumstances, play Never Have I Ever with Mormons. It’s a waste of an evening.
You think: Spring Break 2009. Russell thinks: the time he watched District 9 on FX. The “naughty parts” were censored. The cursing bleeped. But still, Russell is 28 years old. He has never had sex. His greatest rebellion to date was watching “Just Go With It” this summer.
It was PG-13, but, as Russell, points out, “just because Hollywood says its PG-13 doesn’t mean it’s wholesome.” Russell uses the word “wholesome.” And often.
The group nodded vigorously.
Russell repented, he assured us. The following morning, first thing. The bishop assigned him six months of G-rated movies and tens hours of community service for his sins.
The group modified the Never Have I Ever game to incorporate me. They usually play with jelly beans or Skittles. But they are an amiable lot. They let me drink wine.
“Never have I ever,” Russell pondered, “drank tea.”
The group tittered. They impishly dipped into their jelly-bean cups. Faces reddened with sinner’s shame. I took another swig from the bottle. My third. Face aglow for a different reason.
“I’m sorry,” I cut in. “Tea’s bad with Mormons?”
The group stiffened. Devin sighed, “As the Word of Wisdom says: ‘And again, hot drinks are not for the body or belly.’”
The Word of Wisdom is the Mormons’ holy diet plan, of sorts. A sanctified nutritional mandate passed down from God to Joseph Smith. Or, depending on whom you ask, Joseph Smith’s wife.
The year was 1833. Joseph Smith would have the boys over at his place. They were grizzly, bushwhackers in Kirtland, Ohio. And they were bored. They spat tobacco, lapped up beer, and raved about the glorious Kingdom they had between smoke rings.
Life was good. Except for Mrs. Joseph Smith. She was tired of sopping up the booze, clawing humps of tobacco chew off the floorboards. And she let Joseph Smith hear about it. Until finally, she issued the marriage ultimatum: it’s them or me. So, as Brigham Young taught, “The complaints of his wife at having to clean so filthy a floor, made the Prophet think upon the matter.”
But Joseph Smith was crafty. And, as the founder of a religion, he enjoyed some leeway other besieged husbands could not. He went out back and prayed to God in the Ohio hinterlands. He returned with the Word of Wisdom.