The dog runs to the front door, barking madly through the windows at the visiting strangers. I peek through and see a well-dressed elderly man and woman. Not the kid next door. Not the gas company warning me of imminent explosion. I open the door, if only to let the dog get his head out and scare the interlopers away. Before I get the door open, the man is shoving a copy of the Watchtower through.
Um, no thanks. I'm more a daily newspaper kind of guy, and despite my history of finding nice, polite ways to say no thank you to Jehovah's Witnesses intent on converting me, I find myself more than a little angry that they consistently fail to heed the "No Soliciting" sign on the door and the mezuzah - which indicates a Jewish home - on the door jamb.
He jokingly refers to my dog as "cross". I tell him our dog is anything but, that all he wants to do is say hello to anyone who visits, that I'm the one who's cross, because our visitors have yet again failed to read the signs on the door and have chosen to violate our privacy.
"But we're not soliciting," he says.I think this is the point where I lose it. It isn't just his "you people" choice of phrasing - it's his tone, condescending and paternalistic, as if it's his G-d-given right to redirect me onto the so-called righteous path. Sorry, but this conversation needs to end, and now. I firmly explain what "No Soliciting" means to me. I firmly ask to be removed from consideration for future visits. I firmly rebuke them both for violating my Sabbath before sending them on their way to harass my neighbors.
"You're selling something, and it's not something I wish to buy," I counter.
"We only wish to discuss Jehovah," says he.
[I point at mezuzah] "Do you understand that this means we're Jewish? That we're quite comfortable within our faith and that we have no interest in being converted?" I ask.
"Some of you people do like to speak with us," he answers.
Later, as I head out with the now-calm dog for a walk, I see them get into their car (metallic green Ford Five Hundred, Ontario plate AMWX 956) and drive off. No conversions today. And if they return, next time I won't hold the dog back.
Your turn: Doorstep missionaries. Pro? Con? How do you get rid of 'em.