Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Strangers In The Village

For some reason I think Trelawnyd experiences a larger than usual number of visiting Jehovah's witnesses than regular places, I could be wrong, after all  I am around the village on a daily basis and strangers have a tendency to stand out somewhat from the normal routine -  but in general there does seem an awful lot of them around .
I understand that according to Jehovah's belief "Jesus told his followers to “make disciples of people of all the nations,”, and going out into the community to "spread the word" is an integral part of the faith but I must admit that even though I am irritated by my perceived "intrusiveness" of their preaching, I hold a begrudging respect for their optimism and positivity in a world that hates door to door evangelism, cold calling of any kind and religion in general.
It must be a thankless job to do, after all the general public can be incredibly rude when it wants to be (Believe me I am a nurse I KNOW!) but at least if the weather in nice, a walk around an unreceptive Welsh village is at least a scenic amble!
Yesterday two middle aged ladies called at the cottage. Although friendly, the sight of a bulldog flanked by a trio of terriers kept both women at the gate which I was thankful for, and I already had rehearsed a polite "no thank you" comment as one lady offered me a leaflet to read.
"No thank you" is a bloody hard phrase to say when someone is being dreadfully polite. It has to thrust into the conversation with equal politeness, and that takes skill, timing and opportunity.
Yesterday, as the woman really got going, I wondered just how many people listen properly to this cold calling kind of preaching, surely even the Jehovah Witnesses big wigs could re interpret Jesus' preaching instructions for the 21st Century and would be content to with something on facebook or even twitter?
It would cut down on a great deal of shoe leather, slammed doors and constant rejection.

In the end , I smiled a huge smile and said "Best stop there, I am afraid, I really am not interested. Thank you anyway" and the woman immediately knew that the "interview" was over.
In that typical English way, I did feel a little guilty and in way of lightening the encounter
I pointed to Mabel who had her paws up on the wall, blowing kisses at the strangers and said
"she wants to kiss you"
The woman lent down kissed Mabel on the nose and said brightly
"Jesus loves you too"
It made Mabel's morning
and it made me smile
"Have a good day" I called after the ladies
And I meant it

49 comments:

  1. "Don't be silly; go away" is usually my response. Thank goodness they call VERY rarely. They must learn a lot about rejection.

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  2. When I lived in a vulnerable position, I would tell the J.W.s that my sister is one (truth), and has told me all about it. That was usually enough, and so much less distressing than 'Fuck off'.

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  3. Around our way they've taken to fetching children with them and the children hand out the leaflets. I'm sure many like me indulge the child and take the leaflet (then throw it in the bin). You can't be rude when there's an earnest looking child on your doorstep!

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  4. I can't remember the last time a Jehovah's witness or two knocked at my door. Bring them back, is what I say. They will test your diplomatic skills like no other.

    They used to catch me right in the middle of making dinner,what I call "the unfortunate hour" (DO NOT DISTURB). At least I didn't have to lie to them when saying I was otherwise occupied.

    So, should I ever knock at your door (disguised as a Jehovah's witness) just invite me in for a bowl of chicken soup and I shan't even mention Jesus.

    Neither will I kiss Mabel.

    U

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  5. How lovely! Dear Mabel - I am growing rather fond of her.

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  6. Dogs keep it simple and honest.

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  7. JW have called here every monday for the last 3 weeks as well John...this monday they just posted a pamphlet through the door because the week before i was less than hospitable....i said that when i am ready to convert then i will let them know, so please dont keep knocking..... i would prefer Tourettes Syndrome charity fund raisers, at least with them its a race to say "fuck off" before they do....

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  8. The last JW at my door told me I should be concerned about all the manmade natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes.
    Enough said.

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  9. "For some reason I think Trelawnyd experiences a larger than usual number of visiting Jehovah's witnesses than regular places..." Studies have been done that prove that there is a direct relationship between volume of Jehovah's Witness visits and levels of sin and immorality in a particular neighbourhood. I haven't seen any of the blighters in years. Nuff said.

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  10. YP
    Will you be an honey member of our flower show committee?
    I would love it , if you could open the show this year
    Afterwards we could go to RHyl for a pint... And I could leave you to the mercy of the locals x

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  11. I had a pair at my door a few weeks ago and they said "hello Chania". I have no idea how they got my name...

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  12. They are thick as thieves around here. It is always heavy just before Easter. Being seniors we don't open the door to anyone we don't know....and they do have a somewhat unique appearance in their Sunday best and clutching their bibles and briefcases...I just say throught the door "Jehovah's Witness? No thank you." and walk away from the door. Lately they have been bypassing our house. Any of them that I have met through the work place have been depressed fanatics.

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  13. EARL GRAY I notice that the flower show is on August 18th when, for personal reasons, I shall not be available. Now if you could shift the date to say August 20th then I would be happy to open the flower show and afterwards attend a Yorkshire Pudding fans convention in Rhyl followed by a few beers and merry japes with the locals...including Win of course.

