Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Lately, there's been a neighborhood kid who is driving me nuts with his constant obsession over knowing my son's whereabouts. I'm sure there are some parents who can relate. This is the kid who knocks on the door every ten minutes or calls four times in an hour because you've delivered the, obviously, earth-shattering news that your child wasn't home at the moment. Today was no exception. P2 had a Court of Honor thing at Scouts and I was relishing in some nap time because my kidneys are staging a coup'. Doorbell rings the first time and it's neighbor kid (NK). Second time - NK. THIRD TIME- NK. At this point, I resolve that I'm just not going to answer the door anymore. I do, however, take a moment to make a little sign, out of cardstock, that says "J is not home. Do not ring the doorbell or knock unless you are injured or on fire. I will take down this sign upon his return." I ambled back to my inviting bed.

I suppress the urge to kill and wonder if NK has somehow been socially promoted to the fourth grade despite his illiteracy. Now, let me create this mental image for you - I had been in bed with my head thoroughly buried in pillows to shut out the light. My attire was a pair of cut-off sweatpants and a t-shirt that was my dad's during the late-80's. I have red, wool socks on my feet (courtesy of a wonderful reader who learned of my passion for socks) and am dragging a blanket to the door with me. I thought I may need something to wrap the body in.

I throw open the door and say, "J is not home! I know you can read." and there stand two women looking very concerned. They've got the long skirts and full length sleeve blouses despite it being 100+ degrees outside. The elder of the two then starts asking me a barrage of questions regarding the end of the world and I smile inwardly as I remember that scene from Coneheads where Beldar nods his head in the furious affirmative when the JWs come to his door. But, I tell her that "No. I don't agree that the world is coming to a violent end anytime soon." She then says, "I can assure you it is! If you're interested, we'd like to talk to you about God's plan for the world." Now, had I been a nice person, I probably would've politely told them to go away. But, NK ruined it for them. I don't invite them in but I ask them which God they're referring to. This meets with confused glances and stuttering. But, seriously...if you're going to go to people's doors and talk about God, shouldn't you know which one you're representing? She says "Oh. Um. Our Creator in Heaven." I had to do it..."Oh! Zeus!! Sweet!"
"You worship Zeus?", says the mute witness who has know decided to talk.
"No.", says I.
"Then why did you bring up a mythical god?", says JW Chickie whose name tag says "Blair" (which makes me think of the Facts of Life and I start humming the theme song in my head, but I digress).
"You started it", says I.
"Started what?"
"Talking about mythical gods."
The mute witness tries to shove a pamphlet in my hands and I don't reach out to take it because I'm still holding the blanket around me. "Would you accept this literature about God's plan?"
Um. Let me think about it. "No, thanks!"

Ye' olde' irony meter pegs out at a ten. They actually left without having given me any literature about Zeus' plan. And, ten hours later I'm still humming the Facts of Life theme song. DAMMMMMMIT!


Anonymous said...

HA! Yes, this is great. I don't know if you remember when the JW's came to our house WEEKLY, but I wish I would've thought of Zeus. Instead, I just had to go all NEW MOM POSTAL on them.

popeyemoon said...

You are more civil then me.I use sailor talk.

Half rabbit said...

That's the sort of story that makes me wonder if their really is a god. Not really, but the mental image of your dressed in said attire, furiously throwing opening the door, and instead of finding a annoying fourth grader, getting two religious fundies to string along, just made my day.

Indecently I can't remember a JW or any other (uninvited) religious person coming to our house for at least twelve years. I feel a bit unwanted. :)

ouini said...

That story reminds me of an NPR piece, talking about phone solicitors. The more successful cold-callers held to the theory that, if you haven't hung up on them, you're not completely uninterested. (It didn't enter their mind that it could be that you're trying to be polite.)

What reminds me of your post is that, in fact, the selling-est phone solicitor NPR interviewed was of the unabashed opinion that if you answer your phone, and he manages to cajole you into staying on the line, then if you are refusing to either buy whatever he's selling or just hang up, you're being a very rude person, and wasting his time.

I was flabbergasted. I can only imagine witnessing (heh) someone exhibit such hubris to my face.

Rueyn said...

I live in a very fundamentalist town in the South, and I'm always a little afraid to actually say I'm atheist to these door-to-door types. Now I know what I can say instead :) Thanks for the creative answer!

Perpetual Beginner said...

ouini, I'd love to see that dude call up my husband. His standard tactic for telemarketers/telesales people is to ask them for a credit card number. The conversation usually goes something like this:
TM: My what?
H: Credit card number, please. I take all major cards.
TM: Sir, I'm calling to tell you about...
H: Yes, I know. I run a marketing consultant business. I'll be happy to analyze your spiel, but first I'll need a credit card number. $1 a minute.
TM: Either sputtering or a click.

I deal with the JW's. I'm on my fourth visit from my current pair. Last week I got them to agree that a malevolent god wasn't worth worshipping. I give it about two more visits before they either see the light or run screaming into the night.

Betsy said...

We had a kid, about 14 come to our door to invite us to some church event. My husband told him, "You're wasting your time here." The kid actually laughed, said, "OK!" and went away.
If only adults were as agreeable.

Half rabbit said...

Most people here have probably already seen this video, but it's too funny and relevant not to post. LINK: Door to door atheist video

reVAMPed said...

