I was sitting on the loveseat with my feet propped up, feeling the cool breeze on my neck from the window behind me, when Hubs made a startling bolt for the kitchen.
“What the heck was that all about?” I asked him.
He peeked around the kitchen doorway and said, “The church lady is here.”
“What ‘church lady’?” I asked, thinking my neighbor across the street was coming over.
He pointed out the window.
That meant I’d have to get up from my cozy position to see what the heck was going on.
All of a sudden he hollers, “She’s coming!” to the church lady.
Which didn’t give me time to hide behind the closet door.
Ding.... dong....! went the front doorbell.
I opened the door and put on my happiest brightest face.
There stood a tiny little Hispanic woman, clutching a sheaf of papers and a Bible in a zippered leather bookcover.
She smiled nervously and handed me a little folded sheet of paper.
I stood there and looked at it, back and front.
“Eet ees here ... thee church ...down town...,” she said.
“Oh! OK! Thank you — thank you very much!” I said, reaching out and shaking her hand.
She shook my hand nervously and scooted through the front yard and out past the propped open knee-high gate.
Hubs waited till the door was closed.
“What the heck!” he said, “It’s seven-thirty at night ... don’t these people ever stop?”
I held up the little paper and said, “I seem to recall that you were doing the same thing about 40 years ago for your own church. ‘Eet ees de bess shursh,’ you were hawkin’ the LDS church along with every other proselytizer on the circuit.”
“Was she LDS?”
For those of you unfamiliar with the LDS church, it’s “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” The Mormons.
“No. Apparently she’s from the church of Julio Iglesias.”
“Iglesia de Dios de le Profecia. Better known as ‘Julio Iglesias de Dios OhmyGoddos.’”
“You’re mean,” he said with a big grin, clinking a spoon in his coffee mug.
“Whatever. Jesus comes in every denomination, every language, every culture. Clearly. Except perhaps in the Middle East, where he originally hailed from.”
“There are Christians in the Middle East,” he informed me, as if I didn’t know.
“Yeah, but they are outnumbered by the myriad of hoodoovoodoo religions over there. There are just as many offshoot religions there as there are here. With just as much control over the people.”
“Ooooh girl. Better slow down. You’re walkin’ on glass now....”
“What. Ever. And don’t shake that spoon at me. You’re gettin’ coffee on the floor. Juanita’s pamphlet says they have services at 7 p.m. Loonies through Juvvies. We ought to go one night just so I can take notes.”
“You mean ‘Lunes y Jueves’ — Monday through Thursday.”
“Whatever, Video Professor. And Domingos at 7 p.m. Wasn’t that the name of the Indian that Ed Ames played on ‘Daniel Boone’?”
“Yeah. I think so,” said the man who can’t remember names or lyrics.
“No, no ... wait. It was ‘Mingo’!” I announced.
“Are you sure? I think it was Domingo,” he said.
“No, he wasn’t an Hispanic Indian. He was a full blooded Disney Indian. It was Mingo.”
“Ed Ames ... wasn’t that the guy who threw the tomahawk at the crotch of the cardboard man on Johnny Carson?”
“Yeah, that was him. Now, back to this little pamphlet. Why do you suppose we always get these folks knockin’ at our door?”
“I don’t know. They gotta knock somewhere.”
I looked out the window and realized what the deal was.
All of my neighbors have at least one dog, and all of my neighbors have gated driveways or yards or both.
Some have big gates.
Some have big dogs.
No doubt years of panhandlers, vacuum cleaner salesmen, dictionary or encyclopedia salesmen, and now the Jesus salesmen were enough to make them all barricade themselves in behind wood and metal.
What did we have?
A barely propped up three-foot high picket fence with a gate that doesn’t work. And a wide open driveway.
Our house is bare naked to the world.
“I urge you today to receive Jesus, the Spirit of love; into your heart as your Lord, Master, and Savior and He will give you the power to love God and your fellow being with all your heart.”
Which strikes me funny because I know that most of my neighbors are faithful church-goers on Domingos, but by golly they sure don’t want anyone coming to their front door to preach.
They run behind the closet doors, turn off the lights and the TV and cover the mouths of the little ones just like we do.
I should just hang out a sign that says “Solicitors and Proselytizers will be charged $10.”
I won’t need a dog or a fence for that one.