posted by Matt W on March 6th, 2013

For many years, I lived in Utah. I lived in a neighborhood that was 98% Mormon. I was not.

One of the first things I realized in my neighborhood is that nobody does anything on Sundays. Most establishments are actually closed, but those that are open are typically empty, and therefore it is a great time to actually go out and run errands or even better yet, go skiing. The people that you see out on these occasions are typically Latino, or white people that were raised as Mormons but for some reason decided not to follow the church. They are referred to as Jack Mormons in Utah. Typically anyone skiing on Sundays is considered a Jack Mormon.  I’m sure that I was incorrectly labeled as one on many occasions when in actuality, God just lets Presbyterians ski in Utah on Sunday afternoons.

So, then I moved to Tennessee. Tennessee is actually very similar to Utah; just replace the Mormon Church with the Baptist Church and really crappy skiing and there you have it, Tennessee. And while, Baptists in Tennessee are much more willing to get out of the house Sundays than Mormons in Utah (because of the sprawl you have to drive to church in Tennessee), Sundays from 11:00 to 12:30 is the perfect time to run errands and hang out with the Jack Baptists and miss the church traffic.

Because stores know there are a limited amount of customers on Sundays, the stores don’t typically open until about 11:00. But if you get out right at 11:00, it is an awesome time to get a lot of errands done. This Sunday, I decided I needed my hair cut, to get my wife a card, pick up some coffee, and do the grocery shopping. So I get to the place that cuts hair at about 11:00, no line, perfect. One of the major differences between a Jack Mormon and a Jack Baptist is that in Tobacco country most people that aren’t at church on Sunday mornings, smoke. Utah, thankfully, not so much. So while the person who cut my hair had recently sucked down a few (as has everyone else who has ever helped me on a Sunday morning in Tennessee), she did a nice job and it only took 15 minutes. I walked next door and picked out a card for the wife, 5 minutes, perfect. I then walked over to the Starbucks and picked up a pound of beans, 10 more minutes, check. I then drove over to the grocery store took my time shopping for groceries and made it back on the road in plenty of time to miss the crazy church traffic. An interesting fact in Knoxville, most of the major churches actually have police officers direct traffic out on to the main streets to get the church crowd back on the road safely (and slow me down if I happen to be out on the road during Baptist road time.) There are a lot of people in those parking lots.

So anyway, Thank you to all the Jack Baptists for helping me get a full crazy Saturday’s worth of work done in a couple of hours on Sundays. If there was better skiing and you put your cigarette out, it would be fun to take a chairlift up the mountain with you like I did with all the Jack Mormons.

File Under Jack of all Trades