SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 19, 2010. – In an announcement that surprised exactly no one who had seen his campaign poster, apostle-inventor-astronomer-mathematician-pamphleteer-surveyor-poet-editor-missionary-mission president-philosopher-debater-historian-theologian [at this point members of the typesetters’ union went on strike, declaring that setting type for the man’s full resume would require overtime pay and a possible increase in medical coverage for carpal tunnel syndrome] Orson Pratt of Salt Lake City, Liverpool, western New York [here a gentle nudge from the typesetters’ shop steward forced curtailment of a listing of the man’s residences] was today named as the proud possessor of the Best Beard in Mormon History.
“Oh, shucks,” Pratt murmured, his eye cast modestly toward the ground where the toe of his right boot traced the solution to a quadratic equation in the dust. “It wasn’t something I set out to do. My chin was as clean-shaven as the next missionary’s when I went on my first mission, and when I was called to the Quorum. But like most young men, I indulged myself once by not shaving during a fishing trip, and, well, I discovered I could grow whiskers purty fast and purty thick. Before I knew it, all the youngsters were treating me with awe in December, real eager to do their chores and such, and once I caught on to their misunderstanding, well, there was no going back. I had a time of it convincing Sarah that it was a good thing, but even she eventually came ‘round.”
When asked whether he thought his supporters had truly confined themselves to voting for his beard, or whether his overall appearance had won the crown, his eyes twinkled. “Well, I don’t know that that is the case,” he said. “I did take special care when I had this photograph made to brush my hair and fluff out my beard. But it would have been nigh unto impossible to make a picture of my beard without my mustache, wouldn’t it?”
Consolation prize winner Heber J. Grant, also of Salt Lake City, was predictably dignified in his reaction to the news. “Orson is a fine man, with a fine set of whiskers,” he agreed genially. “I voted for him myself, to tell you the truth. My second place showing was a complete surprise – I would have predicted that Joseph F., with his fine double-patriarch, should have taken the second prize. Or Benjamin, maybe – he always had a streak of originality in the tonsorial department.”
Grant quickly denied rumors that he was in hiding as a precaution against Porter Rockwell’s reaction to his own third-place finish. “Oh, no,” he laughed. “Porter is a fine man. He stopped by this morning to congratulate me and to assure me that there were no hard feelings. He has always been very loyal to Joseph Smith and his successors, you know, and I have felt nothing but loyalty from him myself.”
Rockwell, reached at his lodgings above his stable, confirmed Grant’s impression. “Sure, I was a mite disappointed,” he grinned. “We was runnin’ so even-like in the balloting for so long. Truth be told,” and here he gave the reporter a sly wink, “I was hopin’ to sway a few votes by distracting the ladies with my flowing, naturally curly locks. Many’s the time a mother has reached out to stroke my hair, tellin’ me she wished her little girls had hair as fine as mine!”
This reporter sought an interview with Mormon Blogger BHodges to elicit his reaction to the special election held in his district between himself and, well, himself – an election demanded by supporters who had threatened to boycott the entire affair due to BHodges’ failure to take the title in his division at the end of the primary election. We could see BHodges through the window, where he appeared to be reading two books simultaneously, typing the review of one with his left hand and handwriting the review of the other with his right. We didn’t have the heart to disturb such a busy man, so we left our card on the tray in the entryway and quietly slipped out.
The editorial board of Keepapitchinin congratulates the winners and thanks all those who participated, whether as candidate or elector.