Last week, the esteemed Mennonite satire web magazine, The Daily Bonnet,* posted a quiz: How Many of These Typical Mennonite Things Have You Done? Because Mennonites still think of internet quizzes as new and exciting, this quickly soared through the Mennoverse and sent Mennonites and ex-Mennonites around the internet into a tizzy questioning, bragging about, or bemoaning their Mennonite-ness.
While that’s all fun and games, I can’t help thinking that the many of us who fall short of some of the standard markers of Mennonite-ness just don’t get enough credit in the Mennonite satire world. And so I have shamefacedly stolen the Daily Bonnet’s quiz and revised it for people wanting to know how well they fit into that population of people kind of uncomfortable with their Mennonite-ness.
This, too, has its limits. The DB’s list was long already and so I refrained from adding my own additions but I’m sure my readers have had some of their own special disaffected Mennonite experiences that aren’t included in this list. Perhaps they’ve engaged in subversive activity at a relief sale, or refused to continue a scrapple family tradition. There are many doors that open into Mennonite Disaffectedness. I’m not here to say that any of these are better than any others.
And so, if you do this quiz of disaffected Mennonite things and find that your score does not reflect your own personal sense of disaffectedness, please – add in the many other disaffected Mennonite things you have done in the comments or on Twitter (#DisaffectedMennonite).
If you didn’t catch it the first time, the original quiz can be found on the Daily Bonnet’s website here. My amendments in the quiz below are in bold.
Quiz: How Many of these Typical Disaffected Mennonite Things Have you Done?
How much of a Disaffected Mennonite are you? Give yourself one point for each of the following typical Disaffected Mennonite things you’ve done. Add up your score. How many points did you get?
- Was reluctant to get baptized on the basis of not being able to “adult.”
- Sang but also critiqued the Mennonite fetishization of 606
- Attended an evening service – but only Christmas Eve
- Are just glad you got out when you did and never dated/married a cousin
- Ate vereneki but called them pierogies
- Ate formavorscht but didn’t really care whether the sausage comes from Winkler, Breslau or Abbotsford (or anywhere else)
- Ate schoofly pie but found yourself wondering why people made such a big deal about it.
- Attended a Mennonite World Conference as an excuse for tourism
- Taught Sunday School once and were never allowed to do it again.
- Can’t speak Plautdietsch but read some in Armin Wiebe’s books, and kinda got some of it from context.
- Can’t speak Pennsylvania Dutch but know the word “schputt”
- Visited the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach on the internet
- Been to Lancaster but not the one in Pennsylvania
- Attended a Bible College information session but then chose somewhere else
- Tried to claim Conscientious Objector status to get out of household chores or homework
- Drank in preparation for attending a wedding reception in a church basement
- Milked an argument about a cow
- Know people who have been to Goshen and feel no desire to go there yourself
- Participated in your own personal foot-washing service; i.e. bathed
- Stormed out of a church committee meeting or AGM
- Found a highlighted Bible on your bookshelf after your parents visited
- Memorized Bible verses, but only the dirty ones
- Listened to family members brag that they shopped for your Christmas gift at an MCC Thrift Store
- Were mocked for paying full price when shopping at a Ten Thousand Villages Store
- Ate at Chicken Chef because that was where the family was going and it would be rude not to go along
- Shunned someone by not talking to them at coffee hour
- Been excommunicated
- Read the Schleitheim Confession thinking it would be full of juicy confessions of Anabaptist wrongdoing
- Usually don’t admit it but can’t reliably identify a portrait of Menno Simons from a lineup of portraits of 16th-century bearded men
- Used The Martyrs Mirror as a doorstop
- Secretly judged the other kids in youth group who aspired to read the entire Bible
- Made dubious claims about your ancestry to explain away any personal traits that made you ashamed of yourself
- Debated with a Calvinist but not about anything religious
- Has an unread family history book on the bookshelf (beside the highlighted Bibles)
- Has complained about your family history
- Wore suspenders in the 1970s when they were still kinda fashionable
- Wore a bonnet (duak) for a school play
- Read a Miriam Toews book and loudly declaimed that your life was just like that, only worse
- Made a quilting bee unbearable for everyone else present
- Gave up explaining to people that being a Mennonite doesn’t mean you rode a horse and buggy
- Pointed out someone else’s sins but without using the word “sin”
- Realized that your favorite part of Church was the gossip
- Dithered about participating in a church split
- Slept in a housebarn or in Church
- Visited a Mennonite satirical web site
- Told someone to lighten up after they chastised you for not working hard enough
- Failed to hold your own part when trying to sing in four-part harmony
- Wrote letters from Bible Camp begging to go home and never come back
- Wondered what star anise has to do with being Mennonite anyway
- Was offended by an off-colour Mennonite joke and didn’t know whether to laugh or not because of feeling so generally conflicted about all things Mennonite already
*The Daily Bonnet text and images are used by permission in accordance with the Mennonite Satire Intellectual Property Agreement of 2017, article 60.6.
I also think that you should get double points if you have ever made a Mennonite-themed cocktail. In fact, at the risk of being accused of not taking these points and quizzes seriously, I say that you should get a point in the Disaffected Mennonite Scale for EVERY Drunken Menno cocktail that you have made and/or imbibed.
The Disaffected Mennonite
This cocktail is loosely based on the Jaded Lady. If you don’t have absinthe or pernod on hand, you could maybe get away with using star anise and vodka, being that star anise is apparently a Mennonite thing. Despite not making the list, I tend to think of dill or sorrel as preferred Mennonite herbs and dill layers subtly but nicely with the anise and lemon flavours of the cocktail.
- 1 ounce absinthe (or pernod)
- 1/2 ounce vodka
- 1/2 ounce Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 ounce dill infused simple syrup (see ingredients below)
- 3 drops aromatic bitters
- For garnishing: lemon peel and fresh dill
For simple syrup:
- 1 small handful fresh dill, chopped
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cups sugar
Make the dill simple syrup by boiling the dill in about 1/3 cup water until green and dilly. Strain out the dill and measure out 1/4 cup of the dilly water. Boil the sugar with the dill water until syrupy. Let cool.
Stir all cocktail ingredients with ice. Serve in a coupe glass with a twist of lemon peel and more dill.