Sunday, September 11, 2005

The Watchtower

Last weekend we had a knock on the door, and when I opened the little grille we have instead of a peephole, there was a pleasant-looking middle-aged couple who wanted to share a Bible reading with me. I explained I wasn't available, and they left.

This, I can see, is going to be a disadvantage of the 'burbs. I'm on ground level here, and there may be more roving missionaries out there. The only roving missionaries I ever encountered at my door in San Francisco were the nice young people who showed up from time to time to ask if there were any baptized Catholics in the house. That was fine. It was like the Mitzvah Mobile, except I wasn't a target. I said "No, there aren't," and they said "Okay, thanks," and left. I went upstairs, the first time, and checked to see if the boyfriend might secretly be a baptized Catholic, but he said he wasn't.

Downtown, of course, we had Mormons, and Jews for Jesus, and several less well-defined groups, plus the guy who's been standing at the Powell Street BART station since I was in grade school, advocating chastity, and the Fallen, Fallen is Babylon the Great Sandwich Sign Guy. The Fallen, Fallen is Babylon the Great Sandwich Sign Guy is notable for at one time having taken on a helper, who also wore a sandwich sign with the same quote from Revelations. We also have Frank Chu, known only as the Sign Guy, whose message may or may not have some religious content. But I digress.

Anyway, on Friday morning I was waiting for the bus in Alameda, drinking my coffee from Tillie's, and a lady came by and offered me a copy of the Watchtower. I took it. On closer inspection it turned out to be in Tagalog. She came back a couple of minutes later, having apparently realized I probably didn't read Tagalog, and exchanged it for something in English.

I never know exactly how to deal with these sorts of things. The Mormons I am aggressive with because they want to TALK to you, and also I can't deal with nineteen year old boys wearing nametags that identify them as Elder Soandso. And I am bluntly hostile with the Jews for Jesus--the boyfriend was once startled when I suggested, only mostly joking, that he should ram the vehicle a group of them had just parked. But the Jehovah's Witness folks are usually nice, middle-aged ladies who don't get in your face, go away if asked, and just give you literature. I generally end up taking a copy of the Watchtower and smiling. Then I feel as though I should have given some sort of speech, and didn't, and feeling rather inadequate. But it was seven-fifteen in the morning, and I really just wanted more coffee.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

For some reason I always got targeted for joining bible study groups. Never sure why. One time I was skiing in New Mexico, and while taking a break, I had my headphones on, listening (ok singling very loudly) to the Indigo Girls, Get Together. Again, I was approach and asked if I was a Born Again. I guess, my soul is screaming out for saving.

Anonymous said...


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Anonymous said...

Actually, since I've lived someplace I can put up a mezuzah, I haven't had any Mormons around. Kind of a shame, really. At least in Idaho, they have an almost puppy-like admiration for Jews.

From the JW's, I got a nasty little shmatta that was geared directly toward Jews, and an attempt to get me into the "Suffering servant" argument.

I prefer the Latter-Day Saints. around here, they're polite enough.