Folding chairs. They are the lifeblood of the Mormon church. Whenever there is a large gathering of Mormons, there is always a plethora of these shiny metal folding chairs to be folded and unfolded by the Elders Quorum. I hate everything about these silver chairs from the netherworld. They are heavy, uncomfortable and loud when you drop them onto the long, rolling rack that goes under the stage. Worst of all, it is always, and I mean always, the Elders quorum that puts them up and takes them down. Even when it is a stake activity, it seems that it is always our ward's responsibility to fold these finger death traps.
During my 11 lazy years since returning from my mission, I have developed a methodology to escaping from the curse of the folding chair setup. I give you the five most optimal techniques for eluding the dreaded chair put-a-way. Since I have tired of making lists with the normal, boring numbering system, I have for your entertainment, used a system called "Roman Numerals". If you are confounded by this system, you may visit this website to understand how to read them.
I. Get a job in which you work Saturday mornings. This has worked great for me over the years. Not only has this method got me out of chair duty, but it has got me out of countless moves, property clean ups and canning assignments. Even though I do it for the money, I might actually consider working Saturday mornings to get out of other Saturday morning work.
II. Use the quick exit strategy. This works especially well during General Priesthood Meeting. Sit by the door and as soon as the prayer is over, you are history. If anyone calls you on it, you can just claim that you forgot it was your ward's turn. This method will not work if a do-gooder from your own ward sits next to you. Or, if you are a total jerkwad, you may want to exit during the closing hymn. This serves two purposes: You get an early jump on the line at the Arctic Circle and you get out of dreaded chair duty. I have yet to stoop to this level of Mormon idiocracy.
XI. Play the old two chair pickup card. Pick up your chair and one other and set it gently against the wall. Then look around to ensure that someone saw that you indeed did pick up a few chairs. When all is secured, leave quietly and gracefully. It is best to play this card before the main chair cleaning up event has begun.
VIIX. Attend the service with an elderly person. Nobody can hold you accountable for not staying to take down chairs when you have a slow walking, old guy with you. What is he just going to stand there and watch you take down chairs? Come on, this guys bedtime is at 6:30! He's got to get home to take his pills and watch his news. You might also want to insist that the old person brings a walker.
E. When all else fails, there is one highly classified method that I dare not even speak of on this forum. It is known only to a select chosen few. Heck, who am I kidding, no one reads this crap. During the service, poke yourself in the eye until you are either crying or bleeding heavily from the eyeball. If you are crying, the men will understand that the talks have you emotionally crippled and in no condition to be taking down chairs. If you are bleeding from the eyeball, they will need to take you to the hospital. But the good news is that you can still stop and get ice cream on the way home! It might be hard to enjoy the ice cream with a bloody eye, but if you get Oreos AND sprinkles, it will take some of the sting out of it. If someone just so happens to ask why your eyeball is bleeding, you might want to tell them that you were trying to pull out your contact with the pen from your Blackberry.
Of course, every so often it might just be nice of you to just help pick up the chairs.