(posted by t.j. peters)
An Open Letter to the Non-English Speaking Jehovah’s Witness Who Came to My Door Over the Weekend.
First off, I’d like to apologize for calling you Ming. I’m not even sure if that’s a real Asian name, and if it is, it could very well be a male one. I hope that doesn’t come off as racist or ignorant. Unfortunately, you and I never exchanged a formal introduction, as your English skills are limited to the point that you cannot memorize and recite the phrase, “Hello, my name is Ming” at the beginning of a conversation. But to be fair, I didn’t introduce myself, either, so allow me to now. Hello, my name is Baseball. (I’ll call myself whatever I want since it’s all gibberish to you, anyway.)
I’d like to revisit my favorite part of our conversation, if you don’t mind. I think it could serve as a valuable learning tool for your continued door-to-door canvassing. As you’ll recall, before I had a chance to determine if you were a neighbor I didn’t recognize or a delivery woman, you shoved a magazine into my hands that featured the cover story, “Alcohol in Our World”. From there, our conversation went as such:
A-co-hoel? You like?
Um, I’m not sure.
You like? But does God think? Hmmmmmm?
It was at this point that you gave me an incredibly sassy grin, certainly because you felt like you really set the hook with that final incomprehensible question. It was also the point when I realized that the magazine you handed me was called Witness!, which prompted me to give it back and politely say I wasn’t interested.
Now let’s take a look at what went wrong. For starters, your initial question only spawned more questions. Were you asking if the title of the article interested me or if I just like alcohol? Could you have been trying to sell me alcohol? Were you proposing we settle down on the couch and have ourselves a little cocktail? Based on that smirk you gave me, I’m not so convinced it wasn’t the latter. You second set of questions didn’t help, either. I’m assuming that you continued to ask me, “You like?” because you at least recognize the word “yes” and were waiting for me to say it so you could move forward. I’m sorry I didn’t help you out there. However, you pressed on with what was obviously the larger message you wanted to convey—“But does God think?” I’ll tell you what I like about this part. Beyond the fact that you hilariously mis-phrased the question, “What does God think about alcohol?”, you actually proposed a much grander philosophical discussion. Does God think? Maybe not. Perhaps God only feels and does without ever needing to think. Maybe that’s what godliness is—the ability to not think. You like?
Ming, I truly hope this open letter finds its way to you. I’d love to have you over, knock back a few Manhattans, and talk more about this fascinating religious perspective. However, I’m not going to hold my breath, seeing as you can’t read this anyway.