Saturday, February 28, 2009

On encountering Jehovah’s Witnesses this morning

Halfway through doing the washing-up comes a knock at the front door (literally: we don’t have a doorbell but a brassy knocker, old skool). So roll-sleeved and soapy-armed I open up and there stand two unmistakeable Jehovah’s Witnesses. Proper archetypes, ie. they look like Philip Larkin but shorter.

Now in the past I might have employed some Pavement Panto™ to extricate myself from their conversational clutches (I’m on an important phonecall, my wife is in labour, the kitchen is on fire etc), but having identified that tendency, I want to rise above it. So it was a question of fronting up, vague but firm, polite but distant, certainly I’ll take your magazines and I thank you, now we conclude our business.

I wanted to, but didn’t quite, bark “Good day to you, sirs!”, which is how I imagine a confident Victorian gentleman would dismiss such fellows.

It worked, too. And now I’m not going to say anything snarky about the Witnesses or their strange magazine about Intelligent Design and birds flying into buildings (there is a quite a lengthy and interesting article on the latter, funnily enough). It’s a bit like trainspotters. Once I might have laughed with scorn, but we’ve got beyond that, haven’t we? No it takes all sorts in this world, I’m not going to knock them. As St Bono put it, we’re One, but we’re not the same and we get to carry each other, carry each other.

And at least it keeps them off the stre-... all right, at least it gets them out the house, then. Sorry this wasn’t a bit funnier.


malty said...

So, it's left to me to lay bare the JWs unfunny downside, gleaned through unlooked for contact over a period of time, it's a long sad story.
They don't believe in the power of education, left to their own devices they would have none of it. Their children are actively discouraged from higher education so blighting their lives.
The pecking order is worse than the honours system, who get the head poo bah's job, the understrapper's etc makes the entertainment industries nepotism seem harmless. And no, they haven't abolished the refusal of blood transfusions.
My mother had the answer, knock knock, opens door with frying pan steaming and full and glowers at 'em, YES ?
Worked every time.

Brit said...

If these two had blightable offspring I'd be mighty surprised. They were more the lonely born-again types, if you ken.

Hey Skipper said...

Perhaps reinforcing my serial killer tendencies:

With JWs, Mormons, telephone solicitations, and the whole sorry lot, the instant I get a whiff of what is going on, I say this:

"Sorry, I am not interested. Thank you for your time. Goodbye."

Followed by door closing, or phone going on the hook, worked every time.

Well, every time but one. In Florida, some woman was doing the rounds for some church, and somehow took that kind of no as the first step on the road to yes.

So she came back the next day with the pastor. They got No Version 2, which was somewhat more thorough, and less polite.

monix said...

Blogger has created a mysterious link to my blog - nothing to do with me at all!

Anonymous said...

i feel sorry for such folk, as they're tramping around for no pay, just their crazy beliefs.

The best answer is a firm: "We are all prostitutes in this house"

[Maloprop for 'protestants'], which a friend's mother-in-law once used, to great effect.

Anonymous said...

Bit wimpy, that, Skipper. Now that Dawkins is into signs on buses, surely it's only a matter of time before your side takes a page from the JW book and starts preaching door-to-door? Better practice first though, it's trickier than it looks.

Good line, elberry. Another winner is: "Sorry, I can't talk now, I've got to get out of here before the owners come back."

Hey Skipper said...


Better a blank pamphlet than this.