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TorgoX (1933)

TorgoX
  sburkeNO@SPAMcpan.org
http://search.cpan.org/~sburke/

"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Friday July 25, 2003
02:45 PM

Religion C.O.D.

[ #13692 ]
Dear Log,

So my house is being sort of refitted with new plumbing, which is surprisingly less of a hassle than I expected -- for me at least, the one who isn't doing any real work. But it means that the plumber and various contractors are constantly walking in and out. It's a bit distracting, but they're all nice guys, and they are exceedingly polite about knocking before entering, even if it's the dozenth time they've walked in today. Not even the cat minds them.

About noon today, I hear a knock at the door, and the cat fled. I should have known something was amiss about that, but by time I got to the door, it was too late: Door-to-door religion people, overdressed, and carrying thick bibles!

They were Jeehova's Witnesses, earnestly (and apropos of nothing) quoting some pap about how love is the root of all joy and health and pain and suffering. "THE root? So ALL pain and suffering is caused by love?" Non sequiturs followed. They were nice and said they'd come back later, but I mentioned that I have a very erratic schedule, and so they'd never know if I'd be awake. In a parallel universe where Jehova's Witnesses are shy Japanese people, they would have taken that to mean "GO AWAY AND NEVER COME BACK", all without an unpleasant word being exchanged. But this is not that universe. (Altho I do mostly like this universe --I wouldn't live anywhere else!)

So now I worry they may return. I want to say magic words that will make them whisk away without an unpleasant scene. I mean, I don't want to have to resort to simian behavior (screaming, poo-flinging) to make them go away.

I have been advised that the Jehova's Witnesses have a morbid fear of the occult, and that amusement (performance art) would ensue if I said "I was just consulting my HELLO KITTY TAROT DECK and it said there would be strangers with strange news -- ARE YOU THEM? Let's see what else the cards have to say! Here, pick one out of the deck..."

Now I gotta find where I put the deck.

Is there some other easier thing I can do? Like just say "Sorry, I was just baking a DEVIL'S FOOD CAKE!" to make them quietly shuffle away?

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  • There'll be no scene if you just tell them that you aren't in the least interested in their religion and ask them to never return. Then, just shut the door, don't allow them to respond.

    If they return, point out to them that in most jurisdictions continuing to solicit after you have been told to leave is criminal trespass and suggest that they leave immediately.

    • Won't work. They'll leave this time, but be back in a few months. There's no "Do Not Call" list for religious nuts.

      There are procedures involving writing a letter, but implementation at the congregational level is spotty at best. Average intelligence of JWs is not great, and personal consideration is quite low.

      I recommend freaking them out with occult symbols and objects. That'll spook 'em. They may even warn their friends not to go.

      • Funny. I've always found "Sorry, we're Jewish." to be simple, polite and quite effective. :-)
        • Hm. Well, I can't argue with success. But I know that when I was the irritator (as opposed to the irritatee), I wouldn't let a simple thing like Jewishness stop me. So maybe you've been lucking into the bottom, oh, 75 percent of the motivated and trained.
          • Maybe. There have been times where I had to politely repeat myself a few times. Usually, after the only response they get is "Sorry, we're Jewish", to each of five consecutive questions, even the heartiest witness seems to get the idea.

            Of course, this strategy doesn't work at all when dealing with Chabadniks [chabad.org]. :-)

        • I always thought the JWs got bonus points if they could convert a Jew - an original dissentor, so that remark would just encourage them. I mean really, if you can convert a Jew, you can convert anyone. Open a school and give lessons.

          As for myself, as I know that no friend of mine would knock on the door Saturday morning, soI just stay in bed and don't answer the door. If they can't reach you they can't convert you, that's my motto.

  • I suggest drawing an upside-down pentagram in ketchup on your door.

    If they still knock, ask them, "Will this take long? I'm afraid if I don't get the entrails out quickly, that goat will stink up the whole house."

    And if they still persist, tell them, "I'm sorry, I have to go. If I miss this phase of the moon again, the whole coven will just crucify, er, I mean, they'll get really mad at me."

  • I've heard that J.W.s have a thing against flags (something about it being a bit too close to idolatry). If you have a flag hanging in your window or off your porch or whatever, they don't come to your door.

    I don't know whether this is true or not.

    I don't know whether one needs a U.S. flag, or whether one could hang a Programming Republic of Perl [www.ora.de] flag or other banner of choice.

    Google confirms their distaste for the flag, but seems silent on the issue of whether one would serve as an effective ward.

    -matt
    • I don't know whether one needs a U.S. flag, or whether one could hang a Programming Republic of Perl flag or other banner of choice.

      I recommend a good Martian flag [crwflags.com].

    • Flags don't work. All they do is give the JW something to start talking about with you. "Really believe in this country? Well, God's kingdom can do more than any human government..."
  • They have to come through a door. Leave them a message. Don't use profanity, that could come back to haunt you -- just something simple like "Atheist Here, Conversions Unnecessary."

    That, or slap together a quick pamphlet on Cthulhu to hand them when they get back. Say, "I wanted to speak with you as well, that's why I was excited to have you back! <insert Cthulhuoid religious statement, such as 'Cthulhu loves you extra-crispy' or something> Would you take this pamphlet about my Lord? Cthulhu f

    --

    ------------------------------
    You are what you think.
    • "Atheist Here, Conversions Unnecessary" is just giving them an idea of which spiel to use -- in this case, they'll use the one about Intelligent Design evidence for God's work.

      Scare 'em with pentacles, tarot, ouija boards, and the like.

      • Seems strange to me that flags, atheism, and Judaism don't deter them but the occult would. To me as a Christian, occultism is just like any other sin. Doesn't scare me in the slightest, and I would believe they need Jesus just as much.

        I've done door to door religion, and to get me to go away and not come back, all you had to do was give me a polite "no." Guess I'm a bit different than the Watchtower folks.

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
  • too much Zippy lately :)