Heidi February 9th, 2009
While eating lunch today, I perused the BYU Magazine that my husband received since he’s an alumnus.
I’d read and enjoyed many of the articles and was almost ready to toss it in the recycle bin when the “First Person” column at the very back of the magazine caught my eye.
It was subtitled, “Amusing Memories: Readers share BYU stories that still make them smile.”
Hmm, I thought, This sounds fun…..
And I began reading.
I snickered and smiled.
But when I got to the second story entitled “Exit Strategy”, horrified laughter bubbled out of me in escalating torrents.
Finally, my laughter subsided, but then the Bubbers King immediately came up to me with a big smile and requested, “Mommy, more laughing! Big laughing!”
Which of course sent me into another round of belly laughs!
By Kenneth V. Kuykendall (BA ’88), Draper, Utah
In the mid-1980s, I worked in the basement of the Maeser Building part-time as an aide to the dean of the honors program. Among other assignments, I was occasionally asked to run errands for the dean.
One day it fell to me to take—immediately—an important parcel to the executive offices in the university’s administration building. I grabbed my coat and set out—only to run into yellow “DO NOT CROSS” construction tape surrounding the exit nearest to my office. Construction workers were refinishing cement in that area.
So I turned and bounded upstairs to the building’s main door—the only other possible exit. Through glass I could see that a man in a dark suit was standing with his back to the door, blocking it. He was speaking, I assumed to some companion, though I could not actually see anyone else through the glass. After what I considered a generous delay, I opened the door just a crack and said, “Hi, sorry, I need to get through.”
The man completely ignored me and continued on with his talking. I stood there a minute, not sure what to do. I opened the door until it touched his back. “Excuse me, please!” I said.
I assumed he would move aside, but I was wrong. He did not move one inch, did not skip a beat in his conversation.
Now I was irritated. He’d had two more-than-polite chances, and that was it. I shoved open the door, smacking it hard into his back, and yelled, “Move it!” He stumbled a step forward and abruptly ended whatever chatting he had been doing. Then he turned around; it was Jeffrey R. Holland, president of the university.
I recoiled in shock.
“I am so sorry,” he said to me calmly. “Have I inconvenienced you?”
As I stammered out a pathetic explanation and apology, he nodded sympathetically, leading me out of the building. Once I had cleared the door’s threshold and was outside, I saw a frustrated camera crew. President Holland had been in the middle of filming a public service announcement about BYU, and I had rather decisively ruined that take of the shoot.
(And what makes this story even worse is that after he served as the President of BYU, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland was eventually called to serve as one of the Twelve Apostles for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to be a special witness of Jesus Christ. Which makes him one of the most respected leaders in the entire Mormon church. So, imagine a devout Catholic accidentally punching the Pope and you’ve got the right idea!)