Damn it, now I'm sing "the facts..." too.

Personnally, I haven't, but I've always wanted to tell the JW's I'm a devil worshipper.

ouini, my dad use to keep those guys on the line too. And he knew EXACTLY what he was doin'. Messing with 'em. It's part of THEIR JOB to deal with who they're calling.

I like what Betsy said.

Calladus said...

Awww... I have a soft spot for JW's! They gave me my initial push down the path to Atheism.

I love talking to them now - and I so rarely get the chance. (For some reason, the same ones don't come back.)

I love talking with the Mormons who show up at my door too.

And no matter HOW kind I am, or how 'normal' I look, I get some strange reactions. I still feel for the two old ladies who equated Atheism with Satanism. Really, they didn't know any better. But they were happy to flee from the 'big bad Atheist'.

April said...

One of my greatest joys when we moved the last time was our escape from our NK!
But, see, you didn't just take Blair's reassurance that the world is coming to an end. If you'd just accept it already!!!

Psychodiva said...

aww I'm jealous! we don't get nearly enough action in my neck of the woods-I think my son scared the last lot off when he rushed downstairs yelling- 'is that the JWs? can I have a go this time?' and I'm proud to say he did just that - ah- chip off the old block :)

Country Wife said...

@ Vamp
lol..I did just that when we lived in the city!! Tell them you are a Satanist or a Pagan and they'll cross the street to avoid your evil vibes.

Worked for me until a new group showed up..finally I put a sign on the door that said, "No Soliciting. No Salesmen. No Religion. This means YOU. Do NOT knock. Do NOT ring bell. Just turn around and GO AWAY."

*shrugs* The 'No Soliciting' by itself didn't stop people from coming to the door, but this worked.

Even better, if you can get some notice they are headed to you door: Answer the door wearing a pentacle painted in red on your forehead, your clothing spattered in red, panting, holding a knife, and say "WHAT!?".

Katie said...

Oh man now I'm humming that theme song too.... We get the JWs when the weather gets warm or when it is just about to turn fall. I just open the door and say "no" and as I am closing it I loudly say "hail satan!" then watch them from my studio window scurrying away.

Maggie Rosethorn said...

My favorite encounter with JW's...February in Michigan, and I have the flu with a 104 fever. They came to the door and I answered it, dressed in my pajamas (thought it was my mom, whom I was expecting to come nurse me while husband was at work). They asked if they could come in and I said, "sure, as long as you don't mind the flu!" For some reason they declined....and left. LOL.

Maggie Rosethorn said...

Forgot to add...then there was the time husband answered the door and told the nice Morman missionaries we were Zen Buddhists and not interested. They didn't want to talk to him, either. (pout)

I like the Zeus one. Think I'll try it next time.

Alankrita said...

I missed reading your blog..... I am getting addicted to you...but Zeus is seriously awesome.. Must remember it.. would ganesha the elephant headed work as well? Or her Invisible Pinkness?

floridamom said...

Oh, you answering the door that way would have been fun to watch. Isn't the actress who played Blair (Lisa something?) the one who went fundie?

Unfortunately my son is like NK. His adhd makes social skills difficult for him, and on many occasions I've had to stop him from bugging the kid two doors down from us. They do like to play together, but if his dad says he can't come out, I have to stop ds from repeatedly checking to see if that changed.

Becca said...

I'm giggling and imagining a very young Geeorge Clooney...

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I answered the door in my underwear last time - they haven't been back.

kelahamilton said...

I have never had the courage to do it but my husband has answered the door stark naked when the Mormons or JW have come a knocking. The first time was by accident because they knocked at 5am and he jumped out of bed and pulled open the door without thinking but it worked and kept them away so now it is his standard way of greeting them.

Joe said...

I'm with Half Rabbit, they never come to my house. But I never answer the door anyway and I've unhooked the doorbell. I'm such a social guy.

And, Revamped, when I was a kid we had a copy of Anton LaVey's Satanic Bible handy by the door for all the nice people who came by to talk about Jesus. Within a few visits they got the hint and we were left alone. What a shame.

And, answering the door naked sounds like the winning plan. If I ever answered it.

aimee said...

My brother in law answered my door and it was 2 JW's. He mentioned how he read the bible, but only as a reference for his vampire books. They didn't know what to say.

Whenever I tell them I'm not interested, I get bombarded with questions of "why not", and "what about heaven and hell"?

ZugTheMegasaurus said...

This reminded me of something my boyfriend did with a few Mormons who were trying to convert door-to-door. (My boyfriend is a deist, believes in some god, but considers religions to be generally wrong.)

He invited them over on three separate occasions after they first arrived at his door. He let them preach about LDS to him and explain their position. Then he debated about it.

Then, on their last visit, he said, "Look, you guys are welcome here anytime, but I'm not going to convert to your religion." They, of course, asked why this was the case.

He answered, "Your religion doesn't have enough love in it for me. I try, even though it's hard, to accept everyone around me. I try to think that people are doing their best, and I try to love them as much as I can. You guys, along with every other religion, only love people who believe the same things as you do. And that's why I could never bring myself down to that level."

It was fantastic. Polite, didn't tell them off or anything. They let themselves out, and he was a little disappointed that they never came back.