An interview with Cumorah Hill-de Garde
Oom was convinced we didn’t have a chance of getting an interview with Cumorah Hill-de Garde.
Cumorah is the loud and outspoken leader of one of Utah’s many busy-body-bonnet-brigades which recruits housewives, fills them full of ideas of divine wrath, works them up into a disgruntled lather, then sets them loose on lawmakers and sinners. To Cumorah, Oom and I are bad seeds –– weeds that threaten her garden of righteousness. I am persuasive though, and some would say fearless. I explained to Cumorah that we were documenting our community and that every point of view should be represented. I also used flattery, calling her a major player in the decision making and direction of Utah. Sadly, I wasn’t lying.
Cumorah agreed as long as this would not be a “got-cha” interview. Again the interview took place at Aunt Kate’s home Weedpatch. Cumorah kicked off the interview insisting that she would not discuss Gadianton Robbers (an army of evil spirits which comes out of the mountains and fights battles with angels on her lawn) nor the Eagle Gate (a giant structure that spans State Street topped by an eagle sculpture which apparently poops on her Buick when she drives underneath it).
Illustration: Craig Secrist
Boo: Cumorah, you are founder and head of one of the most powerful decency brigades in Utah. What ignited your passion for righteous activism and where does the LDS Church’s cornerstone idea of free-agency fit into all of this?
Cumorah just stared coldly at me and then in a low whisper (probably not intended to be heard) said, “Jesus will spank you.” I froze at the creepiness of it. At that moment Oom came into the room offering refreshments to Cumorah. Cumorah turned her face towards Oom to say, “Thank you” but kept her eyes locked onto mine. She then asked in a threatening way, “What exactly do you mean by ‘decency brigades’?” At this point she allowed her eyes to let go of me and catch up to her face where she could inspect what Oom had handed to her. She bit into her snicker doodle… and I swear her biting mouth made the sound of a falling guillotine. She turned back to me and stared as she silently chewed and then swallowed. Then the flood gates opened. In the loud tones of right-wing conservative ‘agitainment’ radio hosts, she launched into a tirade, the speed of which neither I nor my Dictaphone could hope to keep up with. Instead it was her action which held my attention.
As she quoted scripture and ran down lists of “irrefutable evidence” her right hand conducted a “search and destroy mission” seemingly, totally independent of Cumorah herself. It raised up to her globe-shaped hair and hovered around its lithosphere until it locked onto a particular spot, just left of center. A fingernail hammered away until the crust was cracked. The index finger then wiggled its way down to the scalp and with a few quick scrapes took out the itch. The finger then withdrew straight up and out. A few gentle pats on the surface and the hairdo was again water-tight. During the entire maneuver, Cumorah never stopped talking - never paused even to breathe.
I was suddenly aware again of what Cumorah was saying, but not fully comprehending it. What I caught was this: “…like the time I hadn’t intended to have the shrimp cocktail at the buffet but the still-small-voice said, ‘Go on Cumorah, eat it.’ So I did and then I was sick for days! And it wasn’t Satan either, it was definitely the still-small-voice….”
A little later: “…some people accuse our lobbying groups of rivalry, even of gang type w warfare, but we are all crusading for the same common good…”
At last there was a slight pause as Cumorah looked off into space in a sliver sized moment of contemplation.
And then: “Aagh! …Quorum of the Eagle?! My eye… buzzard is more like it! It’s time for that bird to be plucked, stuffed, and roasted! And have you seen the state of her lately?” (I assume she was referring to Gaye McCrabby, the founder and head of the Quorum of the Eagle, another prominent decency brigade)….
On and on Cumorah went. I just looked in amazement at Oom and he looked back in disbelief.