Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Your Witness

A few days ago as I was going about my morning chores, feeding the dog, feeding the cat, re-roofing the house, writing my latest blockbuster novel, advising J K Rowling on her next book (as you do), my flow was interrupted by the door chimes.

"Who could be knockething at my door" thought I - mistakenly - they were ringing the bell not knocking. Actually, nobody ever knocks at my door; they always ring the bell. Whenever this happens a feeling of trepidation and creeping dread comes over me as very often I open the door to find some itinerant painter and decorator telling me how crap the outside of my house looks and how I should take out a new mortgage to allow him to mess it up even more for me. Or else its some home improvements salesman who "just happens to be in your area" and wants to book an appointment to take up a whole evening trying to sell me a load of wobbly windows I don't want, need and can't afford at a price which is "only available tonight". Yeah right! Actually, I used to be a double-glazing salesman going from door to door. I stuck it four days before returning all the samples and forms etc to the office having sold precisely nothing. It was either that, or die a slow death from slitting my wrists!

I furtively opened the door. A large grinning white man was stood there accompanied by a not so large, but also grinning black woman. They both continued to grin. I stood looking blankly waiting for something to happen. The man held up in front of me a copy of "Awake" magazine, continuing to grin as he did so. The woman grinned in unison. The grinning man asked me if the magazine meant anything to me.

"Yes", I said, "It's a Jehovah's Witness publication".

"That's right" he said and continued to grin at me.

I smiled.

"What about it?" I said.

"What do you think?" he said grinning.

I continued to smile and said, "Well you are talking to an arch-atheist, and seeing as there is no god, you are wasting your time"!

I continued to smile. He continued to grin, but not as much. The woman had a flash moment of consternation, but encouraged by the man's propensity to grin come what may, resumed the grinning posture.

"Well", said the grinning man, "I'll leave you alone then", and started to turn to walk away. I was gob smacked by his tough response to my challenge. As he continued on his way with the grinning black woman in tow, he beckoned back to me saying - with a grin - "Its good to see you can still smile".

"Yes", I said, "and I'll be smiling for a long time to come". Continuing to smile, I closed the door.

Later that morning, I drove down the street with my wife on our way to the garden centre. There on the pavement by the side of the road was a large huddle of Jehovah's Witnesses. I recognised the people who had come to my door. There were several similarly sized black women, and a couple of white men. I might have imagined it, but they all appeared to be grinning!

Just to finish, many years ago, a neighbour of mine had a couple of Jehovah's Witnesses come to her door. "Blood transfusions", she shouted, and then slammed the door.

1 comment:

Andy Mule said...

Loved your last blog, very amusing. loved the grinning thing, it er.......made me grin!