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Sunday, March 18, 2012


The Definitive List

There is a little Facebook group devoted entirely to the inimitable "Haystack", a singularly Seventh-day Adventist potluck creation involving lettuce, tomato, chips, cheese, beans, sour cream and various salad dressings and salsas. I started a thread along the lines of Jeff Foxworthy's "You might be a redneck..." only for Adventists.  I started it up with about 25 off the top of my head and the rest of the group pitched in. By the time we were through we had a whole flock of them. I don't know who all to credit. I copied the list just before they closed down the group. I added about 25 or 30 more and the group added their own.

I've culled the list, eliminated the duplicates, the unfunny and the just plain mean ones and left just the ones that make me laugh. Not all of them resonate with everyone's Adventist experience or upbringing, but some of them will. If you're not an SDA, you may not get the joke, just as not everyone gets the redneck jokes, but trust me. If you're an Adventist, you'll recognize more of these than you might be comfortable with.

You might be an Adventist if.....
  • If you pronounce it “AD-ventist”, not “ad-VEN-tist"
  • If your bedtime stories were about real people instead of fairy tales,
  • If you had an Uncle Arthur, Uncle Dan, and Aunt Sue and were amazed to find out that all your friends in Sabbath School did too,
  • If you think of kids instead of cars when you hear the word “Pathfinder,"
  • If you know what the letters ‘MV’ and JMV’ stand for,
  • If you have a board somewhere in your attic with a bunch of knots glued to it,
  • If you’ve wondered if the earth would last long enough for you to have a girlfriend/boyfriend,
  • If you’ve ever volunteered to sing so you wouldn’t have to solicit,
  • I you’ve ever solicited and you were a guy and in no danger of being arrested,
  • If you believed Uncle Arthur when he said, “And he never disobeyed again …” and wondered why that never happened with your own kids,
  • If you know HMS as a person, not a ship,
  • If you’ve ever listened to a two-hour sermon on the evils of Coca-Cola,
  • If you know how to play poker with Rook cards and Wheat Thins,
  • If you know how to play Rook but not Bridge or Hearts
  • If you’ve ever looked for angels waiting outside the door of a movie theater,
  • If ever caught yourself telling your children, “You can wade, but don’t swim …”
  • If you know exactly how far up the leg that the water can go before wading becomes swimming,
  • If you’ve ever gone wading on Sabbath afternoon and “accidentally” fallen in (repeatedly and from a height)
  • If your use of the term “Philistine” is not related to ancient history and you know you would be “unequally yoked” if you should marry one….
  • If your tie falls in your soup because you don’t wear a tie tack
  • If The Review is not a full military dress inspection
  • If “Pathfinders, Fall In!” IS a full military dress inspection,
  • If you used to read labels on cans years before nutritional labeling was available
  • If you saved labels off of cans years before recycling became fashionable,
  • If you’ve ever asked for a Veggie-Whopper at Burger King,
  • If you’ve ever taken a helping of Nuteena because you like it and not out of courtesy,
  • If you actually prefer vegeburgers to hamburgers,
  • If you’ve ever eaten a “sugarless” pie and you weren’t on a diet,
  • If you can tell the difference between Linkettes and Vegelinks with your eyes closed,
  • If you know 101 ways to prepare FriChik,
  • If you can name more than twelve uses for soybeans,
  • If you can stack 3000 calories on a plate at a church potluck,
  • If your guilt trip ended the day Nabisco started using vegetable shortening in Oreos,
  • If you’ve ever eaten soy cheese with macaroni (or anything else that wasn’t Chinese food),
  • If you’ve ever eaten soy cheese on a sandwich (with ketchup),
  • If you ever believed that smoking was a mortal sin,
  • If you once drank a “caffeine free” coke openly at a church potluck as an act of defiance and to mess with the old people’s heads,
  • If you know what gluten is and where it comes from,
  • If you’ve ever seen a showing of The Sound of Music during which a teacher put his hand in front of the projector during the kissing scenes (and you were in college),
  • If you’ve been to movies during which the lights came on periodically for a hand check,
  • If you could tell who was engaged by asking the time, 
  • If you’ve ever seen a watch on somebody’s right arm, and you wondered whether they were engaged, or just left-handed,
  • If you’ve ever debated whether it was moral or not for couples to roller skate while holding hands (With music – no, without – it’s okay apparently),
  • If you know what MCC* stands for, (* Medical Cadet Corps) 
  • If you don’t call it high school, you call it “academy”
  • If you’ve seen every Disney Nature Film made while Walt was alive – twice!
  • If you’ve been given the choice between a hamburger and a veggie burger and chose the veggie burger – on purpose,
