Tag Archives: Best Friend

Dude Review: Book Of Mormon

The Book of Mormon stage musical is a hoot.

Well, it’s a hoot as long as you’ve got a relatively open mind, don’t mind some almost overused 13-letter expletives, poop humor, silly names, and a complete and total disregard for the sensitivities of various ethnicities or religions.

When I tell you Book of Mormon is by the creators of the South Park television show on Comedy Central, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, I think you might begin to understand why the play comes across like it does.

The big conceit behind South Park is a bunch of little grade-school kids running around Colorado, getting into very odd adventures and cursing. A lot. Ha, ha. Kids cursing. The thought being, I guess, that kids cursing is  transgressive and funny. In addition to the cursing kids, South Park also takes aim at various societal trends, religions, what have you, and gets into some seriously pointed satire.

So, take an episode of South Parkdrop the kids, remove the restrictions on cursing found even on cable channels, plug in some very catchy musical numbers and make the focus on Mormonism, the fastest-growing “religion” in the world, add in a very basic fish-out-of-water scenario, stereotypes of Mormon missionaries and residents of Uganda,  add in some very catchy musical numbers and there you go. That’s Book of Mormon.

I went to the show with Zippy the College Boy and his sort-of date, Hyper Lad, my sister in-law the Crystal Cleaner, my in-laws and my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Smokin’ Hot In Her Going-Out-To-A-Play Dress, and we all enjoyed ourselves a great deal.

Yeah, there was a lot of nervous laughter at some of the more risqué jokes, and I overheard more than one person express disbelief that this play would or even could be put on in button-down Charlotte, North Carolina.

The show definitely isn’t for the younger dudes and dudettes, for the most part. And it’s certainly not for those who are easily shocked by profanity, vulgar situations, harsh stereotypes or people mercilessly mocking religion.

Other than that, though, you’re good.

The show concerns Elder Price, a hotshot young Mormon kid from whom much is expected as he leaves missionary training and heads out into the wilds to convert the heathens. He wants to go to Orlando, but ends up in Uganda, along with another missionary, Elder Cunningham, who might be the most unsuitable missionary in the world.

Elder Price’s massive ego convinces him he’ll land in Uganda and immediately do something “incredible,” because he’s incredible. Elder Cunningham, who hasn’t actually read the Book of Mormon, is mostly along to have a captive best friend and spread the gospel according to Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.

Hilarity ensues.

Although, yes, there is plenty of cursing and some significantly different interpretations of Mormonism founder Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the Jesus character, the play actually ends up being a celebration of the good bits about religion.

If you parents get a chance to see the show (It’s touring the country, but most performances tend to be sold out, so act quickly.), you really should go. It’s not for the young dudes and dudettes, mostly because of all the swearing and the fact that most young dudes and dudettes are like parrots in that they play back mostly the stuff you don’t want them to hear, but it’s a great night out for parents.

Not only will you find yourself humming the tunes, but it can provide fodder for a great after-play discussion.

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Maybe If You Hum A Few Bars? Now Hum Lower. . . Lower. . .

by Richard

It turns out that music in the bedroom can actually lead some to feel more amorous, more inclined to actually get a little dirty, dancing there in the sheets.

You see what I did there? That was a little neurolinguistic programming there, getting you dudes set up for the bad news.

Brace yourselves. Ready? You’re sure? Okay, here it is.

According to a survey commissioned by the online music service Spotify, the most arousing music to play in the bedroom is the soundtrack to the 80’s movie Dirty Dancing.

Yeah. I know. I’m having a real hard time getting over that knowledge myself.


“Dirty Dancing” was the top pick for both men and women, although the study’s author, music psychologist Daniel Mullensiefen, also pointed out that men are more willing to adjust their tastes in music in order to ensure “greater success in the bedroom.”

Good on you, dudes. Rather than show a little spine, you’ll wimp out and let the lady play the music she wants to hear all so you can do a little sheet romp. Okay, yeah. I understand that’s important, but the question I’ve got is. . . What are you doing with anyone who thinks Dirty Dancing is a good movie?

Another surprise finding? Respondents said music playing in the background is 40% more likely to turn them on than the touch or feel of their partner.

Rather not listen to “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” during sex? Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” placed second on the list, with Ravel’s “Bolero” finishing third.

So, yes, we like music. Some of us like it a lot. But this? Music that’s better than sex? No. Sorry. Maybe an entire concert with your best friends, with your favorite band playing the best songs ever, might, maybe, possibly approach within shouting distance. But better? No. Especially not these songs.

