Friday, June 16

Emo

I was in San Fransisco once, walking along the Golden Gate Bridge, and I saw this guy on the bridge about to jump. So I thought I'd try to stall and detain him, long enough for me to put the film in. I said, "Don't jump!" and he turns... You've heard of the elephant man. He was kind of like that, he had a, well, you could say he had the head of a horse. And my heart went out to him. I said, "Why the long face?"
He said, "'Cause all my life people have called me mean names like horses-head or Flicka or chess-piece or Trigger..."
I said, "Well, don't worry about it, Ed. It can't be that bad."
He said, "My girlfriend's suing me!"
I said, "For palomino?"
He said, "Why was I put on this Earth?"
I said, "My friend, anywhere else you wouldn't stand a chance."
He said, "Nobody loves me."
I said, "God loves you, you silly ninny."
He said, "How do you know there's a God?"
I said, "Of course there's a God. Do you think that billions of years ago a bunch of molecules floating around at random could someday have had the sense of humor to make you look like that?"
He said, "I do believe in God."
I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?"
He said, "A Christian."
I said, "Me too. Protestant or Catholic?"
He said, "Protestant."
I said, "Me too! What franchise?"
He says, "Baptist."
I said, "Me too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?"
He says, "Northern Baptist."
I said, "Me too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"
He says, "Northern Conservative Baptist."
I say, "Me too! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist or Northern Conservative Reform Baptist?"
He says, "Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist."
I say, "Me too! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Eastern Region?"
He says, "Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region."
I say, "Me too! Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879 or Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?"
He says, "Northern Conservative Fundamentalist Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912."
I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him off!
-- Emo Phillips

Of all of the anti-Mormon comments, tirades, and criticisms I ever encountered directly about me to my face, my absolute worst in my entire life was from Emo Phillips.

Emo Phillips was one of my comic idols as a child. I listened to his "E=MO2" album on vinyl so much I pretty much had the entire thing memorized. I was thrilled to see him in a cameo in "UHF" (The "Weird Al" movie from 1989), and always watched him during his TV appearances when I could catch him.

Sometime in the late 1990's, I had a friend of a friend who worked on Emo's web site, and could introduce him to us after he performed at a local comedy club. I was so excited to meet him! I even brought my vinyl album, the one I pretty much wore out in the 80's, to the show to get autographed. Me and a group of friends went to the Improv and waited for the show.

When I was a kid, I used to pray every night for a new bicycle. Then I realized that the Lord, in his wisdom, didn't work that way. So I just stole one and asked him to forgive me. - Emo Phillips

The show was pretty good, and afterwards we all waited around anxiously for our introduction to the great Emo Phillips. We were all pretty much lifetime fans. He came over and after some extremely self-depreciating remarks, began having an interesting conversation with us.

At some point, he made a comment about religion and about Mormons in particular, and all of my friends started to laugh. He said, "Is one of you Mormon?" All of my friends turned and stared straight at me, and I could feel my face starting to blush. He said, "You're Mormon? You don't actually believe all that crap, do you?" I said, extremely sheepishly, "Well yes, I do." He then said, "You seem like such a smart and interesting girl, why in the world would you believe such total nonsense?" or something to that effect and then went on a (I kid you not) 15 minute tirade about what a moronic religion that the Mormon church was.

I was walking down fifth avenue today and I found a wallet, and I was gonna keep it, rather than return it, but I thought: well, if I lost a hundred and fifty dollars, how would I feel? And I realized I would want to be taught a lesson. - Emo Phillips

I felt horrible, completely raked over the coals. Now, this was during my NeoMormon phase (1997-2000), so my testimony was still a touch shaky. But it offended me greatly that he would have tore into my beliefs with such gusto, tearing me down over and over until I almost started to cry (I did cry, but I waited until I was outside). It made me feel heinous to have someone put me down so seriously because of my beliefs. And not only just someone, but one of the idols of my childhood, someone who I loved and adored and admired as a comic genius.

I never did get my album autographed.

2 Comments:

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Gunner said...

Sounds like he was acting like a royal horses rear. I like his material and find his "strange" humor delightful. orry you got hit with his bad personal side.

 
At 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am Catholic and haven't known a whole lot of Mormons.

My experience with Mormons has been mostly limited to working with LDS kids when I taught in California, and they were wonderful. It seems to me that there's something special in the Mormon religion that consistently produces such terrific kids.

 

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