Saturday, March 22, 2008
I Can Hear You Knocking, But Nobody's Home
The Jehovah’s Witnesses came today. Just in time for Easter. I’m not one who avoids interesting encounters and lively debates; in fact, it gets me going. “Here, com’on in and let me give you a cup of coffee,” I said to a Jehovah’s Witness the first time one came to my door twenty years ago. I let her come every week to try to convert me but then we got on the subject of tarot cards, which, since I was hanging around with a bunch of hippies from the health food store where I worked, I owned at least two decks at the time. Ironically, these tofu-eating friends were the ones that turned me onto the cards and taught me to be open-minded and non-judgmental, thus, inviting the Jehovah’s Witness inside in the first place. But when she told me the tarot cards were the work of the devil, that nipped our little coffee-klatching sessions right in the bud. I was having too much fun reading everyone’s fortunes. Plus, then I heard about Christmas. I stopped inviting her in.
I saw the lady get out of her white mini van with a little tote bag that doubled as a briefcase and a purse, and watched her shield her eyes from the sun and look up at my house, sizing it up. Ut oh, that one had Jehovah written all over her. I looked around quickly. Where to hide? Where to hide? What door was she going to come to? I darted to the dining room. No, no, she could come around the deck and see me from the sliding glass doors. I considered the laundry room but what if she came to the back door and pressed her nose up to the glass? I scooted into the kitchen, ducked and waddled below the line of the windows to the pantry. Now I was stuck in the closet, looking at the cans of crushed tomatoes and a can of pig brains that I bought from Boone’s General Store as a joke for when my family comes down.
People really eat this stuff down here. There are some weird food habits going on. It’s not just the good stuff like peach pies and biscuits-and-gravy like you hear about on TV. There are pink hot dogs with coleslaw, Spam and deep-fried chicken gizzards. Why, you can walk into any Get N Go and find a big jar on the counter filled with pink-colored, pickled eggs for a quick snack. It reminds me of jars in science labs that are filled with pig fetuses and eyeballs floating in formaldehyde. The pink eggs are on display right next to the unbreakable combs for 59-cents. They are just like a box of donuts on the counter.
One time, I myself, had weird food in my refrigerator. My freezer was stocked with mule elk and deer meat wrapped in white butcher paper and labeled with a black Sharpie. This was a gift from my real estate agent. Though we had good intentions and periodically moved the packages around and picked them up and read them, we couldn’t bring ourselves to actually cook any. Turnip greens is one thing. Mule elk…I don’t even know what a mule elk is.
I peeked out of the closet and saw the top of the lady’s head go by the kitchen window. I jumped back. I wasn’t coming out till she was gone. I outgrew the tarot cards years ago but the fact of the matter is, I just woke up from my nap and truth be told, I’m a little cranky when I just wake up. I didn’t even have my coffee yet. Plus, this Jehovah had it against her from the start. Why lead her on? The Baptist ladies had already been here. They even gave me a beginner’s bible and a chocolate cake. And then there’s the Christian minister down the road who reminds me of Pastor Lonnie from the old place and who was so nice to us when we attended Christmas services that I think about going back every Sunday. A Jehovah who comes knocking out of the blue doesn’t have a chance. No offense. I’m a hard enough case as it is. Especially without any coffee in me.