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.