Sometimes as I write these blog posts, I fear that I'm losing my sense of humor. But it's really hard to find much that's funny about fundamentalism once you get past the jeans and tennis shoes under prairie dresses, and the stiff, sugar-watered hair, and the long underwear and tight stockings worn in summer desert heat. The costumes do make one think of Shakespeare's Malvolio overdressed in yellow tights, attempting to convince his intended of his nobility.
But so much about the FLDS situation is desperate and dismal and perverse. When I try to find fun, I feel cynical and cavalier. To be satirical is to heap further mortification on people whose dignity has become threadbare.
I long to rove into other spheres of fundamentalism and laugh about the time the wives fought over my father's shirts. Well, they didn't actually fight. One wife would steal his shirts from another wife's home so that my father would have to bathe or shower at the "thief's" home, where he would also stay for breakfast. This clandestine rivalry led to some slapstick-my father grimacing as he raced across the graveled yard between houses in his bathrobe and bare feet, looking for his clothes.