Joe

I was stung by a bee on Saturday morning.

I was weeding the flower beds in front of our house when a bee flew up my pant leg and got stuck between my thigh and the fabric. It wasn’t a big deal. I’ve been stung before and I’m sure I’ll be stung again someday. Still it was pretty uncomfortable. No sooner did this happen when Joe parked in front of our house. Joe is out neighbourhood Jehovah’s Witness representative.

I will preface the rest of the story by pointing out that I am an atheist. I always have been. Nobody is going to change my mind on that matter and if you don’t share my beliefs that’s fine with me. I’m not going to try to convince you to think the way I do because respect everyone’s right to believe whatever they choose. Just as long as you don’t use your preferred book to justify hurting anyone, of course. Different strokes and all that. It’s all about just agreeing to disagree and moving forward.

While I appreciate freedom and diversity, like many people, I’m not a big fan of the door to door approach to selling religion. I don’t think your faith should be peddled like a vacuum cleaner. It’s tacky and intrusive. Still, I’m not rude when they drop by. I’m just not like that.

Joe entered our life a few months ago when Jeremy answered the door to him and was polite enough for him to perceive some degree of interest. Since then, he’s been back every few weeks to drop of the latest literature. I avoid answering the door as much as possible. I know I should just tell him to bugger off, but I hate confrontation. Unfortunately, he caught me off guard on Saturday morning.

“Joe,” I said as he walked toward me as I hobbled in the direction of the house, “this really isn’t a good time, I’ve just been stung by a bee.”

Joe just smiled, picked up his pace and followed me to the front door where I was dying to get inside and relieve myself of my pants. The afore mentioned bee was still at large under my clothes. He caught up with me and began showing me the highlights of the latest issue of their magazine. Trapped, I just stood there shaking stomping my foot, swatting and shaking my leg while Joe prattled on.

Just when I thought he was done, he pulled another magazine out of his case and began looking for a particular page. “Here’s a good article about orangutans,” he pointed out, “but that’s not where I come from,” he said with a chuckle, and looked at me like we were sharing a little joke.

Losing my patience, I interjected, “that’s funny, because that’s actually where I come from.” He paused for a moment and resumed talking as though I hadn’t. I shouldn’t have been surprised, he was oblivious to the fact that I now had my hand down my pants (still fighting with the bee), so I guess telling him I believe in evolution was bound to go over his head. In fact, I got the impression that I could have been having a massive coronary and he would have been too focused on his agenda to notice.

Eventually I went in the house, shut the door behind me and finally removed my pants to soak my wounded leg, fuming all the while. I’d been nice up until now, being kind and respectful, not wanting to hurt his feelings but he failed to offer me he same courtesy. Now I’m angry. I really want to get rid of this guy once and for all but after our recent encounter I worry that it’ll be impossible. He doesn’t seem to hear me when I speak.

Has anyone else ever had this problem? What should I do? Write a strongly worded letter? Get a restraining order? Move? Join?

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