My kingdom for a Girl Scout


A stranger just rapped on our door — a grandmotherly type with a wide smile blanketing her face.

Before she raved about our lovely boxwoods — which look pretty ratty right now — I’d already sized up her polyester ensemble, her sensible shoes and the subcompact car she abandoned in the drive. Random stranger….overly cheerful….tin can on wheels…she was definitely one of “Them.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses frequently flutter to our house, which begs the question: do these guys prey on farmers? Are rural communities prime real estate to peddle salvation?

In all the time I’ve lived in the ‘burbs, the garden variety of solicitors came knocking: chimney cleaning services and carpet cleaners. Kids selling magazine subscriptions and wrapping paper. Church do-gooders and firemen brandishing collection boots. But Jehovah’s Witnesses weren’t in the regular rotation.

So why now? And why can’t we get the bratty preteen pushing Girl Scout cookies, for Christ Sake? I’d buy a boat-load of Tagalongs if it would spare us the doorstep evangelists.

If I had any guts, I would have shocked polyester Granny out of her support hose. I should have said, “I’d love to talk but the kids are chained up in the basement.” Or “Great timing, I’m about to roll a fattie.”

Or, if I’d brushed up on my Jehovah’s Witness trivia, I would have announced that I believe in blood transfusions, military service, Christmas, Easter, and birthdays. She’d have to denounce me. “It’s Armageddon for you!”

But no. I told Granny the truth. The farrier’s due any minute to shoe the horses. “No problem,” she said. “I’ll just come by another day.”

Fortunately, she didn’t leave me empty handed and I’ve got some nice bedtime reading. Thanks, JW’s!