Well, since I already just wrote all this out in an e-mail, I figured it would be much easier to just copy and paste it. Which is why I'm still not telling you about the eggs and the balloons. Maybe next time.
Okay, so the Manti Pageant. I have to say that I totally expected it to be dumb, mostly because of the way that everybody kept telling me how dumb it was except for the people who kept telling me how great it was, which were mostly dumb people. So I went into it expecting crap. I was therefore at least pleasantly surprised by the special effects, like the pillar of light and all the fireballs and things. Pinetree really hated it. He couldn't stand how melodramatic it was. I think he thought a pageant is more of a play than "2 : SHOW, EXHIBITION; especially : an elaborate colorful exhibition or spectacle often with music that consists of a series of tableaux." I have to admit that the tableaux were pretty unsettling. I didn't like how there were tons and tons of Joseph Smiths running around doing different things at the same time. The narrators had an impressive vocabulary. Jesus appeared to the Nephites directly behind a lighting tower, which I had predicted. Pinetree thinks it was a sign. The worst thing was the way that everybody moved their arms when they talked. Well, actually the real worst thing was this DORK that we took with us who got up in the middle and went to sit somewhere else so he "could feel the spirit." I guess he was annoyed by some of the comments that Pinetree was making. Pinetree later apologized, but I didn't think that was necessary, because his comments didn't keep me from feeling the spirit. When it was over Pinetree said that he didn't like all the patriotic themes running through it (I'm not sure whether the scene in which Brigham young sees Captain Moroni, several of the founding fathers, and some strange Indian who all tell him about the greatness of America is based on a real event, but either way it was heavy handed and seemed to promote the war in Iraq). And then this kid was all, "Well, if you'd ever read the Book of Mormon you would know that it's all about patriotism and America." And Pinetree probably wanted to punch him but he didn't. And then the kid said all these rude things to me and then he just disappeared. And then when I got home there were like a million (okay three) texts from him on my phone continuing the argument, which I thought was extra dumb. Anyway, I actually liked the pageant, I'll admit it, although I'm still trying to figure out whether I liked it as some sort of knee-jerk devil's advocate reaction to all the naysayers or whether I really was whelmed by the small-town charm and rustic coming-together appeal of the whole thing. I could tell that these people were really putting their hearts into this thing. Part of me was thinking, "Man, it would be fun to do this with my kids some day," and the rest was just terrified of all the Angel Moronis running around beforehand in drag-queen makeup asking us if we wanted to refer someone to the missionaries and interrupting our game of Apples to Apples, which I won by a lot.