Would You Like to Join My Religion? No? What if I Gave You a Boring, Sneaky Brochure?
I think the Jehova’s Witnesses are targeting me specifically.
I don’t know what it is. Maybe I had a little too much fun on my birthday and it pissed them off. Maybe one of them saw me hand out fliers for a comedy show and thought those skills would translate well into handing out pamphlets about the bible or whatever but they’ve got it in for me.
The latest sneak attack happened this morning when I was on a walk in my ongoing attempt to be less goddamn fat. I was walking down lake street when a woman in a van parked on the side of the road leaned out the passenger side and said “would you like something to read?” and handed me a pamphlet.
I took the pamphlet to be polite, gave her a quick nod, mumbled “thank you” and kept walking. I didn’t need to look at it to know it was a Jehova’s Witness thing. Of course it was. Nobody else just gives you something to read without first explaining what they’re handing you. Even the Mormons are nice enough to wear uniforms and ask up front if you want to talk about Jesus. The Jehova’s Witnesses just hit and run. They want you to convert but won’t say it out loud in public. It’s Jehova’s Witness Protection Program (#mynewbandname).
The biggest pamphlet assault against me happened several years ago. I was doing mortgage collections for a huge bank (let’s call them Fells Wargo). It was an awful job. I was making huge paychecks via commission and just blowing them on booze every night to try to forget what I did to earn the money to buy the booze. Almost every day at work was spent hungover and the person sitting next to me was a Jehova’s Witness.
She never said she was. She let her pamphlets do the talking.
Sometimes the calls were slow and since the internet had a “block anything fun” filter on it I would usually bring in a book to read. Once we were working together on Christmas eve because I needed the money and it was just another day to her. There were no calls coming in and I spent most of the day reading Siddhartha. At one point in the day she looked at the book in my hands and said “Siddhartha? What’s that book about?” I told her it was a story about a man in India who left his home searching for enlightenment in the time of Buddha.
She said “Hm. He sounds like a good man. Do you know who the best man ever was? Jesus.”
A few weeks later I was at my desk reading and she was at hers looking at me, just searching for a way to start a conversation about Jesus. She reached into her purse and said “you like reading so much. I got something you can read if you like.” and handed me a pamphlet that said “How Can Blood Save Your Life”.
You can read the whole pamphlet here. It basically starts out with some 6th grade science about what blood does and then tells you you shouldn’t get blood transfusions because the bible said “”Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. . . . But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it” (i.e. don’t eat raw meat, dumbass). Then they liken blood transfusions to cannibalism and say it’s unsafe because it was unsafe 200 years ago.
She asked what I thought and I told her that I donate blood regularly, showing her my red cross card. I then told her a couple of personal stories of relatives and friends who would have died without blood transfusions and then she said “I don’t know… having someone else’s blood in me just seems weird. Yuck!” During my break I went to my supervisor demanding to be moved to a different desk.
The very next day I moved to my new desk but only worked a half day because I was driving up to a small town in North Dakota to tell some jokes. I was driving up with the host and headliner telling them about the Jehova’s Witness who wouldn’t leave me alone and the pamphlets. When we arrive at the hotel and check in I look at the coffee table in the lobby and it’s strewn with Watchtower magazines. I yell out “THEY FOLLOWED ME” and the front desk clerk looked at me and said “What?”
I said “Nothing! Inside joke… ha ha” and he looked at me like I was crazy which was good because then maybe he wouldn’t talk to me about Jesus.