  • If you know what Grandma plans to do on the Sea of Glass,
  • If you’ve ever held a religious service in the car with your entire family in the Wal-Mart parking lot at sundown on Sabbath
  • If you know that a proper haystack is made with Fritos and NOT Tortilla chips, but you’ll eat them either way
  • If your “Little Friend” wasn’t a person or if your “Little Friend” was full of stories instead of ammunition and makes you think of Sabbath school instead of “Scarface”
  • If the ABC sells books and health foods and not liquor,
  • If you ever got a laugh by sending your non-SDA friends to find the pepper/mustard/hot sauce at a SDA dinner/potluck,
  • If a General Conference is not everybody talking at once
  • If your pastor is an elder not a reverend,
  • If you’ve ever gone to Bible Camp to meet girls (or boys),
  • If you’ve ever sung a song in church that upset your elders,
  • If anyone’s ever tried to convince you that certain musical chords are “of the devil”,
  • If you’ve ever played a musical instrument in church that you were later told “doesn’t belong in church” (Includes banjos, saxophones, clarinets, drums, etc.),
  • If your principle carried a tape measure,
  • If you’ve ever had your hemline measured with a ruler,
  • If you’ve ever had to explain to a non-Adventist friend WHY you don’t eat pepperoni on your pizza,
  • If you know what grillers are,
  • If you can go to church anywhere in the country – in the middle of nowhere – and run into someone you know,
  • If someone has ever told you that wearing red was of the “Devil”,
  • If the first thing you do when you are introduced to a woman is to look at her ears,
  • If you go to youth meetings because you know there will be girls under the age of 65,
  • If you are a vegetarian for your health, but at potlucks, you sample every single dessert on the dessert table,
  • If you feel guilty when you shower on Sabbath,
  • If you decide to go hear that new pastor across the county line when you notice your church is holding Communion this Sabbath,
  • If you have all the “Egypt to Canaan” answers memorized (the 2nd oldest man in the Bible? Jared. He lived 962 years. Next question, please.),
  • If you know how to turn any sport into a Sabbath sport (Bible verse ping pong, Bible Verse basketball, Bible Verse football – the winner of each point must recite a Bible verse. “Jesus Wept” may only be used once per game.)
  • If you have a sundown calendar stuck to your fridge,
  • If you got your sex education from mom handing you a book by Harold Shryock, MD,
  • If you feel mildly guilty reading Song of Solomon,
  • If you’ll have sex with your spouse, but you won’t dance with them,
  • If your high school principal spent a lot of time watching female hemlines but no one ever thought to turn him in to the authorities,
  • If you hear the bells ringing on Saturday evening in Loma Linda, Keene, Walla Walla, Chatanooga or any other Adventist college town and think of them as the “all clear” signal,
  • If you define “lay activities” as a Saturday afternoon nap,
  • If you’ve ever moved your campsite behind a mountain so the sun would go down earlier on Saturday night,
  • If you've ever promised yourself when going to the local “Sizzler’s” for Sabbath lunch, “it will only be a salad,” You might be an Adventist!
  • If you went to Sizzler’s on Friday afternoon to pay for the steak dinner on Sabbath,
  • If you deliberately look for work in hospitals because it’s okay to work there on Sabbath and you need the hours to pay your school bill,
  • If you can get more food on your plate than anyone else at the Country Buffet,
  • If you refuse to make up your bed on Sabbath for religious reasons (or if you’re not sure whether or not it’s moral or not to make your bed on Saturday.),
  • If you get home on Friday from work at least five minutes before the sun sets and you feel smug about it,
  • If you surreptitiously check out the grocery basket of a fellow church member you happen to meet at the grocery store,
  • If you see the pastor in the store and head down another aisle so he/she won’t see what’s in YOUR basket,
  • If your excuse for sleeping in church is that taking a shower in the morning is part of your wake up routine and since you don’t shower on Sabbath you didn’t get woke up properly,
  • If you’ve ever eaten “Special K Loaf” (or cottage cheese "loaf),
  • If your favorite meat loaf contains no meat,
  • If drinking more than 4 carbonated sodas makes you a little tipsy,
  • If when you talk to a priest and find yourself stammering “Fa..,Bro..,Pas... I mean Sir”,
  • If you go out for lunch after church, but put it on your credit card so you don’t actually pay for it,
  • If you don’t need an electric knife to carve your Thanksgiving “turkey”,
  • If you couldn’t wait until your mom said you were old enough to get some juice and crackers on Communion Sabbath,
  • If you look at someone’s hands, see no ring, and still don’t know if they are married or not,