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  14. You are way kinder than me. I am not rude when they show up but I don't give them more than five seconds of my time, either. Proselytizing offends me! THey show up at our farm about once a year.

    My mother once had two nice Mormon boys show up at her door. SHe agreed to hear them out if they helped her move some furniture first!! They did, and she did. Then she told them she was quite happy being Catholic.

    MY mother had no shame...

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  15. I wonder if anyone actually DID invite them in they might have a collective heart attack.

    I take the watchtower graciously and tell them I'm already spoken for thank you.

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  16. I always said that its a pity we can't just have a code of conduct taught to every child without the religion attached, once embroiled in a religion it's hard to get out without lots of guilty feelings and fears rising up and it causes so much trouble in the world.
    Never the less, I agree with you that they always seem to be cheerful and optimistic..
    Briony
    x

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  17. They come around here quite often (no one understands the 'No Soliciting' sign on the door). We have a church just down the road from us.

    I think being a nurse is a lot like working retail. They both see the worst sides of people.

    Glad Mabel enjoyed the visit. :o)
    Hope you all have a great day, John!

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  18. Your blog never fails to make me smile! Bless sweet Mabel. I get very cross about religion being thrust in my face - particularly when someone is hammering on MY door to so. I usually keep a bottle of ketchup by the front door to squirt over my hands before I open it to politely advise that I can't chat right now as the sacrificial goat's leg is hanging off.

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  19. Both the JWs and the cable tv salesfolk try to use my dog as their entree into friendly conversation. Which pisses me off even more, as it is so obvious and contrived. The most irritating was the woman who called our golden retriever an Irish setter. False lover of dogs, get thee hence!

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  20. I've had a few Jehovah's Witnesses at my front door as well. I just tell them I'm not interested.

    My position on religion is very simple. If you find it personally useful to smooth your path through life, fine. But if you insist on trying to convert everyone else, I disapprove completely. Between consenting adults in private, if you don't mind....

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  21. I LOVE that she kissed the dog's nose!

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  22. My cousin tells them he is a Jewish blood donor...works every time. Hubby starts preaching about love and inclusiveness...doesn't let them get a word in edgeways and it's them making excuses to leave!
    Jane x

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  23. I have never been rude to a nurse, even when they insist on knowing more about medicine than I do (Doctors are worse, of course, they REALLY think they know what they are talking about), but Jehovah's Witnesses are fair game.

    Now if they had kissed the dog's ass...

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  24. tom
    mabel wouldn't have minded
    arse or nose
    she's not fussy

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  25. we get a lot of them around our way. They called on Sunday morning - I was washing the car so collared straight away - I politely say "not interested" but they make small talk about the weather etc. and leave a leaflet on the door step which I read over coffee.

    I fly into a rage over it - nothing to do with God - it was the English. It said in big letters.

    "What is your view of Jesus?" Not an unfair question, I do have a view of Jesus. However the next line was "You are invited to come and hear the answer"...

    Sorry?! I can't be it is my view, not your view, or you believe you can mind read my view and all the other peoples and tell us at the meeting... maybe I should go that'd be impressive... GRRR!!!

    Say something like "We have a view of Jesus we'd like to tell you about. You are invited... "

    It is like a questionnaire my old company did every year "In the last 7 days has your boss praised your work?" There was then a scale of 1 to 5... sorry?! That is a Yes or No answer what the hell does 3 mean on that scale? Yes he did but didn't mean it!

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  26. furtheron
    The last visit I had was 2 weeks ago
    that time the lady left me a leaflet for my partner ( as I said politely that I was not interested)!
    I took it and informed her that my partner was indeed a man.
    funny she didnt really discuss anything after that!

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  27. We don't get callers like that around us....hurrah, although it seemed to end up well for everyone...especially Mabel

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  28. In the 12 years at this house, JWs have shown up, maybe 2x. I think they are very brave to go through so much rejection. And I wonder if anyone ever invites them in. I just take the leaflet (trashing it later), say "no, thanks" and "Yes, I know," when they say God loves me as they leave

    Dogs are so honest and simple in what they want.

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  29. In the 12 years at this house, JWs have shown up, maybe 2x. I think they are very brave to go through so much rejection. And I wonder if anyone ever invites them in. I just take the leaflet (trashing it later), say "no, thanks" and "Yes, I know," when they say God loves me as they leave

    Dogs are so honest and simple in what they want.

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  30. They were banging on my door on Christmas Eve this past December and, of course, I really was busy. Then they came back a week later. I happened to have a tissue in my hand and told them I was sick. They used to bang on my door about ever couple of months. One time they even went to my back door and no one ever goes to my back door. They are so annoying to me. I think I will try that ketchup on the hands trick the next time!!!

