Saturday was treating me with beguiling serenity but soon began to show it's true colours with the arrival of my first American evangelical cold-caller. A tall, jolly-looking chap with a clip-board and an arm full of propaganda, he shifted uneasily from foot to foot in his Saturday-best as if he was the harbinger of terrible news. Which of course he was. "Good morning!! Excuse me ma'am," and let's not forget I have padded down the stairs in my pyjamas and dressing gown, "I know you weren't expecting anyone," no kidding, "but I was wondering if you could spare a few moments to talk...". I peered suspiciously through the door and at those words felt my face start to screw up into that get-away-from-me-you-time-waster shape. Until I spied the title of the 'literature' he was carrying.
"Is that an 'Awake!' you have there?" I asked brightly. "...about faith in the community," he trailed off with a stunned pause, "why yes it is!" and he's all smiles now. "May I have a copy?" I ask. He hands one over and starts to explain it. "Yes, we have them in the UK," I absently interject - distracted by the faces of eeeevil on the front cover. He continues, "oh well they're just the same here, do you go to bible readings locally?" I smile and nod, "not exactly, no."
I made my excuses and retreated, noticing as I left that he was jotting down the apartment number. No doubt I can look forward to all sorts of fantastical, exclamation-mark-enriched Jehova's Witness leafleting from now on. I assume they were making a special effort because there was a 'Humanist' convention in Boston this weekend with Salman Rushdie in attendance. I settled back in to the apartment to read about the end of the world!, pollen - the dust of life!, dedication to Jehovah!, the road to eternal life!, and moral breakdown!, chuckling over a hot cup of Yorkshire tea.