Here is a big old tree that may or may not have survived the tornado.
As a parent, I've tried to caution my children about the evils of sniffing glue, dating guys who give themselves nicknames and writing down any personal information on their Myspace profiles. This weekend, I realized that I was severely negligent in one big area, I forgot to tell them not to talk to people who go door to door trying to sell their religion.
On Saturday afternoon, I had a small window in between coming home from Coadster's soccer game and taking Stinky and one of her friends to the mall, where I could squeeze in a seven mile run. As I was getting ready, my doorbell rang. I looked out to see two people who looked to be in their early twenties peering in my apartment.
"Hi. We talked to your daughter, Coadster a few weeks ago while she was home during Spring break and we thought we'd come back to check in on her. Did she tell you about us?" the well dressed woman asked.
"Um, no. Who are you?"
"We walk around to houses and talk to people about religion. I left a book with her, and I wanted to check to see if she read it."
"Oh, well. I think she's pretty happy with her own religion..."
"As Jehovah's Witnesses, we don't try to take people away from their own religions, we just try to add to that and see if we can give them a clearer understanding of the Bible's teachings. I thought I might talk to her about what happened at Virginia Tech this week..."
"Yeah. Okay. I get it. I think Coadster's already been inundated with news about Virginia Tech this week. I would rather you didn't talk to her about it. I have problems with religious groups using fear in order to obtain new members." By this point I was kind of pissed-off. If she hadn't been so condescending and annoying, I would probably have felt sorry for her. In general, it's not a good idea to come to my home and try to shove religion down my throat at any point during the day, but when you take up my precious time right when I'm jonesing for a free high, I may just turn into The Hulk on your ass.
"Oh, I think you misunderstood what we're actually trying to do here. Do you mind if I read you a little bit of scripture?"
What I wanted to say, was that I liked drinking alcohol and enjoyed having premarital sex very much and that unless her church condoned those things, I probably wasn't interested in hearing any scriptures. Instead, I toned it down, and said, "Sorry. I'm really not interested. I'm in a hurry and we're a family who loves celebrating our birthdays."