The road to the Celestial Room is fraught with danger and excitement.
Many years ago, when I was still an active member of the Mormon Church, post-mission but pre-coming out and receiving reparative therapy, my best friend decided to get married in the Bountiful Temple and asked me to be his best man. I was indeed honored that he thought that highly of me, and grateful that I still had a current temple recommend. (So I might have stretched the truth just a little bit in my bishop’s interview.)
The wedding day arrived and I had to get up before the crack of dawn because I had to drive from Logan and be at the Bountiful Temple by 7 a.m. I was near starvation as I passed through Brigham City, so I drove through the McDonald’s drive-up window and got a couple of bacon, egg and cheese biscuits. This proved to be a poor choice because I was wearing a suit, and the biscuits leave a lot of crumbs. So there I am driving down I-15, trying not to crumb on my suit by leaning over the center of the car letting the crumbs fall on the empty seat. It was ever so difficult to stay in the lane.
I got to the temple in time, changed into my temple clothes and met the rest of the wedding party. Everyone seemed to think I was the father of the groom even though I was only five years older than him. All went well during the ceremony except that I had a piece of bacon stuck between my teeth, and all during the service I tried to pry it out with my tongue. I didn’t want to get too close to anyone after the ceremony for fear of bacon breath.
Next on the agenda was the wedding breakfast, which was held at Chuck-A-Rama. It was BBQ day so there were a lot of ribs and sauce and baked beans which were ever-so delicious. I draped my chest with a towel while eating because I needed to protect my one and only suit, and I was 75 miles away from a change of clothes.
After filling myself beyond full, I had six hours to kill until the wedding reception. So I decided to drive into Salt Lake City to attend a session in the Salt Lake Temple, since I had never been in that one before, and I sensed that my temple attending days were nearing an end. I walked up to the registration desk and the attendant said, “Oh, it’s so good you are here. We’ll hold the session for you. Hurry and change.” So I struggled in haste to put on my white clothes, and I fell over with a loud (UN-REVERENT) crash while trying to put both feet into the same pant leg. I was fortunate they didn’t tear. I entered the ordinance room, slightly flummoxed and out of breath. It was then I realized that there were only eight people in the session. No wonder they wanted to wait for me.
I sat there looking at all the art on the walls, but found it difficult to pay attention, because the fullness of baked beans had begun to progress to their eternal glory and I was getting cramps and rumblings of the “spirit.” I could tell pressure was building. The session was at a point of no return. I began to worry, just how bad a little anal leakage would appear on the white pants? I began to sweat. Did I dare even let a little bit of the pressure pass? I shifted in my seat. The session seemed to go on forever. It seemed I had been holding and puckering and squeezing my sphincter through time and all eternity.
Finally, the session ended and I proceeded into the Celestial Room. I thanked God I had survived. I commenced quickly toward the exit and suddenly, when I arrived at the center of the room, directly beneath the big chandelier, there was a loud clap of thunder from down under and the gates of heaven went asunder. Oh my god, fire and brimstone and the smell — oh, the gawd awful stench! As reverently as possible, I speed walked out of the Celestial Room before anyone could get their bearings and hone in on the source.
So later that night, after the wedding reception and everyone had congratulated me for being the father of the groom, I decided there was only one way to end this momentous day, and that was a visit to Club 14, the gay bathhouse. I figured since I had destroyed the temple, I could at least perform “baptisms” in the pool.
This story leaves us with several important questions:
• Would all have gone better if I had been the matron of honor instead of the best man?
• Just shortly after my fart in the temple, they closed it down for nine months for refurbishing. Was I the reason?
• Just how many gallons of Febreze does a typical temple require?
• Because this was the Salt Lake Temple, was this a more egregious error than if it had been in the Provo Temple, which I’ve always thought looks like the “Mother Ship” from Lost In Space?
• Are we sure that a bathhouse is not a different kind of temple? I sure heard a lot of guys yelling “OH GOD!”
These and other eternal questions shall be answered in future chapters of the Perils of Petunia Pap Smear.