September 15th, 2012


I really should quash these sorts of impulses

So, it's a Saturday morning, and I'm doing some fairly typical Saturday morning puttering in the kitchen: brewing a cup of tea, hardboiling some eggs, listening to early Tiamat. The doorbell rings.

Normally, I'd completely ignore this. But the music and the prospect of imminent tea have me feeling cheery, confident, outgoing. (Strange but true: listening to death metal often gives me strangely warm and fuzzy feelings about humanity in general.) Maybe it's the new neighbors from up the street come to say hello., I think. Maybe it's the postman with that DVD I ordered from Germany. Maybe it's some folks canvassing for a local politician. Whatever. I can handle it. What's the worst it could be?

I open the door and there are two adorable gray-haired ladies clutching copies of The Watchtower.

Dear Universe: That last question was meant to be rhetorical.

"Hi!" lady on the right says.

"Hi." I try to quash the expression of terror that I think has probably crept onto my face. Remember, they can smell fear. Or is that Mormons? No, wolves, actually.

"I love your T-shirt!" lady on the right says. I am wearing a T-shirt that says "<GEEK>" on the front. Most of you who hang out with me in person frequently have probably seen it.

"Thanks." I guess in Silicon Valley even the Jehovah's Witnesses speak XML. I am trying to remember where I put my social skills. I think maybe they're still in my other pants.

The nice lady on the right starts talking about Doomsday, and mentions aliens, assorted cataclysms, and the Mayan calendar. "Do you think the world is going to end?"

"No." I can't bring myself to just shut the door in their faces, so I'm going to have to string this along until my brain remembers how to produce something more than monosyllables. I'm also thinking that if the Jehovah's Witnesses are using science fiction scenarios to proselytize, the nerds really have won.

"And that's exactly what the Bible says! Psalm 37:29: 'The righteous themselves will possess the earth, and they will reside forever upon it.' What do you think about that?"

It sounds all right, but I prefer the original Hebrew? I suspect that we would strongly disagree on who constitutes 'the righteous'? I wonder if my tea is ready yet?

"I dunno about the righteous, but sure." Oh, a nearly complete sentence. I'm working up to trying to explain that given my religious and philosophical outlook, they'd have considerably better luck talking to the tree in the front yard, but they've evidently decided that they've achieved as much as they could hope to achieve with this interaction, so they leave me some literature and depart.

And now I remember why I don't answer the door when the doorbell rings on Saturday morning.