Tuesday, 5 June 2012

How to Stop Nuisance Callers: Beware the Men in Black

I was walking Patch the Dog (PTD) this morning, as Mrs H who normally does the morning walking duties is away in Caernarfon accompanying our youngest at yet another Urdd National Eisteddfod! It's become almost an annual event that one of our offspring makes it through to the National Eisteddfod (and gets on TV!). And to think I couldn't even get a first prize in my school Eisteddfod!

Anyhoo, there I was walking back to Hurley Towers with PTD, gaily swinging my bag of dog pooh, when I spotted them! In their long dark coats, clutching their files and cases!

You are wondering who they are no doubt. Could it be a Bourne film - are they CIA or MI5 operatives looking to "take down" PTD and I?


Who were the MiB?
Might they be the fabled Men in Black? Would they ask me weird questions (about UFOs and the strange man across the road who seems unkempt, shuffles in his baggy-arsed jeans and is too large for his small car) before wiping my memory?


Might they be debt or rent-collectors, the Rackmans of the 21st Century out to  take my hard-earned money for some outstanding bill overlooked in the chaos of everyday life?


Might they be spies for some enemy agency? Perhaps scouts for Rugby League teams out to bribe me to start supporting strange Northern teams and betray my beloved Wales? Or agents from London Pride or some Burton-on-Trent based brewery out to offer me free beer in return for turning my back on Brains glorious brews?


Perhaps they were secret RSPCA agents out to confiscate my frogs from the pond or the chickens from our run?


Perhaps they were Anglicans out to canvas my support for women priests, pooftahs in the clergy, and to shake my belief in Transubstantiation and the Real Presence?


It was worse.

These were indeed enemy agents in our midst. They would send shivers of fear up the most hardened and resolute spines. As I passed them I saw the literature sticking out of pockets, fists and cases: these were Jehovah's Witnesses! On our Holy soil!

I was rehearsing my speech to them as I continued home and got PTD in. As Mrs H was away I could really let fly without fear of (another) clip around the ear for being just so outspoken.

I gave PTD his treat for (semi) behaving on our walk, and put the kettle on. I am nothing if not cultured. Oh, just in case I should say that I put the bag of dog pooh out the back in our special bin, then washed my hands. I don't want you thinking I act nonchalantly or in a lackadaisical manner when it comes to handling dog faeces! Perish the thought.

I made my tea. I even popped some bread in the toaster. I am nothing if not extravagant with my celebration of life: no dour Presbyterianism in Hurley Towers. No siree.

I waited. sipped tea. And waited. Munched toast. And waited. Gave PTD a crust. And waited... But knock there came none.

The lesson here is clear, for all men of goodwill and anyone who doesn't like CIA-Men in Black-Rackman lookalikes knocking on their door at all hours of the day. And I, in my status at Captain Charitable and Mr. Caring-Sharing 2012 am willing to divulge my secret to you all (fees are discretionary, if you wish to send me a fiver - no problem).


When you open the door to Jehovah's Witnesses do not:

  • Fling it shut
  • Say "sorry I'm busy"
  • Mumble something and close the door.
  • Say "no thank you" politely.

These are fatal errors. They will see you as a "challenge" and mark their little notebooks as such, and try and get you again when they next swing their infernal machinery of proselytising into town. Any of these replies/responses or similar will guarantee you another visit from those promoting error and annoyance.

This is what you have to do. I know because I did it and they have never knocked since:

You ask: When was your church started? They answer (19th Century or some such).
You ask: Do you believe in Jesus Christ? They answer (yes).

You then say: We are Roman Catholics. Our Church was founded by Jesus Christ who made St Peter the first Pope. You are promoting heresy and a false church founded by a conman. Plead forgiveness from God, convert and get to Confession. You are in danger of losing your souls by promoting heresy.

You do all this with a firm, almost stern look on your face so they know you are deadly serious and far from joking.

They will mark you in their book as a 'lost cause' perhaps, or maybe they will view you as dangerous and a possible means to lose some of those they send on their missions to subvert the goodly people of these lands. Either way, it seems they will not send another heretic to your door.

And who knows - when castigating them, your charity may reap some reward by planting the seed of Truth in their minds. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but one day.

And: you need never fear getting that knock on the door the next time you're in the bath, up a set of ladders, changing a baby's nappy, putting the finishing touches to a great work of art - or otherwise indisposed.

Here endeth the lesson.

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