  • If you weren’t allowed to go “trick-or-treating” so you went collecting canned goods for the poor, and accepted whatever candy you were offered (explaining later to your Pathfinder leader that the person had “insisted” you take the candy),
  • If someone closes a conversation by saying “I’ll give you a ring” and your response is “I don’t wear them, thank you”,
  • If you know that there are some kinds of Jello and marshmallows that are made from horse hooves and you can tell the difference,
  • If you thought Elder Fagal was actually the chaplain at Westbrook Hospital,
  • If you set the VCR on Friday afternoon to catch the big Saturday football game … and then smugly watch it after sunset on Saturday night,
  • If you tape Sunday morning broadcasts of It Is Written, Breath of Life, Lifestyle Magazine and Faith for Today so you’ll have something to watch on Friday night,
  • If Loony Coon was a children’s book, not a racial slur,
  • If you know the seven secrets of Somewhere Lake,
  • If you wanted to grow up to be a writer like Sam Campbell and live all summer on an island in a lake in the North Woods with all sorts of wild animals,
  • If you know to go to the nearest missionary in case you ever get a white bean stuck up your nose and “He can get that bean out!”,
  • If your idea of a Saturday afternoon serial when you were a kid was this week’s episode of “Nyla and the White Crocodile” in the Junior Guide,
  • If you know who “Silver and the Snake” were,
  • If Eric B. Hare doesn’t make you think of cartoon rabbits,
  • If you watched "One in 20,000" more than once and got through it once without throwing up,(That first incision in the poor guy’s chest sent chills up my spine every time!) 
  • If you collected all the mimeographed sermons from Fordyce Detamore’s meetings no matter how scared they made you, and have at least three blue fake-leather-bound Bibles with the cross attached to the zipper,
  • If you thought that the Wedgewood Trio were actually better musicians than the Kingston Trio (they were),
  • If you think rattlesnake meat tastes a lot like FriChik,
  • If your first Bible is plastered full of teeny-tiny bits of paper that have Bible references printed on them that you cut out, licked, then glued during Juniors,
  • If you won’t watch a movie until it comes out on video,
  • If you’ve ever gone on a nature hike on a Saturday afternoon because it was the most fun choice you were offered,
  • If Friday and Saturday are your busiest days of the week,
  • If you collect books by a certain author but haven’t gotten around to reading most of them yet,
  • If you’ve ever worried that toothpaste ingredients may include animal byproducts,
  • If the words “Sabbath” and “Saturday” are interchangeable, depending on whom you’re talking with at the time,
  • If you feel uncomfortable saying Saturday instead of Sabbath because of its pagan origin,
  • If saying anything more than “amen”, while someone else is praying, feels like you’re interrupting,
  • If you still feel uncomfortable raising both hands at the same time in church,
  • If you do two days worth of cooking every Friday,
  • If you drive past 235 restaurants searching for something “vege”,
  • If you’ve ever drunk coffee for medicinal purposes,
  • If you will not drink coffee, but will drink Postum with a six NoDoze chaser to stay awake for final exams,
  • If you’ve ever made your own granola,
  • If Loma Linda is not only a California town and a University, but also a food group,
  • If you know about the great nebula in Orion,
  • If you know what a colporteur is,
  • If The Captain Called for You and you weren’t being drafted,
  • If you’re 53 and still too young to "march in the infantry, ride in the cavalry OR shoot the artillery,"
  • If you’ve got the “Infinite love of your blessed Redeemer way down in the depths of your heart,”(Where?)
  • If you’ve been to every museum, zoo, nature trail and state or national park within a 90 minute drive of your house,
  • If, when someone asks “Where’s the Beef?”, it means you’ve got visitors at the church potluck,
  • If Postum is a drink and not something you do with little yellow sticky notes on the fridge,
  • If you’ve ever deliberately eaten a Carob Birthday Cake,
  • If you've ever eaten imitation tuna,
  • If the election of a new Pope sends shivers up your spine,
  • If you’ve ever looked at rural property as an “end time refuge”,
  • If you know where Wham comes from, (editor’s note: It comes from Whogs!)
  • If the King's Heralds don’t blow trumpets for a living,
  • If you’ve ever collected canned goods instead of candy at Halloween,
  • If you worked your way through high school,
  • If cream of mushroom soup and oatmeal are in the “Meat Group” on your food pyramid,
  • If you've made haystacks hundreds of times and never fed one to a cow,
  • If you’ve ever trimmed your toenails for communion,
  • If you know that Prosage is NOT an anti-depressant,
  • If Wedgewood are singers and not fancy dishes,
  • If you know a Sister White and she is NOT a nun,
  • If you are related to more than one foreign missionary,
  • If you consider camping practice for the time of trouble,
                               might be an Adventist

