Today my doorbell rang at about 10 AM, and with a quick peer down the stairs, I could tell it was a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Fuck.
Again? Weren’t they just here last week? And didn’t I tell them we’re Jewish, and please stop coming here?!
We are not Jewish (though in my heart I just know I am) but I’m not above lying in cases like this. I wish they would just go away. The ladies can see my little monkeys through the glass door, hanging on the iron baby gate at the top of the stairs, so I can’t pretend I’m not home. Nowhere to run or hide. Down the dreaded stairs then.
“Jesus Christ.” I mutter, opening the gate, descending.
“Who is that, mummy?” Asks Oliver, completely delighted that we might have some company.
“Just who I said.”
Once I heard my dad say, “Well, Jesus was a Jew you know…” and the Witness actually replied, “No he wasn’t.” I rolled my eyes and went to my room.
Two ladies in plainclothes, looking all harmless, like they do… One older, hair grey from
craziness age, and her much younger companion is leaning on a cane at the bottom step. I wonder if she got injured when she tried to make a break for it, trying to get away from them to make a sane life for herself. I hear the JW’s are a crazy-violent mass. (Okay, I’ve never heard anything of the sort – I’m just starting a rumor.)
Bible in one hand. A handful of Watchtower magazines in the other. They’re neatly dressed, as always, which is always the dead giveaway that the JW’s are in your ‘hood. They’re too tidy. They’re too friendly. To some they look all Christian and happy, but they’re just smug time-wasters to me. I always ask them not to come back, and yet here they are again, hoping to make a conversion. I wonder how many followers they glean this way. Maybe they get to heaven on a points-system based on how many souls they capture, like Airmiles.
My father used to let the religious callers into the house, and chat their ears off, which used to drive my mother, my sister and me insane. They took up too much room in our apartment, spreading all their propaganda all over the coffee table, trying to bring my sister and I into the conversation… trying to get us while we’re all young and impressionable. I hated when they came around. My father used to love it – I think it was almost sporting for him.
Once I heard my dad say, “Well, Jesus was a Jew you know…” and the Witness actually replied, “No he wasn’t.” I rolled my eyes and went to my room. Sometimes they’d be in our house for hours. I’m pretty sure that guy stayed all day, debating this non-issue.
I don’t have this kind of time or patience. I’m not much of the sporting kind anyway. I never let them past the entrance. I just hoped it wouldn’t take too long to get her off my doorstep.
“Hey! Has Michael Jackson been in touch yet?” I’m sorry, but I really couldn’t help myself.
As I open the door, she smiles radiantly at me (they’re all about the smiling, what with the love of Jesus Christ their Lord and Saviour inside them) and starts with something about it being a lovely day. I look up at the super-gray clouds and think she must be on crack. The sky is going to open up and piss on us all in a minute. I tell her it’s been a crappy summer. She smiles.
“Yes, well… we’ve brought you some good news about the Bible, and we’d love to talk to you about some concerns that threaten life for everyone on the earth, such as the environment, and the internet…”
Erp… what the fuck? The internet is a plague now? Is this the eighth deadly sin then? Great. Sign me up. I especially love all the porn…
“Um, no thank you.”
“But if you would just see that we all have a responsibility, for the sake of the children of our world…”
“Hey! Has Michael Jackson been in touch yet?” I’m sorry, but I really couldn’t help myself. Actually, I kind of dared myself.
“I beg your pardon?” She’s adjusting the collar of her shapeless navy jacket, leaning in to my inquiry. I smile at her with lively eyes.
“Michael Jackson. You know, he died the other day… I was just wondering if you’ve heard from him yet?” She doesn’t look amused at all. That’ll learn her.
“I’m not sure I understand you.” She understands perfectly.
“Listen. We’re Jewish, okay? We’re not interested in all your… stuff.” I’ve often thought about fashioning a mezuzah out of play-doh to stick outside my door, but somehow that just seems wrong. Even to me.
“Okay then.” She turns to leave. I feel just a wee bit remorseful, but not nearly enough to invite her in. I am not a nice person.
“And can you please be sure to tell the others not to ring this bell anymore? Thank you.”
“Okay then.” She’s down the stairs, saying something between clenched teeth to her other soldier. Probably along the lines of “a devil worshipper lives there” or something equally unnerving to them. Victory is mine.
“Bye now.” Close the door. Lock it. Look up at the kids and wonder if we’re all going to hell now.
Actually, I know I’m going to hell. I have my seat reserved, really close to the big fire… toasty all the time. And marshmallows for everyone.
If that’s the afterlife in store for me, I can totally dig it.