Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Jehovah's blog.

NO BLOGGING till this weekend, at the earliest. Got other things to do the rest of this week.

As I walk to the train station in the morning, the home stretch of my path takes me along a road that leads into the station parking lot, which is enormous. This morning, I noticed a white SUV, one of the relatively small ones, hesitating in the middle of that road, before turning into the parking lot and stopping. A woman gets out of the vehicle and crosses the road, heading toward me. I figure she wants to ask me directions. That happens to me a fair amount; I've even been asked directions in London, more than once.

She was tall, slender and black, no more than 25 and impeccably dressed. "Here, I have this for you," she says, handing me a copy of The Watchtower. "Have a nice day." I thank her, for I am reasonably polite most of the time, and she walks back to her SUV. A few minutes later at the station, I look around to see if she was continuing her missionary work there, but don't see her. Metra, the commuter rail authority, probably takes a dim view of that sort of thing, and I'm not up on the latest litigation on whether Metra can prohibit Jehovah's Witnesses et al. from distributing material at train stations (I would guess that yes, Metra can).

I knew a kid in junior high who was a Jehovah's Witness. That's about the extent of my experience with that sect, besides receiving copies of The Watchtower occasionally, and maybe discussing it a bit in a comparative religion class. It's been a while since anyone came to me proselytizing, but like most North Americans I've been the vector for duos of Mormons, Krishna Consciousness devotees at airports, Jews for Jesus pamphleteers, freelance fundamentalists and others.

Back in '95, Yuriko and I were walking around downtown Manhattan when someone who looked Hasidic approached me and asked, "Are you Jewish?" I told him no, and he wandered off. Guess he wanted to talk secular Jews out of their secular ways. In Copenhagen one day 20 years ago, my friends and I passed a storefront with a young woman standing in the door. She had bright red hair and big fleshy lips -- funny, what you remember -- and suddenly she said to us, in what must have been Danish-accented English, "Would you like to become more intelligent?" She held up a copy of one of L. Ron Hubbard's books. All three of us picked up our pace.


Post a Comment

<< Home