One in three participants identified Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a song that is “better than sex.” Next on the list was “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon and “Angels” by Robbie Williams. Mullensiefen describes these as songs that take unexpected turns that we respond to in highly emotional, but positive, ways.

The study interviewed 2,000 people in the United Kingdom between the ages of 18 and 91, with an almost equal gender split.

Those folks need to really rethink their priorities.

Meanwhile, I’m going to do a little changing around on my “special” playlist, you know, the one I play when I’m with She Who Must Be Seeing Dirty Dancing At Least Once A Year.

Not my fault. I didn’t find out about this horrible thing until much later into the marriage. By then it was too late.

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A Very Small Casket

by Richard

Lobo wanted to be a wolf. Or a fox. Something wild and free and perfectly capable of surviving and thriving on its own. And that had a really fabulous, furry tail.

On Thursday, I sat in an overflow audience of a funeral home as we laid his small body to rest.

At only 12, Lobo still had another six months until he reached his teens, making him one of the youngest kids in his 7th grade class. Now, he will always be the youngest kid in his class. They will move on. He cannot.

I only met Lobo a couple of times. Once, he went to Hyper Lad’s birthday party and stayed the night. I enjoyed my time with him. He was a good kid, full of conversation and odd, compelling turns of mind. He wasn’t like talking to your average pre-seventh-grade kid. A while before the birthday party, Lobo hit the Renaissance Fair and came home with a fox tail. A real (ish) fox tail that could be hooked over his belt, as if Lobo was a wolf (or fox) in reality and was just slumming it as a human for a little while.

His death hit the school hard. Hyper Lad’s best friend Scruffy was very close with Lobo and, in fact, was the one who introduced Lobo to Hyper Lad. Scruffy wasn’t dealing at all well with his friend’s death, moreso because of the way Lobo died.

Over the weekend, Lobo killed himself. While his dad was out of the house, Lobo found something strong enough, tied a slip knot in it and then hung himself until dead.

During the funeral service, I watched as Lobo’s dad, who had already survived the death of Lobo’s mom from beast cancer, came to the fresh realization again and again that his son would not be sitting up from the casket, would not be laughing over the joke he’d played. Watching Lobo’s dad was like watching. . . I’m trying to think of a horrible metaphor to drive home the point, but the problem is I can’t think of anything more horrible than what he went through.

I won’t — can’t — put myself into the mind of a 12-year-old who considers that the only way to make his pain stop was to end his life. I just can’t make that kind of conceptual  or emotional leap. I don’t know what went through Lobo’s head or why the help so many people tried to give him wasn’t enough.

That’s only one of the tragedies left behind when someone takes his own life. No one can know for sure if there wasn’t just that one little bit of help they could have offered, just one word that might have made a difference. Not knowing can be the second-worst part, behind only missing the one who’s gone

Because I’m a parent and I’m constitutionally incapable of not turning any situation into a teachable moment, I talked to all three of our young dudes about suicide. We talked about Lobo and what he did. And we straight-out talked to each of the young dudes about suicide. Having been through adolescence before, we know what fresh hell it is every day. Thoughts both good and bad roar through adolescent minds, each given equal weight, and adults never know where they will land.

No matter how bad their problems, we told our young dudes, no matter how heavily it bears down on your back, it will pass. It might not get better, it might only be that the pain comes from somewhere new, but this pain will pass. And there will be something new in your life. There will be another reason to wake up tomorrow, another reason to look forward to your next breath.

Ending your life, ends forever the possibility that you will once again feel joy. You will die knowing only pain. That would be a shame. There is so much joy in life, so many wonderful things to be seen, if only the eyes of the depressed were capable of looking past the agony parked on their souls.

If you out there are one of those people who can’t see beyond the hopelessness of the next breath, who can feel only the pain of a life gone horribly wrong, there is help. I won’t say hope, but there is help. Even if you can’t reach out to someone you know, there are caring people out there right now who want nothing more than to listen to you, to listen to your problems and commiserate with your woes.

There are folks out there right now who want to hear from you. The national suicide prevention lifeline is at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It’s open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Don’t wait. If you think your friend is contemplating suicide, be a better friend and talk to someone about it. Better for your friend to be mad at you because you brought in an outsider.

Suicide is a voluntary act. You can stop it, but it’s up to you. Choose wisely. There is more to life than pain.

I only wish Lobo could have known that before he decided there was no other way out.

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