…Who’s That Knock, Knock, Knocking on My Door?

The snake charmer?

When I was a kid, growing up in little Kitchener, Ontario in the mid to late 1970’s, we rarely had people come knocking on our door.

The oil man (coming to feed our hungry oil burner), the phone repair lady (and her bumbling assistant Mardy) or the door-to-door encyclopaedia salesman who showed up one day with his glossy brochures ~ but was only welcomed until he revealed the price of each volume.  Not very vibrant visitors.

The most excitement ever caused by a knock on our door was usually the occasional Saturday morning solicitation by folks from local religious communities wanting to “save our souls”.   We always knew it was them when, after a minute or two of hearing the doorbell, we’d suddenly catch the sound of our mother’s frustrated voice pelt out a phrase like, “Are you here to peddle your religion again?”    We’d perk up, bend an ear and usually giggle as she’d go off on a tangent about how “…If I want to talk to God I close my eyes and pray and don’t need you or anybody else to tell me how to do it!”   One of the few things that ever transformed my mother into The Hulk was having somebody force-feed her dogma on a Saturday morning while she was doing the laundry, getting us breakfast or one of a million other self-less tasks she was usually involved in.   Perhaps that is why, as an adult myself now, I have such a strong reaction to people selling “one size fits all” theology.

Anyway…. you can well imagine how exciting it is for me to have quite a different assortment of solicitors in my neighbourhood now, than I did when I was a kid.

Oh, we still get the run-of-the-mill visits from bumbling repairmen, door-to-door salesmen and even local religious zealots reminding me of God’s wrath if I don’t say my prayers in their company or donate to their particular place of worship ~ but none of them can compare to the shifty snake charmer who shows up ever once in a while with his reed pipe, colourful sack and cobra….or the Oh-so-serious ISI (Inter-Service Intelligence) guy who likes to pop in occasionally to ask me random questions about who I am, why I’m here and if I have a pen that works so he can jot down my answers…or the fun (but often flippant) hijrahs in bright garb who clap outside the gate seeking money in exchange for their prayers, but provide often scathing insults if ignored or refused.

The only visitor who could top these?  Well, maybe a mix of all the above!    Prince ~ offering to sing me articles from The Watchtower on a Saturday morning. 😉

Categories: Community, Personal Philosophy

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10 thoughts on “…Who’s That Knock, Knock, Knocking on My Door?

  1. …It must be pointed out that, I am a HUGE Prince fan and have been since I was 12 years old. I love most of his music, admire the majority of his approach to the music business and respect his religious convictions, even though they may differ from my own.

  2. Lol!! Thank you for cheering up my day 🙂 your awesome blog, always brings a smile to my face. Interesting neighborhood you live in….. Makes me somehow want to visit n see the snake charmer, the kind gas reader man, and all the different but fascinating people in your stories 🙂 wishing you a very happy everyday!!!

  3. Junaid

    dawud my man you really have seen it all!

  4. You’ve topped me with the snake charmer, my friend.. but I do miss the old man who would come down the street to sharpen our lawn mower blades and knives 🙂 what a life he must have led.

  5. I waited a long time before I got my first visit from those local religious folks you mentioned. I had my own little booklet prepared and ready to give them, as a thank you. They didn’t seem very interested in discussing my bookle as much as their own though…

  6. Thanks Loefemia! Many happy days to you as well.

  7. Hahahaha…. still never found a four leaf clover though, no matter how hard I look. Mind you, I have a jar full of dried three seeded maple keys I’ve collected over the years… so perhaps that’s even better! 😉

  8. Ah yes – indeed, we have an uncle in the neighbourhood EXACTLY as you have described. An elderly man with a long white beard and bicycle that has a knife sharpening wheel attached to it. On the handle bars is a board with all sorts of kitchen knives for sale. My daughter used to be afraid of him whenever she’d see him, then once I stopped to chat with him while my daughter was with me now whenever she sees him she says, “There’s Aba’s friend!” I guess it is common that we fear what – and who – we don’t know. The best remedy for fear: chatting and learning. Thanks Annie. I’ll say hi to the Knife Sharpening guy for you next time I see him. 😉

  9. …ain’t it always the way? Everybody wants to talk but nobody wants to listen. Crazy – you’d think “one mouth and two ears” on every human in existence would be enough to remind people which is more important. Hope you are as inspired as ever my friend and that your paint brush is busy these days.

  10. Iffatali

    One mouth and two ears – EXACTLY Brother Dawud! Exactly! But as you said – Most people are only interested in getting themselves heard!

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