I like to mess with people sometimes. I admit that I find joy in making people squirm a little. I guess I find it so funny because I was never uncomfortable around Porter. I straight up asked him how he lost his arm like .5 seconds into our first conversation. I have noticed though, that others do not like to ask Porter what his story is…so they ask me. I usually tell them what happened, but sometimes it has been a long day and I need a laugh. When they do ask Porter, he tells them epic stories. Here are our favorite “what happened” stories.
My favorite: The sensitive reporter
I work for the BYU newspaper as an editor. I like working with reporters and they usually suck up to you a little bit because they want a good grade. One afternoon, I had a reporter working on an article when a conversation struck up.
Reporter: “I saw you with your husband walking on campus yesterday.”
Me: “Oh really? Cool.” (Like what the heck am I supposed to say after that? “Oh yeah, I didn’t see you, sorry about that one.”)
Reporter: “Yeah and I remember you saying he had one arm, but I thought he looked normal.”
Homegirl, say whaaaa? “Normal?” What does that even mean? Once again my wit failed me and I didn’t really have a clever response.
Me: “Umm, thanks.” (Yep, that was the best I could come up with. At this point, I’m hoping the conversation is over, because I really don’t like it when people describe Porter as “normal.” He’s not normal, he’s awesome. Calling him normal is not a compliment; it’s an insult because he’s better than that.)
Reporter: “I think it is pretty cool how he can do so much with just one arm. How did he lose it again?”
Bingo. Just the question I wanted. It’s pay back time.
Me (queue sad face and diverted eyes): “Oh, we don’t really like to talk about it.”
Reporter: “I’m so sorry, I wasn’t trying to be insensitive. I really hope I didn’t offend you. I should have never asked! That’s probably really personal. I’m seriously so, so sorry.”
Lies. We talk/joke about it all the time. I just like to get a rise out of people to be honest. Don’t worry; I didn’t let the reporter suffer…for that long.
Porter just finished teaching at the MTC. He worked there forever. And by forever, I mean three years…same thing. Anyways, he taught a lot of missionaries Spanish during that time and with each district he would inevitably be asked, “what happened to your arm?” There are millions of stories, but this one was my favorite.
I didn’t know this, but if you have a tattoo as a missionary, you are supposed to cover it up. Whether that means always wearing long sleeve shirts or long pants/skirts, it is supposed to be covered.
Porter was teaching a district when one missionary was brave enough to ask the big kahuna.
Missionary: “So, what happened to your arm?”
Porter: “Well, I had a sleeve before the mission. I didn’t want to get all the tattoos removed and it was just cheaper to have my whole arm cut off.”
Missionary: “Oh wow, that’s pretty intense.”
Gotta love those missionaries. They are just so innocent.
Lastly, we love it when people “recognize” Porter. Mostly because they don’t know how to phrase it when they see him. What they say is “Do I know you from ? But usually they mean, “oh yeah I remember you because you’re missing a limb.”
This story happened when we were checking in for a game: Co-Ed Softball
Porter and I play co-ed intramurals. When you play BYU intramurals, you have to check in with one of the officials. We got to the field and walked up to the young lady we were supposed to check in with. She takes Porter’s student ID card and then looks him up and down.
Intramural girl: “Are you from Wayne County?”
Porter: “Yeah, I am. Are you from southern Utah too?”
Intramural girl: “No I just recognized your…. (Long pause, she looks at his missing arm and starts to panic inside)…. (Still pausing)…. I recognized your…. face.
His face? Really? I mean, I know he is handsome and all, but you could have come up with something better than that.