We have a new president. I don’t have a lot to say about it. His speech was workmanlike; the poem was strange and unnecessary; the closing prayer was racially divisive tripe. “When the Red Man can get ahead, man?” What the hell is that?
I spent all day yesterday as far removed from politics as possible. I was a volunteer for the Draper Temple Open House, which allows visitors to wander through one of the Latter-day Saint temples before it’s dedicated and then closed to the public. Plenty of people wander what the heck we Mormons do in there, and this is their chance to see firsthand that there are no dead goats, volcano virgins or cauldrons/broomsticks/pentagrams. The Draper Temple is elegant and beautiful, and over 15,000 people per day are taking advantage of this opportunity to go inside.
My first assignment was to herd people into buses from remote parking lots and then read a script about the temple over the PA system as they made the six-minute drive to the temple itself. As one of the guys got off the bus, they asked me if that was a recording. No, sir, it was not. It was me, with my professional recording-sounding voice. As far as volunteer tour guides go, there are few more mellifluous than I.
The afternoon, however, was far less fun. I was assigned as the “Temple Rover,” which means it was my job to roam through the temple and make sure everything was “secure.” Except that if anything were to actually happen, I was supposed to radio for help and then run screaming like a little girl. I had the best job of all the security folks. Mrs. Cornell was “Temple Three,” which means she sat in a room off the main drag and waited for any calls for help.
For. Three. Hours.
She was so bored that she demanded I go to the parking lot and smuggle a book into her. (She could have sat and read scriptures, but three hours is a long time.) I let her roam around a little bit in my stead, but the temple is pretty small, overall, and the wandering only takes about ten minutes. I
We had three incidents on our watch.
The last was the most eventful. A pregnant woman fainted right outside the Celestial Room, and we had to go get her some water.
The first was the least eventful. One of the plastic mats on the carpet had bunched up when a wheelchair rolled over it. The ushers called security, so my wife and I unbunched the mat.
The middle one, however, was the most exciting. One of the parents dropped a binky into the bottom of the Baptistry, down by the sculptures of the Twelve Oxen. There’s no public access to that area, which required us to call the Temple Engineer, who seemed slightly displeased to be called into action to rescue a vagrant binky. The Binky Incident, however, will go down in history as my most triumphant success as a Temple Rover.
As I write this, a television is following Barack’s slow drive through DC after the inaugural. I cannot remember anything in either Bush term approaching this level of excitement. Obama is going to be a disappointment to just about everyone, only because God Himself couldn’t live up to this kind of hype.