For truly hard-core SDAs:

  • If you ever rolled your skirt down on the way to the principal’s office,
  • If your date on Friday night was to Vespers,
  • If you went to banquets instead of dances or proms,
  • If you know that most of the church founders wore beards, but your boys dean made you shave off your goatee,
  • If you know what a “3-second-side hug” is and how to squeeze a 4th second out of one,
  • If you’ve ever been told not to hold hands or else you would get pregnant,
  • If you know the difference between Social and Grand Social,
  • If you ever wore a white t-shirt over a two-piece swimming suit and were totally ‘surprised’ at what happened when it got wet,
  • If you know all the basic square dance steps, but only know how to execute them to march music,
  • If you were ever called out of class to clean your room,
  • If you can grill cheese sandwiches on the bottom of an iron,
  • If the other side of campus was no-man/woman’s land,
  • If you ever smuggled cinnamon rolls back to the dorm on Friday afternoon,
  • If your school had two sidewalks – one for boys and one for girls and the two never intersected,
  • If you volunteered to Ingather on the corner that had a good view of the drive-in theater,
  • If the only time you could hold hands was while roller-skating in the gym
              might be have gone to an Adventist boarding school.

I enjoyed growing up among Adventists. I decided to become a follower of Christ when I was 17. When I met God, I discovered my church was full of lovely people. For all our foibles, Adventists tend to be sweet people. We believe Jesus is our only salvation and we believe that He's coming back soon. It makes us want to be the best people we can be. It makes us a peculiar people in a world that sees nothing wrong with being self-serving.

Tom King


Anonymous said...

We got such a laugh out of this, Tom! We read it during sabbath lunch! :)

Anonymous said...

You logged onto the internet on the Sabbath!

Charles Rachor said...

Having gone to an Adventist academy, I can safely say a lot of those points apply to non-boarding school's as well.

Also, I know the list is basically poking fun at ourselves as Aventists, but reading through all the points, I realized how legalistic we can seem....just a thought; I really did lol a few times :)

Tom King said...

Yes, I did log onto the Internet on Sabbath. I'm isolated out here in Western Washington, without a car and am not able to get to church as often as I like. I watch SDA sermons and talk to my Adventist peeps via Facebook and email on Sabbath. If you get flack for logging onto the Internet on Sabbath, I suppose you might be an Adventist.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone so judgmental?

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone so judgmental
oh I know you're Adventist

Tom King said...

If you're trying to make a point that all Adventists are judgmental, you're wrong to do so as much as I would be to say all atheists are genocidal since officially atheist nations were responsible for more than 100 million deaths by government in the 20th century. As Jesus said, you will be judged by the same measuring stick by which you judge. Me? I try to give people a lot of room for error, since I'm hoping God will go easy on me. Kinda why I wrote this making light of my own folks' foibles.
Not only that, I put my name on what I have to say.