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. 😉