Richard Tait is the proud father of a married son attending BYU-Idaho, and a beautiful YSA daughter getting general education credits out of the way at a junior college . He has been married to the same woman for 27 years, and its been the best 25 years of his life. Richard writes for his own blog, Mormon Third Eye, where he talks about the Third Eye ... the notorious eye in the back of the head, or the extra view of life that God blesses parents striving to do the right thing with so they can see more of life than the children they chase after. Amazingly, Richard hasn't missed a weekend post in over 230 weeks, a streak that started soon after he was released as Seattle Jon's bishop in Maryland. You can read Richard's other guest posts here.
My wife is your typical modern Molly Mormon mom who has bought into this mentality; I'm sure that there are many other LDS ladies out there wrestling with similar issues. So, if you are a woman that has read beyond the legally required warning label above, it is assumed that you are seeking help for your issues. This post may seem unbearably long to busy sisters overwhelmed with taking care of a husband AND kids, but this is important. Help is on the way. Read on.
My sweet wife must be just a wee bit disturbed that I have resurrected what she views as a seemingly superficial appreciation for The Three Stooges after at least a decade of dormancy. She overlooked my mania for the three kings of slapstick comedy when we started our lives together back in '84. As I have grown in the Gospel and in life, she probably assumed that I had matured out of that immature phase, and graduated to more settled, approved entertainment options such as soap operas and grisly crime dramas. However, I never really abandoned The Three Stooges; I just emotionally buried them for awhile, waiting for the right moment. Father's Day 2011 was that right moment.
I firmly believe, with most of my manly, mushy heart, that The Three Stooges media masterpieces offer untold, unseen, and under-appreciated blessings to the men of the church, and by extension, the women that have consented to hang with them for eternity. I'm not saying that they are ordained of God (I don't have the authority to determine that), or I'll meet them in heaven (I'm not familiar with their worthiness or their ordinance history). I'm just saying that they have a purpose in bringing us closer to God and our families. There are five firm reasons for spending a little of my precious probationary state on Earth ingesting their random humor. It's a bold claim, but if you dare read to the end this post, I can prove it. Trust me and keep reading.
The first reason is the most obvious one. Clean and clever Mormon comedian Kirby Heyborne, who has already nailed church-inspired cinematic roles as a missionary and a home teacher, recently snagged a main part in a major motion picture, The Three Stooges. If it is good enough for Kirby, certainly it is worth my time; blessings by association.
The second one is also a no-brainer. The Three Stooges bring laughter to simple-minded men, and laughter is the best medicine. Hence, exposure to their antics improves healing times for men afflicted with almost any ailment (except if you are afflicted with an injury caused by accidentally or purposely recreating a scene from one of their short films – then you feel just stupid and deserve to hurt). I have a personal testimony of this principle. Too many years ago, just as I was struggling out of an anesthesia-induced fog after major surgery, I instinctively pushed some buttons on a nearby TV remote and was instantly greeted with the hilarity of Moe banging on Curly's head with a sledgehammer. It made me chuckle through the pain. That enduring moment is proof of the Stooges' amazing influence on my life.
The third reason goes a little deeper. Us Stooge aficionados can point out that beneath all the surface mishaps swirls several levels of moral messages. For example, in one memorable scene, Moe and Curly, in the process of renovating a hotel, have just been warned by a smarmy manager about the existence of an expensive Ming vase. Of, course, it doesn't take long for Moe to carelessly swing a long board of wood over his shoulder and accidentally but viciously sweep the vase off the table into a million microscopic pieces. Moe pauses for a moment in front of an irate manager, then utters those immortal words blaming Curly for the mistake: “It's your fault! You've shouldn't have handed me this board!” It clearly highlights the sheer irony and stupidity of how we too often tend to blame those who enable us for our own problems.
The fourth one is much, much deeper. I suspect that The Three Stooges can play a vital role in the war on pornography addiction. Brain scan studies show that viewing pornographic images stimulates large releases of dopamine and other chemicals inducing intense feelings of pleasure, resulting in addiction and brain shrinkage. Scan the brain of a brother viewing episodes of The Three Stooges, and I'm confident you'll detect similar levels of similar chemicals. The key to breaking addictions is replacing something bad with something better. Aside from being a wholesome source of the brain's pleasure chemicals, this theory also conveniently confirms heretofore wild claims of wives at large that The Three Stooges viewing has “dumbed down” their husbands and shrunken their brains.
The last reason is the deepest and most important of them all. It is a test of true love. If your wife is willing to purchase The Three Stooges paraphenalia for your enjoyment, watch them with you, and even engage in discussion on plot lines and thematic elements, then she has to be your true love. I can't imagine a greater sacrifice than a practical, forward-thinking woman viewing mindless slapstick comedy with her husband.
I've gone on way too long; I need to end now. I've just spent a sleepless night worrying too much about my health, work, home, kids, wife, and church calling, and an early morning The Three Stooges rerun that I don't want to miss just appeared on the flat screen ...