Years ago, Chet Beiler would come home from working a 14-hour shift at his flourishing gazebo business in Gap called Amish Country Gazebos–which is absolutely a real thing, in real life–to find his wife tidying up the kitchen while his daughters read quietly at the dining room table. Beiler would greet his family with a stern, “hello,” before making his way to bed. One word, and a savings account no one would dare take a dime out of, was all he needed to support his family.
Last Thursday, however, Beiler joined fellow likely-a-Mennonite, Lloyd Smucker, on stage at Penn Cinema for a much more verbal exchange of principles in hopes of taking PA’s 16th District. Upon the debate’s conclusion, reporters frantically mashed their stopwatches in hopes of confirming what they felt to be true: the candidates broke the record for longest conversation between two Mennonites.
Neither candidate wished to comment on this achievement; which shows they both still hold strong convictions about not expressing their feelings.
The debate was not completely Mennonite-less, however, as each candidate responded to nearly ever counter-argument in a very fitting manner, by saying either:
“No one died. People should just be happy they have their health.”
“What your neighbors say and do doesn’t apply to what goes on under my roof. We live by my rules.”
And, of course, “Because I said so, that’s why.”
Nearly half of the debate was taken up by both candidates simultaneously delivering two different prayers. This began when Smucker said, “I’d like to lead everyone in a prayer,” and Beiler, not to be out-manned, quickly replied, “no, I’d like to lead everyone in a prayer.” The two bickered about which would lead in prayer, before they launched into two completely different Bible verses.
In the days since the debate, officials at The Guinness Book of World Records began an investigation into the record to determine if it actually is the longest conversation between two Mennonites. Some claim that there have to be at least a few occurrences of a person being given a detailed explanation of construction work; while others feel that while that may be true, there’s no way a Mennonite would ever pay someone else to work on his home. A decision will be determined in the upcoming months.