If one is at a coffee shop in
the afternoon drinking large amounts of the house drip while working on one’s
pet book project, and one finds that one starts over-using, perhaps even abusing,
the bold button and other stylistic fripperies, and the
enormous list of largely unreadable fonts, and one’s sentences become long and unwieldy and
poorly punctuated (because who can punctuate so many clauses?), should one
assume that one has had enough, or maybe even an
excessive amount of coffee?




Still coffee-fueled, I walked
the mile to the local drug emporium to a. exercise myself; and b. purchase a
clear plastic report cover with a colorful slidey bar for Tigger’s science
project.  I walked fast because it was
getting late-ish and dark-ish, so when I got there I was out of breath.

Before I got to the door, I
was blocked by two Christians of unknown denomination, dressed in identical
starched white shirts, black pants, carefully placed name-tags, and
super-clean-cut hair.  The taller of the
two thrust a paper at me, bearing the officially approved white Anglo-Saxon
image of Jesus.

“Have you seen this picture
of the savior?” he asked me.

Here’s where I need help,
people.  Since I was in a hurry and out
of breath, I just raised my arms protectively and sidled around them as if they
were disease-ridden vermin.  But what I
wanted to do was say some clever-yet-civil version of “GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM

Because the practice of
proselytizing total strangers irritates the crap out of me (honestly, at least
get to know me before you inform me that I’m going to hell), I can never come
up with something witty in the heat of the moment.  I need a pat phrase I can whip out at the
appropriate time.  

In the past I’ve said something
like, “I’m Jewish.  We’re God’s Chosen
People, so I don’t need to be saved.” 
But that a. isn’t witty; b. isn’t exactly true; and c. potentially
invites further discourse, which is not the effect I’m after.

Any clever-but-civil


48 thoughts on “

  1. Too much coffee?  Too MUCH coffee?  Hmmmmm  I can’t wrap my mind around that.  Too much, can there be too much coffee, I mean that would entail a large number and combination of coffee drinks and supplements; like espresso beans coated in chocolate, and then some kind of espresso and an iced latte type drink, so that at some point there would be a possibility of having too much liquid like that lady who died of water poisoning which might be a concern if you drink too much coffee and do it really fast, but that doesn’t really mean too much coffee it’s more like to much liquid and that’s a concern but doesn’t really have to do with the caffeine intake and the beans involved, which might affect your spelling but does that constitute too much coffee or just an aversion to dictionaries.  Wait did that sentence ramble?  Oops

  2. I like the direct ‘get the fuck away from me’ approach (whether caffeine inspired or not).But I have lost all patience with organized religion.

  3. Although I’ve been accosted by “Christians” on numerous occasions, I must admit that none of them have ever asked me if I’ve “seen this picture of the Savior.” I be sorely tempted to reply with a couple questions of my own: “Great likeness, isn’t it? Do you know what kind of camera was used?”Oh wait. You wanted a clever but civil suggestion. Um…..nothing comes to mind. How about just rolling your eyes and saying “Oy Vey!”

  4. I’d say, “No, I haven’t!  Did you draw that?  Are you submitting it to that art school college thing?  It’s very good!  I like the turtle head better!”
    “Um, Jesus was white?!”  Then run away screaming.
    “Do you think Jesus walks around Heaven showing off your picture?”
    There’s more…heh.

  5. On the bright side, at least they weren’t knocking on your door at 8:00a on a Sunday morning…  Damn mormons…
    “If you’ll excuse me, ladies/gentlemen, but I stopped believing in imaginary friends after grade school.”

  6. The young men with the starched white shirts, black pants and carefully placed nametags are Mormons not Christians.  🙂  I often wonder how well that type of “evangelizing” works.  I find it uncomfortable.  I have to admire their zealousness….or their nerve…or something. 
    I would’ve been in “too much coffee mode” after the first one.  I’ve become a lightweight in my forties. 

  7. Speaking from the other side of the fence, I always preferred a simple “no thank you”.  And I never figured out what worked people up so much about two young men exercising their freedom of speech and religion on their own dime. 
    And steer clear of the “clever” thing.   If you really don’t want to talk with these folks, stick to a non-descript answer.  Otherwise you provide a “hook” for further conversation. 

  8. and to answer the commenter above, the “evangelizing” works to the tune of about a quarter million new subscribers a year (roughly half in the U.S., half elsewhere).  Man on the street contacting isn’t terribly effective – I think that most converts are friends of members – but it’s not without its merits either. 

