The Life of Bon: Hark! Hark! Hark!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hark! Hark! Hark!

Last night my mom said to me, "Oh, you have to see this group on this TV show! They're Mormons and they go to BYU and they're darling."   And since all Mormons love to see other Mormons doing anything mildly famous, I fell right for it.  We sat down to watch, and what do you know?  Staring right into my eyes across waves and waves of television (Does television come in waves?) was a familiar face. 

But first... let me rewind a little bit.  Allow me to take you to the summer of 2007.  I spent my days studying the gospel and learning Spanish in the midst of dozens of boys who were two years younger than me.  The MTC.  Elder Welch was my Zone Leader and he taught me the ways of the missionary center.  He showed me not only how to survive in that jungle, but how to become master of the place. And I did. With his help. (But not in any way that involved anything romantic or us being alone with each other.  Or even within six feet of each other. People. This is the MTC we're talking about here.)

The truth is,  Elder Welch's and my relationship had not always been a bed of roses.  It all started when I was having a bad day and just wanted to go to lunch and not read my scriptures anymore.  (All things in moderation, I say!)  I was annoyed with the following:  Hot, stuffy classrooms. Smelly 19 year old boys in suits. A language that was not coming to me.  Too much gospel study.  Elder Welch. 

You see, for weeks Elder Welch had been singing a hymn.  Not just any hymn either... the most annoying hymn in the history of the history of all hymns.  It goes like this:

"Hark! Hark! Hark! -'tis children's music! Childrens' voices oh how sweet!  When in innocence and love, with the angels up above, they will happy hearts and cheerful faces meet." (Hymn #307 -In the Lovely Desert.  I mean, come on, with a name like that, you know the hymn is gonna be a bust.)
I think Elder Welch found out that I hated that hymn and thus started singing it incessantly.  Or else maybe he started singing it incessanly and then I began to hate it?   You never can tell when you hate something so much.  Thought becomes schewed. 

Now... you might think this hymn appears innocent enough on the surface.  But it is anything but, my friends.  Each Hark! was sung by Elder Welch in a high, barking falsetto. It sounded like a dog was singing at me.  A dog with a high voice.  I mean, can you imagine?  A dog singing at you?!  It would be complete and utter torture!

Shoot.  I'm getting off track here thinking about dogs singing falsetto.  The important thing that you know is 1) I hated the song 2) Elder Welch sang it alot.  To annoy me.  On purpose.

Finally, after a long morning, it was lunchtime.  Forty five minutes of respite and peace.  A time to do nothing but stare into that bowl of Lucky Charms and wonder what all my friends were doing at home without me.
It was silent and I was enjoying my solitude.  (And by solitude I mean my companion was sitting right next to me, but you get the point.)

"Oh hey Hermana Blackburn.  Don't mind me."  Elder Welch sat down across from me. 
I did not look up.
And then.
In a soft voice, "Hark!  Hark!  Hark!"
"Elder Welch.  I swear.  If you do not stop that, so help me--"
"Children's voices oh how sweet..."
"When in innocence and love,"  He was singing higher and higher with each phrase.
"No! This is not innocent!  And this is not with love!  You are doing this on purpose to irritate me;  now cut it out!"
He stopped.
"Thank you."
Lucky Charms crunch.

"Hark!  Hark!  Hark!"  Unbearable falsetto.  Excrutiating pain.
"Elder Welch!  If you do not stop that, I am going to pour this soda all over you!"
"The Children's voices!"

So I did it.  Just like that and without a moment's thought.  I dumped my MTC-approved-caffeine -free-diet-coke in his lap.
But not the good kind.   

You know the silence where something was supposed to be funny but it went totally awry and people are actually legitimately upset now and nobody knows quite what to say because they've never been in this kind of a situation before and it's awkward all the way around so nobody says anything it's like the world freezes over for a split second?

That kind of silence.
Elder Welch stood up, the diet coke and ice falling from his lap to the floor, motioned to his companion, and they exited the cafeteria without a word.

In my defense, I did warn him.

The next few days were strained around Elder Welch.  Avoided eye contact, nothing to say to each other, weird vibe whenever we were in the same room, etc.  All attempts at conversation fell flat. 

After four days of tension, I couldn't take it anymore.  I decided to repent of my wrongdoing, beg his apology, and end the matter once and for all.  I wrote him a note- something like this:
Dear Elder Welch,
I am sorry I poured caffeine free diet coke in your lap.  It was supposed to be a joke, but I realize now it wasn't funny.  I took it a step too far.  You are the best zone leader ever.  And the only zone leader I've ever had.  I want to still be friends.  I hope you will forgive me.  Also, I am sorry because sisters aren't allowed to write elders in their zone and now we're breaking a rule. 
Hermana Blackburn
P.S.  Hark!  Hark!  Hark!  The children's voices!
And suddenly everything was better.  Okay.  Maybe not 100 percent better instantly.  But the awkwardness left, and we were back to being friends.  We acted as if the diet coke incident had never happened.  There was a kind of unspoken agreement that neither of us would whisper a word about it, and we were oh-so-faithful to that agreement.

Which brings me back to watching TV last night with my mom. (Well!  I bet you never thought I was going to bring this back around, did you?  Well, surprise, surprise, I did!)  Imagine my delight last night when I was watching TV with my mom and I saw Elder Welch's smiling face. (Or shall I say cheerful face and happy heart?)  ON THE TV!   Right smack in the middle of The Sing Off. 
There he is, the little stinker.  I put a giant red circle around his face for your convenience in identifying him.
Can you believe the nerve of the guy?!?  This whole time he had had a great voice, but he had been tricking me into thinking he was an awful singer by doing annoying fake falsetto.

And even worse-  he had made it to the big time and he hadn't even bothered to tell me about it.
But that's beside the point.  The point is...
He's practically famous!

Which makes me practically practically famous!

You see, where would Elder Welch be if he hadn't had me to practice his falsetto notes on?  If he hadn't had all those hours and hours of voice training singing In the Lovely Deseret with me in the MTC?  If I hadn't so patiently, lovingly, willingly listened to him?  Coached him?  Encouraged him?

He wouldn't be making the big time now, I can tell you that much. 

He really owes me one.