When Satire is Redundant

Eleven or twelve years ago, I wrote for a website of Mormon satire called the Sugar Beet, modeled on the Onion. Every writer there but me was active and had a temple recommend, so both personal conviction and editorial policy meant that there were a few topics that absolutely couldn’t be mocked, but any other aspect of Mormon culture was fair game. 

Some of the pieces I wrote had titles like “Vegas Win Attributed to Obedience to Law of Tithing” (because Mormons aren’t supposed to gamble, and obeying one rule while breaking another is morally iffy) or “Relief Society Counselor Asks Sisters to Cultivate ‘More Appealing Problems’” (based on a woman I knew who complained about how she disliked helping people with “unappealing” problems—like there are really any other kind) or “MTC Fashion Advisor Calls Scriptures ‘Great Accessory’” (because the fashion and makeup classes sister missionaries had to attend at the Missionary Training Center were so painfully inane).

People are sometimes surprised when I mention this, but Mormons are at least as willing as anybody else to laugh at themselves, and the site had its share of fans. Sure, there were a few people who sent angry emails quoting Doctrine & Covenants 88:121:

holly.welker@gmail.com'

Holly Welker [@hollywelker] has an MFA in nonfiction writing and PhD in literature from the University of Iowa. Her poetry and prose have appeared in publication ranging from Seventeen to Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought to Bitch to the New York Times. Born and raised in southern Arizona, she currently lives in northern Utah.

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