Invasion of the Mormons

“Mormons, Mormons were everywhere, a plague of Mormons, Mormons in neatly pressed uniforms, clean-shaven, clear-eyed, too soft-spoken for cops, so excessively polite that Roy Miro wondered if it was all an act, Mormons to the left of him, Mormons to the right of him, both local and county authorities, and all of them too efficient and by-the-book either to flub their investigation or to let this whole mess be covered over with a wink and a slap on the back. What bothered Roy the most about these particular Mormons was that they robbed him of his usual advantage, because in their company, his affable manner was nothing unusual. His quick and easy smile was only one in a blizzard of smiles full of teeth remarkably whiter than his own. They swarmed through the shopping center and the supermarket, these Mormons, asking their oh-so-polite questions, armed with their small notebooks and Bic pens and direct Mormon stares, and Roy could never be sure that they were buying any part of his cover story or that they were convinced by his impeccable phony credentials.
Hard as he tried, he couldn’t figure out how to schmooze with Mormon cops. He wondered if they would respond well and open up to him if he told them how very much he liked their tabernacle choir. He didn’t actually like or dislike their choir, however, and he had a feeling that they would know he was lying just to warm them up. The same was true of the Osmonds, the premier Mormon show-business family. He neither liked nor disliked their singing and their dancing; they were undeniably talented, but they just weren’t to his taste. Marie Osmond had perfect legs, legs that he could have spent hours kissing and stroking, legs against which he wished that he could crush handfuls of soft red roses–but he was pretty sure that these Mormons were not the type of cops who would enthusiastically join in on a conversation about that sort of thing.
He was certain that not all of the cops were Mormon. The equal-opportunity laws ensured a diverse police force. If he could find those who weren’t Mormons, he might be able to establish the degree of rapport necessary to grease the wheels of their investigation, one way or another, and get the hell out of there. But the non-Mormons were indistinguishable from the Mormons because they’d adopted Mormon ways, manners, and mannerisms. The non-Mormons–whoever the cunning bastards might be–were all polite, pressed, well groomed, sober, with infuriatingly well-scrubbed teeth that were free of all telltale nicotine stains. One of the officers was a black man named Hargrave, and Roy was positive that he’d found at least one cop to whom the teachings of Brigham Young were no more important than those of Kali, the malevolent form of the Hindu Mother Goddess, but Hargrave turned out to be perhaps the most Mormon of all Mormons who had ever walked the Mormon Way. Hargrave had a walletfull of pictures of his wife and nine children, including two sons who were currently on religious missions in squalid corners of Brazil and Tonga.
Eventually the situation spooked Roy so much as it frustrated him. He felt as if he were in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.”
–Dean Koontz, Dark Rivers of the Heart

Mormons: the worst fear of affable villains everywhere.


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