  9. two Christians of unknown denomination, dressed in identical starched white shirts, black pants, carefully placed name-tags, and super-clean-cut hair
    I think you meant to say “two Christians of a denomination which shall remain nameless.”

  10. Tell ’em they might find Jesus faster if they had the picture printed on milk cartons.
    Yeah, that’s pretty snarky, but I hate religious proselytizing no matter where it occurs or what religion it comes from..

  11. My boyfriend USED to be one of those young men with the starched white shirts, black pants and carefully placed nametags. Except he was Jehovah’s Witness. Which might even be scarier. But, he only did the door-to-door thing as a child and teenager.Anyway, I asked him what good comebacks he’s heard from people who don’t want to hear the bullshit.He said that, by far, the best one was from a lady who answered the door with three children hanging about her hips: “I have to pee, would you like to follow me to the bathroom and talk to me there?”He said that his parents never took him to that house again.As a mommy, I suppose you’ll know what I’m talking about.I hope so at least.

  12. 1) “Why?  Has he been kidnapped?”
    2)  “My 6-year-old could draw a better picture with her eyes closed.”
    3)  “Ooooo you were so close.  I just now promised my soul to the Satanists working the corner down the street.”

  13. I was just thinking how I wish I got all wired by drinking coffee like most people do. I drink it and fall asleep
    I love Christians. Whatever level of intensity they have, I double it. If they say Hallelujah, I say Hallelujah put your hand on the radio Christ is coming SOOOOON hahahahaha
    Or sometimes I just thank them for caring about the state of my soul.

  14. It’s kind of hard to know how to respond to that even when you are a Christian – I feel it’s offensive to evangelize that way. Don’t those guys have friends they should be spending time with and not alienating strangers?

  15. They sound a lot like Mormons, what with the suits and all.  I saw two young men with black suits and ties, hair all slicked down, driving a car the other day and my first thought was, “They’re Mormons.  I’m glad I live in the country” (because they don’t often make it way out here).
    And even though I am a Christian, I did get a laugh out of Bad_Dogma’s comment about selling your soul already.  Isn’t he your brother?

  16. For future reference, we invented the black nametag.  It’s what separates us from the pack.  (It’s all about brand recognition.)
    Also, we don’t “save.”  We assimilate.  And it probably wasn’t your tattoo so much as the fact we can smell coffee a mile away. 
    P.S.  Never heard of club penguin.  Or heroin, for that matter.

  17. While I don’t condone the phrase you were thinking of, I do approve of the substance.   They’ve probably heard that and alot worse.   If  Bad_Dogma’s retorts don’t work perhaps you should consider Mace.  Whatever you do, keep Tigger and Little Bit out of the line of fire.   As a last resort call TechnoGeek who would put an end to the discourse fast.  

  18. I’ve been known to say, “excuse me, I’m in a hurry,” if they get any kind of answer at all. Most of the time, I just smile and keep going. I find that if you don’t feed the stray dog, it won’t follow you around. You might also want to complain to the management about it. The more people that make a complaint about being accosted, the faster they get escorted off the property.

  19. Confronting a Mormon (which is, sadly, what happened to you) is never an easy task, and it is the only condition under which I hurriedly describe myself as a Witch.  “I have been a proud, practicing Witch for the last nine years,” I say.  For some reason, the simple word “Witch” scares the hell out of them. Needless to say, the so-called fearless “Soldiers for Christ” *always* take a couple of steps back before they tell me to have a nice day, and hurry along their way. 

  20. Oh, but my husband has a very clever scenario which he has always wanted the opportunity to act out — He would tell them, very humbly and sincerely, that he is interested in what they have to say, but that he is only comfortable talking in the intimacy of his bathtub, and if they would simply follow him to the bathroom, he would draw a nice bubble bath, and they could all sit in the bath and talk together. 
    I’m dying to know how that plays out.

  21. Hand them something technical like a pocket periodic table and show sincere appreciation of science. I use pocket periodic tables but a pamphlet on evolution would work.

  22. Haha. Too funny. I’m a Christian and I also think it’s offensive to evangelize that way. The Jewish comment would have the wrong effect because it would invite a debate, rather than a stonewall. I’m not sure what the perfect response is…

  23. Sounds like Mormons to me. The Mormons gave up on me in 1989. Said they “couldn’t help me.” (Translation: they didn’t want to answer any more of my questions.) LOL! I like your brother’s answer (“Oooh, you were so close…”)

  24. Try, “Yeah, it is the same one I saw on the side of a milk carton last week.” Or if you are feeling really snotty, you can just say, “Getout of my way you heathen before I have Evelyn smite you!” and keep right on walking.

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