Maybe You Can Come Pick Me Up For Meetings

 

She was a big, disheveled, super-friendly and warm, black woman sitting on her wheeled walker outside Wegmans who said Hi! as I walked by. I stopped.
 
Can I ask you a question? she said. You see, she had to catch her bus – that one across the parking lot - she’d missed one and she was freezing, but the dog had eaten her money or something and she needed $3.
 
How do I know you’re on the up and up? I asked. She replied she guessed I didn’t but grab her hand and just feel cold she is. ‘Well, I can spare $3,’ I thought and handed it over.
I also gave her a card. ‘Just so you know,’ I said. ‘Do with it what you will on your own time.’
 
On seeing the card, she lit up. Do I know so-and-so? What about what’s-his-face? How is this one doing and that one and a third one? She was raised a Witness and went to the Hall (the same Hall I had gone to, though not at the same time) But she had not taken hold.
 
'I went to prison for a few years then I got hit by a car and then I went into a coma. They were going to pull the plug on me but someone said ‘no.’ She related all this in the most happy tone you can imagine, as though describing her day at the amusement park. Her appearance suggested that everything she said was true. She had every ‘right’ to be bitter and sullen but she wasn’t – a huge plus in my book. I’ve seen white people (and black) carry on and on with far less hardship.
 
‘I’m surprised that Wegmans didn’t chase her away,’ my daughter said. But had they tried it on my watch, I would have chased them away. As we chatted, a woman left the store and handed her three more dollars. ‘I said I would once I got change.’ ‘See? Now you can go home and come again tomorrow,’ I told her brightly.
 
I picked up some items inside and met her again just outside the door. A man was giving her money. ‘Yeah, they get awfully good at that,’ my daughter said, who does her ministry in the city and isn’t put out by such goings on at all. After all, it must be put in the context of a worldwide financial system which is itself a scam. ‘That’s why I love you, Dad,’ she said. ‘You never judge.’
 
Without the slightest encouragement on my part, she had brightly said: “Maybe you could stop by my place and take me to meetings again!” And maybe I can! Or maybe I’ll pass her story along to the aunt she mentioned, who would know the story better than anyone.
 
Panhandler_on_Powell_St.,_SF
My daughter told me of an elder (an old one) who had run across a homeless man who said he was disfellowshipped. The brother went farther than most and cupped the back of the guy’s head – you never know for sure how clean they are and where they’ve been sleeping. ‘Why don’t you come home? We’re waiting for you.’ The fellow did come home, got his act together, and is active with a congregation today.
 
Look, don’t try to con us. Jehovah’s Witnesses are more street-savvy than most. We work in all areas door-to-door, after all. We weren’t born yesterday. But we will make eye contact, and in the event we do give money, we will not insist upon letting go of it before you touch it.
 

How is Mr. Claus Doing on His Bible Study?

Brothers worldwide have flooded me with requests to report on how Mr. Claus is doing on his Bible study. Or at least you never know when they may start.

I am happy to say he has been doing very well. Ever since that recent Watchtower on beards he is enthused. He drinks in information during each study – he’s a very eager student. And he loves the meetings. It’s even a little annoying. If the speaker makes even the lamest attempt at humor – say, he makes some crack about the microphone being too high or too low for him because the previous speaker was a giant or a pygmy, Mr. Claus will burst out with an earth-shaking  ‘HO! HO! HO!’ which is beginning to get on everyone’s nerves.

In fact, he can be so disruptive that the elders asked him (and me – keep him company) to sit in the second auditorium. As we entered that room, he said to me that the elders were ‘bad.’ He’s very judgmental that way, always trying to separate the good from the bad.

Lately I have become concerned. He canceled his study for tonight. A ‘prior engagement,’ he said. Of course, I nosed around until I discovered what he intended to do. And I didn’t like it! Surely, it’s a violation of Bible principles! Of course, a new student progresses at his own rate or not at all – it’s completely up to him. But I will help him see how he can better please God.

“Of course, you do what you like. But you are making such good progress, and I know you want to move forward, so I will tell you things that haven’t yet come up in your study, and you can incorporate them as you wish,” I began.

“So, you really are going to fly throughout the whole world in a sleigh pulled by animals that don’t normally fly, through frigid weather, and slide down millions of chimneys (at your age and girth!) with presents in the middle of the night? That is clearly an extreme sport and disrespects the precious gift of life!” Christmas-1299235_1280

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Read ‘Tom Irregardless and Me.’    30% free preview

Starting with Prince, a fierce and frolicking defense of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A riotous romp through their way of life. “We have become a theatrical spectacle in the world, and to angels and to men,” the Bible verse says. That being the case, let’s give them some theater! Let’s skewer the liars who slander the Christ! Let’s pull down the house on the axis lords! Let the seed-pickers unite!


