Inversion Trawler: Take Heed, The Cumorah Hand This Way Comes

Cumorah Hill-de Garde! The biggest gossip this side of the Mississippi – probably of THAT side too. She is one of the countless moral guardians in Utah but certainly the loudest and most energetic. She’s also Aunt Kate’s closest friend and confidant.

Illustration: Craig Secrist

A recent afternoon found a group us having an impromptu family gathering on the large wrap-around porch at Aunt Kate’s house, Weedpatch. Aunt Kate, Aunt Delila, Delila’s daughter, our pop star cousin Tempest X, Aunt Leona, our mom Petunia, our brother Foulkswrath, Oom and I were all sat around, having a good chin-wag and catch-up. A few stray cousins from Aunt Kate’s womb wandered in and out of the proceedings, and apparently Aunt Leona’s spirit guide Alfredo was also in attendance because Leona kept bickering with an empty spot near a porch pillar.

In the middle of Aunt Delila declaring that she was planning to officially change her last name to Xeri-Scape because she loved what people were starting to do with their yards and because it was hyphenated, so she could take a goodnatured stab at all the posh and pretentious friends she has in London who insist on hyphenating their family names (Tempest argued heartily against this idea because people would think that’s where the ultra important X in her name came from and she didn’t want to be associated with scrubby desert plants and dryness), Delila abruptly went silent and stared down the street. She then whispered out, “Oh my god, it can’t be. (pause) It is! It’s her! And her hand is out and ready.” We all turned to see Cumorah Hill-de Garde appear from behind a line of shrubbery and quickly make her way up Weedpatch’s front walk toward the porch. She looked up and immediately zoomed in on Aunt Kate, totally oblivious to the rest of us. She had her right hand held up and stretched out in front of her making it seem like the hand was in control and just dragging Cumorah along behind it. She then frantically gasped out, “Oh Katherine, whatever you do, DO NOT drive under the Eagle Gate! As God as my witness, that bird did its business upon my Buick.” She’s referring to a large metal structure that spans State Street at South Temple and which is topped by a large metal Eagle perched atop a beehive. It’s well known locally that The Cumorah Hand portends big news and juicy gossip.

At that preposterous announcement Aunt Delila erupted into laughter. That set the rest of us off and Cumorah suddenly became aware of the porch-full of audience. Barely able to speak through her laugh, Aunt Delila exclaimed, “Oh Cumorah, I love you ha ha ha.” Cumorah, now shocked into silence and wearing the expression of the perpetually appalled, looked into each of our faces one at a time. At last she settled her gaze on Aunt Delila and with all the forced politeness she could muster asked, “Delila dear, what brings you back to Salt Lake City?” Delila, still laughing, replied, “I’m just visiting with my daughter Tempest.” She motioned towards Tempest who was trying hard to maintain a cool pout but couldn’t help breaking into a giggle. Delila continued, “Cumorah, your hair is a wonder. It’s never changed in all the time I’ve known you – and I’ve known you since we were small girls ha ha ha.” This is somewhat surprising as Cumorah’s hair is sculpted into a perfect globe. It’s as round as a crash helmet and with all the hairspray lacquering it, just as durable and hard. When Delila was able to catch a breath, she went on, “It’s more blue than brown now, but still not a single hair out of place! I know some people who would love to test it in their wind tunnel. It has to be extremely aerodynamic.”

Cumorah kept her composure and even smiled. With a hint of pride in her voice she declared, “Well, if it isn’t broke, why fix it?” As if to illustrate the wind tunnel idea, a quick, strange gust of wind blew through the porch. I didn’t think much of it until a few moments later when Tempest cried out, “Bloody Bollocks! What happened to my hair? WHAT HAPPENED TO MY HAIR?!” We all turned to see Tempest grabbing madly at her head. Aw crud – I’d forgotten to warn her about wearing pony tails in Salt Lake City. Cumorah ran to Tempest and inspected the back of her head. She then looked up towards the rest of us and dramatically breathed out, “The Pony Tail Snatchers!” Tempest who had her head forcibly held down by the Cumorah Hand for inspection, her face in her designer hoodie, let out a muffled, “What the hell is a pony tail snatcher?”