For many years, I had members of a heretofore-unnamed religious group plaguing me by knocking on my door every couple of weeks. While I appreciate their fervor in wanting to save my soul from eternal damnation—and I agree, I probably require more assistance in that department than most—I feel that I am the captain of my own soul, so to speak, and I have the responsibility to find my own way to a safe shore or go down with the sinking ship.
Also, I belong to the Unitarian Universalist Church. While most churches have a cross over the entrance—the Unitarian church has a big Question Mark. We don’t tend to get rabid about the superiority of one doctrine or denomination over another. I don’t presume to speak for all Unitarians, but I’m pretty sure one of the core beliefs is that God isn’t going to bail on whole groups of people because they don’t have all the right answers—directly from the horse’s mouth. Besides, my God is made in my image…in that She has breasts and a vagina.
Because of my refusal to be saved by them, I swear I became a training ground for new recruits. There they would be when I opened the door, all fresh-faced with rapturous zeal. I would mutter, “Oh, for chrissake” and they would beam in agreement. Let me explain: I have a very long driveway that leads to a secluded property in the country that has a sign that says “Private Drive.” It actually takes some effort to find me…and because of this seclusion, I like to putter around outside in varying degrees of dress or undress.
The crowning invasion of my privacy was one day when I heard a muffled, “Help.” It was coming from the other side of my front door. I heard it again, a little more insistent this time, “Help!” I swung open the door and there was one of the proselytizers standing stone still with my dog, Florence’s teeth firmly embedded in the man’s wrist. Every time he tried to move, Flo would growl ferociously and sink her teeth in a little firmer. I wanted to grin and say, “Good dog!” but instead, I said politely, “I already have a vacuum cleaner, thank you” and I closed the door.
After this episode, I visited our local police to see what I could do to stem the tide of saviors. They said if I had a sign that said “No Soliciting” then it would be illegal for anyone to come down my drive for that purpose. So that’s what I did. I made a sign that said:
“NO SOLICTING—AND THIS MEANS YOU!”
and I put at the end of my driveway. It seemed to work like a charm for quite some time.
One day, on a blistering hot, muggy summer day, I was nailing up some wooden lattice on my grape arbor/outdoor bed in the back yard. On this particular day I had on a fabulous outfit—which consisted of nothing except a beautiful swath of antique, hand-beaded needlework that I got at a Native American auction in Los Angeles. The exquisite beadwork was on very soft doeskin that I assume was meant to be a bib front for a ceremonial dress or shirt. It was a beautiful piece and I tied it around my waist and wore it like a loincloth. There wasn’t enough material to cover my butt, but that was okay, I thought it looked stunning. (Please do not panic. Now, in my sixties, I would never attempt this look. It would be way too terrifying.)
I was sweating bullets. It must’ve been 102 degrees. I had rivulets of sweat and dirt running down my torso. The dirt caked under my breasts and in the creases and rolls of my fat. I was covered with a sticky film of grime and perspiration. My face was streaked with mud. That’s when I heard Flo give a warning bark. I turned to see some people getting out of a car in my driveway. The women had on dainty lace collars. My mouth dropped open. I couldn’t believe it. It got many degrees hotter as my blood began to boil.
My friend, Kudra, was working in the vegetable garden. To this day, she still talks about seeing this barbaric, prehistoric being—a dirty blur of slick skin and fringe and bright colored beads streaking across the back yard. An apparition that was slowly raising a hammer as it ran. I knew my bare breasts were swaying crazily from side to side as I ran but I didn’t care. By the time I got to the car, the hammer was high above my head. I was shaking with rage.
I roared, “Tell me you’re not soliciting!”
The group looked horrified. They dove, en-mass, into the car and screeched in reverse and peeled out down the road in a cloud of dust.
It’s been years now. I haven’t seen anyone since. I highly recommend this technique—kind of a knockers for knockers technique—to rid yourself of unwanted, evangelical visitors.
~Carol Leonard, Bad Beaver Publishing, Copyright 2013.