It Was a Terrible Translation

Thirty years ago I studied the Bible with a refugee from Czechoslovakia who adopted me like a grandson. I used ‘The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life’ in English, she in Czech. Several times she mentioned that Jehovah’s Witnesses in her country were the most crude and backward (she said ‘ignorant’) of people. Several times she mentioned that her book was a terrible translation. What was amazing was that it was a translation at all. Our people at the time were denied education. The regime saw to it they were fired from their jobs. If they subsisted, they did so because they had picked up shoe repair skills or somesuch. Time and again they were sentenced to prison. Upon release they were sentenced again.

Everyone else found it too inconvenient to not be able to buy nor sell without the mark of the beast. Jehovah’s Witnesses refused to give in. Valarietarico com wild beast

photo: valerietarico.com


The Grinch That Dissed Christmas

One fine Christmas Day, my wife was out driving. Our three or four year old daughter was in her car seat.

"Mom, let's stop at Wegmans so I can get a free cookie." It's a child-friendly policy Wegmans then had. (do they still?) Imagine - a free cookie just for showing up!

"Honey, we can't, Wegmans is closed today."

Wegmans closed? How is that possible? "Because today is Christmas."

My wife kept driving along and thought of all the other things she meant to do that day. Presently from the back seat came a low ominous epithet:

"I HATE Christmas!" the child grumbled. Image


It's a Conspiracy!

There is a local brother given to conspiracy theories..

He's a fine brother. I like him, as does everyone else. He keeps it under control. He never mentions it from the platform. At least, not during prayer.

How can one resist not ribbing him? God will understand.

I got the ball rolling myself, then sent several brothers his way. "Make up a conspiracy theory about the Supermoon. Doesn't matter what. Mention in passing that you heard about it." How long till he knows he's been set up?

His grandson latched on with the most enthusiasm of anyone. "Yeah! Tell him it's altered gravity, changing the price of gold!"Image

I'm worried that the visit of our circuit overseer may distract some from their practical joke duties. It's hard to find good help today. I didn't include the C.O. in my plot. He's already charged with counseling the same brother about taking the trapezoid shaped parking space, making it unavailable for me to park there when I show up in my trapezoid car.

No names, please, should you comment. I'll take it down. And post something worse about you!

 


The Angry Child

Jehovah continued speaking to Ahaz: "Ask for a sign from Jehovah your God; it may be as deep as the Grave or as high as the sky."


But Ahaz said: "I will not ask, nor will I put Jehovah to the test. Image


Isaiah then said: "Listen, please, O house of David. Is it not enough that you try the patience of men? Must you also try the patience of God?"...Isaiah 7:10-13


My wife thought the best way to picture this passage is to think of a petulant child trying the patience of a parent: "This is SO tiring! Can't you, for once, just do as you are told?"


photo: Gary Thomasen


Never Ever Trust a Brother that Drives a Bugatti Roadster

 

Don't trust them. They do nothing but make trouble.

'Here Tom, here's where you can buy wheels with snowtires mounted for your Fit! Isn't that a good idea? Just think how safe the missus will feel!'

Well, sure...anything for the missus...I bought them.

Who would think the stupid things require a non-standard socket to attach the lug nuts....not standard, not metric...something else entirely! I never knew there was such a thing.

And if you can get your head around that, what about the special 'hub adapters' required for each wheel?! Of course, they supply all those things, but I've yet to remember them when taking my car to the shop for seasonal tire change.

Who can put up with nonsense like this? It's my own fault...when the package arrived and said "Free Aggravation Included" I should have been tipped off. Image

It's not aggravation to Brother Bugatti. Such exasperating picayune stuff is the elixir of life to him! He thrives on it, like a hurricane gathering strength over warm water!

And this year changing the tires...someone had lost some (not all) of the hub adapters. Me? The tire shop? Brother Bugatti? Who knows?

Ah, well, if I must, I'll just buy more. Yeah...good luck on that! I don't remember where I ordered the things from. The likely source Brother Bugatti suggests is a no-go. "Don't you keep your paperwork?" he asks...he has paperwork for every car wash he's driven through since he was 16! No...not after two years...I don't.

Ah...wait. Here's the box from Gorilla Automotive. Yes...the wheel company does carry that brand. No, they won't sell them to me separate without proof that I bought them there...liability issues! Today I'll call Gorilla directly. I just hope the CEO isn't Harambe, who took a leave of absence three months ago and hasn't been heard from since.

I've never owned mounted snows in my life until Brother Bugatti came along. Nor even snows after seventies...All weather-tires work just fine. What was I thinking?

Mounted snows on all four tires are safer, says Brother Bugatti. Well, so are tank treads!

photo: Lothar Spurzem