Monday, November 3, 2008

Diversions when Tracting: Singing the Oinkules Song

When I was a missionary I had a very unique companion who liked to unwind when tracting in a very unusual way. Some missionaries get very discouraged when they know that people are behind the peephole and won't open the door. After a couple of minutes when he was convinced there was someone there he would form a mask with his fingers like above and begin to sing a totally stupid song that was a variation of a television show Hercules that was popular in the 1960s and early 1970s except he substituted the word Oinkules. When he was done giving them the eye as he would wave his mask up and down as he would squeal like a pig as he pressed his nose in to a pig's snout with his index finger. He was one ugly looking dude. It was a very immature display but he was very immature. I remember he also would embarass himself when a pretty girl went by saying there is "always room for jello." He also read the newspaper every day and listened to the radio which definitely were against the mission rules. I am sure that missionaries like to do some interesting things to blow off rejection while tracting so at the time I just told him to quit acting stupid knowing he would ignore me unless something drastic happened. I actually got him to tame down after a while when we started getting a few baptisms but up to that point he told me he felt his mission wasn't too successful so he was going to have a good time unless he had a baptism. Up till that point he had been out about a year with no such luck. He found out he had a better time when he baptized an occasional person. We ended up with seven baptisms including a family of four that agreed to let us teach them one hour for every hour we played ping pong. I eventually got him to see that it was bad public relations to be squealing like a pig at every door we didn't get in and that no person in their right mind would later let in other LDS missionaries.

These are the lyrics he would sing from the Mighty Hercules or Mighty Oinkules song:

Oinkules, hero of song and story.
Oinkules, winner of ancient glory.
Fighting for the right,
Fighting with his might,
With the strength of ten, ordinary men.

Oinkules, people are safe when near him.
Oinkules, only the evil fear him.
Softness in his eyes,
Iron in his thighs,
Virtue in his heart,
Fire in every part,
Of the Mighty Oinkules.
I wonder what other little ditties missionaries might have done on their missions while tracting to let off steam from frustration and rejection. Apparently the mask has caught on in other fields. I remember an elder in the Rome Italy Mission who first displayed it to me but this other guy took it to a higher level of insanity.

I remember this elder years later whenever I think about tracting. Instead of thinking of those hours of futulity I hear the words of that song over and over.

The subject of tracting came up on Sunday when the ward mission leader got up in priesthood and made a public appeal again that the local elders were out of contacts from our ward and would we all help out with a referral or two. Then my mind went back to that elder from Ogden who would wander around in Canada singing his heart out. By the way the guy couldn't carry a tune in a bucket either but he made up for it with his enthusiasm. I swear he sounded like a pig whenever he squealed.

1 comment:

Bryce said...

I actually did a project for a folklore class at BYU on missionary songs. Most of them were actually work-focused and kind of triumphant. My favorites included "Friends in Holy Places," "Of a Restoration" (to the tune of "Californication"), and "We Will Knock You." The ditty tradition is alive and well. :)