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  31. I feel like that about Jehovah's Witnesses too John - I believe they have a certain quota to fill or something like that. My previous husband was gardening when they called once and when he said he wanted nothing to do with any of it, they said 'how can you be like that when you are working in such a beautiful God's garden' - he replied (and this was not original, he had read it somewhere) ' you should have seen it when god had it to himself - becore i got to work on it.

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  32. What a delightful ending to an unwanted visit!!! And I'm really chuckling over Kim's tactic - sacrifice!!! We don't get any solicitors here. 1., it's a very small rural town, fewer than 3000 souls, 2., "No Soliciting" signs at the entrance to our "affordable housing" apartments, and 3., our doors are inside an open-ended hallway so we rarely have a visitor we don't know. I did have one neighbor from the next building bring me a leaflet, and since I knew her I didn't want to be rude. I just smiled and told her I wasn't interested but she could talk about anything else. She continued to wave at and talk to me after that, but never again mentioned religion.

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  33. They've come several times, here, too. Most recently, they left a leaflet stuck in the door. I was either sleeping when they called or in the shower.

    When i first arrived here they came three times in as many weeks, which i found very annoying. The third time, i told the two older men that they really needed to have a discussion with their congregation when it came to visiting; they were the third pair, and i was losing patience. I was NOT interested, and frequent visits only made me MUCH stronger in my conviction to remain so.

    The cats usually hide when anyone comes to the door, so they were of no help. Love how Mabel wanted kisses and one of the ladies obliged.

    megan

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  34. What a lovely interaction. It will probably have made the lady's day. An elderly couple came the other day (haven't seen any for ages which is odd, what with all the earthquakes we've been causing!) I always pre-empt their spiel because I don't even want to be drawn into that stream of thought.
    As a mother with a new baby - either of us just having managed to sleep at any hour of the day - their door knocking was the work of the devil. But I've mellowed as sometimes the callers are actually neighbours or friends and I do feel for them in their relentless trudge of rejection. I say "I'll stand and chat but don't proseletyse at me." Once I took a woman I knew and her companion into the garden for rose cuttings and we had a lovely 25 minutes of 'normal' friendly time :-) But the woman the other day dared to ask me "when would be a good time to talk?" Aargh. I wished them a pleasant walk around the village, and the man let slip the frustration they must feel "We'll try." There was no kissing of Aelfy, who had come to show his Witch's Cat self on the step.

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  35. I have come across JWs in the bush miles away from sealed roads just on the off chance someone lived up a trail. They certainly are keen!

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  36. The trouble with JW's is that - and I may be wrong about this but a friend of a friend told me - according to therir belief, only a set number of people are going to be saved. A paltry number in fact when compared to the population of the world or even the membership of the JW's. So they're already full technically.

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  37. last time they came around was just after I set the field on fire and was having a fire in the fire pit and I told them all about it, they seemed nervous after that and left!!!

    Gill

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  38. In the past my answer to their and the Morman's query was to say 'yes of course you would be more than welcome to come in and share your views with me if you would also listen to my views and I'd like to know why your religion doesn't accept homosexuality'.
    I was polite and they were usually speechless.

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  39. well said jim
    if you read the comments you would have seen I mentioned chris to a previous caller..... which made her wince

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  40. John, What's that saying? 'Great minds think alike and fools hardly differ.'

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  41. anyone who kisses my dog can't be all bad :-)

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  42. One of the nicest ladies I ever met was a JW from England. She and her companion hit my house on a really sloooow day. I invited them in for some iced tea. We did this every Thursday for a couple of years, and it was really fun. They gave me booklets. I asked why everything was written for a 12 year old. We read the Bible together and argued about it vigorously. One lady brought her 8 year old son one day, dressed in a suit, and while we were talking my son Bob took him out to play in the irrigation ditch. Over the years I sold two paintings to the ladies. I found out that the JWs know more about who lives in every house in their area than the census people will ever know. Which is how they sometimes know your name. I think the ladies kept coming because my house was a break from the hostility they usually experience. This went on for quite a while, then one day some men showed up instead of the ladies. They were really pushy, pretty much saying that so much time had been invested in me, it was time for me to join their church. I said, "There's no way I'd ever join a church where the women go out and do all the work, but the men run everything." That was 15 years ago and I haven't had a JW at my door since.

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  43. interesting jan
    an interesting take on it

    I think unfortunately that JW have not moved with the times... door to door is just not acceptable anymore..
    perhaps I am biased just a little... they dont believe in gay relationships either!

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  44. I was always very impressed with the Bristol cohort, who would go into a great many pubs on Friday and Saturday nights to sell The Watchtower.

    I always find them really nice and polite, and take the literature. Then read it and do the double-take.

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  45. Took me a second to REALLY get the comic. LOL. It's sweet of you to turn her away politely, and adorable of her to make Mabel's day.

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  46. It's Mormons here.

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  47. You were a gentleman John and I'm sure they appreciated it.

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