"Madame, bear in mind That princes govern all things--save the wind." -Victor Hugo, The Infanta's Rose

Sunday, March 12, 2006

All along the Watchtower

Having been up late Friday night, I was fast asleep when the doorbell rang Saturday morning at about 9 AM. Throwing on my robe, I staggered to the door and opened it to find two well-dressed, middle-age black ladies standing on my doorstep. Upon seeing me in my tatty robe, oxygen hose, and general state of disheveledness, the women's faces had a look that I can only describe as a combination of shock and horror. We stared at each other for several uncomfortable seconds; I was too groggy to think to ask what they wanted, and they were too stunned by my appearance to say anything. Finally one of them spoke.

"We came unannounced, and I see that you're not dressed," she said, quite deliberately and v-e-r-y slowly. Before I could comment on what a brilliantly astute observation this was, she dug into the bag she was carrying and handed me a pamphlet. "Let me just leave this for you to read." The other woman said nothing, but continued to look horrified.

As I glanced at the tract she had given me (right), the reason for their visit became immediately clear: they were Jehovah's Witnesses. "All Suffering SOON TO END!", it said. After another awkward pause, I looked her in the eye, shook the pamphlet for dramatic effect, and replied in a grave tone, "Lady, I can definitely use this". I am not sure if it was my oxygen hose, my half-tied robe and hairy legs, or my general demeanor of a bear aroused from hibernation, but they looked like they were about to faint. I thought I heard the second woman whisper "Sweet Jesus!" under her breath as they quickly turned and left.

The pamphlet contained the usual Biblical gloom-and-doom: "All the evidence shows that Jehovah's toleration of wickedness and suffering is nearing its end. Soon God will intervene in human affairs by destroying this entire unsatisfactory system of things." Hmmmm. Apparently they've been consulting with that well-known religious prophet, Alice Cooper.

But before tossing it, I had to chuckle at the uncanny similarity to this recent post describing my fantasy of winning the Moose cookie sweepstakes (only without the dancing girls and check for ten million dollars). Even stranger: look closely at the pamphlet, and notice that it prominently features a picture of a large moose. I'm not sure what this has to do with the "end of suffering", but you must admit it's an odd parallel.

Coincidence? Fate? Or did I miss seeing the face of Jesus one of Moose's chocolate chip cookies? You be the judge:


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