Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Dew It To It

So there was a big hoopla recently about BYU students petitioning for caffeinated sodas on campus.  You can't buy a caffeinated beverage anywhere on campus currently, much to the dismay of many students, faculty and visitors.  When you go to a basketball game and the announcer reads off the sponsors, he won't say Coke, he'll say Caffeine Free Coca-Cola, lest anyone believe that BYU took money from the caffeinated kind of Coke.  That would be scandalous. 

It's not against the rules for students to drink caffeinated sodas, or even bring them on campus.  They just won't sell the drinks to you, which is perfectly within their rights, shortsighted as it may be.  But when BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins stated that the school does not sell caffeinated drinks because there has not "been a demand for it," well, that was simply laughable. 

BYU student Skyler Thiot created a Facebook page "BYU for Caffeine" which had over 1700 likes before he removed the page stating that the issue was becoming "too contentious."  In a recent radio interview, DJ's suggested to Skyler that BYU officials must have told him to remove the page.  He wouldn't confirm that, but he wouldn't deny it either, which leads me to believe that "The Heavy" did put some pressure on him to remove it. 

So what's the big deal exactly?  If BYU doesn't want to sell caffeinated drinks, then fine.  Students don't have to attend school there if they don't want to, or they can just drive down to the nearest gas station or grocery store to get their caffeine fix.  But it's silly for a spokesperson to claim that there hasn't been a demand for caffeinated drinks, which just can't be the real reason.  What is the real reason then?  Is it because caffeine drinks are bad for you?  Well, they can't very well say that or else they'd have to stop selling chocolate covered cinnamon bears and their famous mint brownies.  Besides, I'd be willing to bet that the sugar in sodas is way worse for you than the caffeine.  The church doesn't prohibit the consumption of caffeinated sodas, so they can't say that either.  They don't have to give a reason if they don't want to, but don't go making up silly excuses that no one will believe.

The Missionary Training Center in Provo has the same dining services as at BYU, which means that missionaries in training can't buy caffeinated sodas.  While I was there, one missionary received a package containing a 24 pack of real, fully-loaded Coke.  It was amazing how quickly these Cokes became currency, like cigarettes in prison.  Suddenly there were missionaries scrambling to buy Coke from him for $1.00 per can, then $2.00 per can.  One missionary who was short on cash offered to trade his Afterglow cassettes.   

So while we're taking digs at BYU, let's talk about their policy on socks.  They don't have one now, but when I was 11 or 12 years old, my friend and I were kicked out of the Games Center because I was wearing flip flops (with no socks).  Some worker came up to us while we were playing video games and made us leave stating that I was not wearing appropriate footwear.  Perhaps he was afraid that the brazen way in which I was showing off the skin of my feet would cause some BYU co-eds to have evil thoughts.  We'll ignore the fact that there was nary a female to be found playing Spy Hunter or Dig-Dug.  Today the policy is simply that shoes should be worn in all public campus areas.  How progressive of them. 

And how about BYU's facial hair policy?  I've been a goatee wearer for the last 15 years or so.  One time I went to a comedy show on BYU campus and the nice girl who sold us the tickets asked me if I was a student.  When I said no, she said, "Oh, good thing, or you'd have to go shave."  So, that's fine.  My main problem with BYU's facial hair policy is not that they don't allow beards.  My problem is that they do allow mustaches.  I'm sorry, but plain mustaches are just ghastly.  They should have changed that policy when they stopped requiring socks.  We'll also ignore the fact that Brigham Young himself had a nice bushy beard in his day. 

I don't think we'll see BYU lifting their ban on caffeinated sodas anytime in the near future, nor do I think they should be compelled to.  But if you are outraged like I am about how immodest the statue of Chief Massasoit is on BYU campus, then sign the petition by posting a comment here.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Goodbye Tumbleweeds, Hello Cave Nation

So, Lois and I have lived at my parents' house in Eagle Mountain for over 5 years now.   Mom and Dad have been great to live with.   I think I could count the number of times I've mowed the lawn with my shoes on.   Well, I always mow the lawn with my shoes on.   I just mean that I could count the times on my fingers and wouldn't need my toes.   No, I don't really need my toes to count that high, it's just a silly saying!   Okay, forget it.   I'm saying that Dad almost always mows the lawn.   I guess he figured he can't give me chores to do since I work for Lois now.   We've also had the benefit of Mom and Dad volunteering to tend the boys (for free!) so that we can go out on dates.   It's nice when we can just put the boys to bed and go for a drive, and since Mom and Dad are in the house, we have no qualms about leaving the kids.   And sometimes you're just in the mood for nachos and Mountain Dew, right?

The city of Eagle Mountain is not without its charms.   You know in the old Peanuts cartoons where Snoopy's cousin Spike makes "snowmen" and "Christmas trees" out of tumbleweeds in the desert?   It's kind of like that.   Who wouldn't want to live in a place like that?  

But, the time has come at last for us to bid a fond adieu to the tumbleweed capital of Utah County.   We're moving to American Fork, which my sister Carmela very helpfully pointed out is called "Cave Nation."   I learned this mere hours after closing the deal on the house, so there's no turning back.   Now, I admit that most school mascots are kind of stupid.   I grew up in Orem, home of the Mountain View Bruins.   I was always under the impression that a bruin was a certain type of bear.   But it's not.   It's simply another word for bear.   But it's really not even that.   It came from an old Dutch fable, where the bear was named "Bruin," which is the Dutch word for "brown."   That's just silly.  

But come on, the Cavemen?   How does anyone even pretend that cavemen represent anything that a person would want to emulate?   Cavemen lived in caves because they were too stupid to build their own houses.   Their marriage ceremony involved conking a cavewoman on the head with a club and then dragging her by the hair back to the cave.   Expressions such as "living in a cave" have become cultural metaphors for a modern human who displays traits of extreme ignorance or uncivilized behavior.

Here's one of my favorite Jack Handy Deep Thoughts: I bet when the Neanderthal kids made a snowman, someone would always end up saying, "Don't forget the thick, heavy brows." Then they would all get embarrassed because they remembered they had the big hunky brows too, and they'd get mad and eat the snowman.

So anyway, we're going to live in American Fork, aka "Cave Nation."   When it comes to it, "American Fork" is kind of a silly name for a city too.   It used to be called Lake City, but settlers renamed it in 1860 after the American Fork River that runs through it to avoid confusion with Salt Lake City.   I can see how a caveman might confuse the two.  

We are pretty excited about the new house.   It is a rambler built in 2001 with a fully finished basement and a 3 car garage.   It has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms upstairs, and 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom downstairs.   There's also a little kitchenette downstairs with a fridge, sink and dining area.  So, I guess if we wanted to, you know, have dinner in the basement or something, it would be that much easier to do it.

Before we knew we would be closing on the house, I booked a trip to DC for work, which is where I am currently.   We didn't want to delay the closing, which was scheduled for the 12th, so I notarized a Power of Attorney document which allowed Lois to sign all of the closing documents.   So while I was eating fish & chips at McGinty's, Lois was buying our house.  

It's all taken care of now, and we're going to move this Saturday.   If you know me and are looking for something to do, feel free to stop by the house to move a few boxes, or maybe a refrigerator or dresser.   We'll get started around 9am.  Also, this Saturday is my Mom's birthday, so there's that too.