Thingish Things

Almost Saved

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Jun• 12•11

Is there a Do Not Save Me Registry for the Jehova’s Witnesses?

I feel awful saying that.  They are so nice.  But so am I, and I cannot figure out a polite way to make them stop coming to my door every weekend. I have pled Catholicism. I have thanked them for their generosity of spirit. I have assured them I’m on a path – “the” path, whatever that means. (But I’ve actually said it.) I have even leveled with one of them in a under-the-breath, conspiratorial tone: “Listen, Pam, it’s so nice to see you and your family – you’re lovely people – but you ain’t going to get me. But listen, off-the-record, I saw my next-door neighbors crossing their fingers at St. Patrick’s last Sunday – the whole lot of ‘em.  Know what I’m saying..” [wink.]

Seven days later, “ding-dong.”

It wouldn’t bother me so much; it’s only a couple of minutes out of my morning, but it’s crimping my style.  Take today.  My wife and girls left early for the city, so I began to lumber downstairs in the old boxers.  But wait.  Nope.  Can’t do that.  Pam and the kids should be by shortly. On went the shorts.  But no matter how I am dressed, I feel slovenly when they arrive. They always are in their Sunday best.

For a time last summer I was leaving my doors shut on beautiful cool mornings, when the house should be filling with fresh air.  Why you ask? Because I was lying on the floor when my doorbell rang.   Seriously.  And if a door was open my ruse was dubious; who leaves his house open when he’s not home?  They would know I was cowering to avoid them, and that would be rude. I want them to abandon me to Satan, not hurt their feelings.

Pam and company know us now.  They know our names, ages, what we do, where we go to school – when we are home – and all of our rhetorical defenses.  It is all in a notebook in their car or in a database in the world headquarters in Brooklyn  Heights.  But knowing that doesn’t make the smile and opening sentences any less disarming –“Good morning, Bill.  Where are Corrinne and the girls?  Off to soccer already? What a busy family.  I have just the verse in The New World Translation on that…”

And there I stand, bleary-eyed, unshaven, and head bowed listening.

If the AlarmClock goes abruptly goes dark one of these weekends, you’ll know what happened.  I have been saved.


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  1. Me says:

    You’re doomed. I either don’t answer the door or hit them with a “I’m not interested” with a vigorous shake of the head before they’re halfway down the path. We’re heavy on Mormon missionaries and JWs here. When I lived in Seattle, I would yell, “Down, Beelzebub!” when Poochini would rush to the door. Worked for me:-)

    I think you should print this post and tack it to your front door next weekend. If Pam comes back after that she’s not as nice as you think.

    Or get a Great Dane with a fierce bark and an invisible fence. We only get 3 or 4 visits a year now–and NO repeat callers:-)

  2. Pugs says:

    spit my coffee out on my keyboard laughing…

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