It was just about a week ago. There was a knock at the door. This was unusual since generally I know when people are coming over to visit. But, of course, I answered the door anyway. There standing before me was an rather attractive but very serious looking woman. She attempted to smile but it appeared to be more of a smirk. I just looked at her. I figured she knocked, she can explain why she is standing there.
She almost seemed shy as she said “Hi.” In my usual manner I replied, “No I’m not, but I am beginning to wish I were. What are you selling?” She responded, “Just what’s in this book.” She was pointing to what appeared to be a Mark Twain book. I couldn’t really tell. “So you’re selling books, then.” She looked at the book she was holding and seemed startled but mumbled, “Oops. Wrong book.” She explained that she had just taken a break and was doing some light reading. Now she pulled out a bible. “Are you ready to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?”
She had no idea how badly she had chosen on which door to knock. Now normally I’d just say “no thanks” and be done with it. But as I said, she was attractive, so I invited her in. I said, “By the way, I have not.” She appeared confused. “You haven’t what?” she asked. “The accepted Jesus part, that’s what I haven’t done.” She gave me a real smile this time, “There is still time!” I chuckled, “Yes. I know the day is not over. Can I get you something to drink?” She thought for a second and asked if she could have a hot toddy. A fucking hot toddy? I explained that while I was fresh out of toddy, so I offered make her coffee. She declined stating that coffee stimulated her. Naturally I asked, “As much as Jesus?” Now I know what you are thinking. But if you have read this blog more than once you might remember I can be just a tad ridiculous. She giggled, “Jesus doesn’t make it hard for me to sleep at night.” She probably had a point there, but since I really hadn’t thought much about the subject since 1967, I figured I’d be a bit more respectful, “So you use Jesus as a sedative, could it be that you are just out of valium, then?” You see, I just can’t help myself.
She tossed her blonde hair back and laughed. “I have never been asked that before.” I thought for a second and responded, “That’s the first ‘hot toddy’ I’ve been asked to make. So it is a day of firsts.” She looked serious again, but a rather “mock serious” look, if there is such a thing, “May I ask you something first?” I glanced into her blue eyes, “As long as you don’t mind the answer. You may not believe this of me, but some people suggest my language skills are of the wise-ass variety.” She said, “You don’t say. I was just wondering what you were drinking. It looks good.” I said, “It is an old family recipe. Handed down from generations of caring, generous but not exactly god-fearing people. We call it Smirnoff and water.” She smiled, “That sounds great. Can I have that then?” Now I know next to nothing about people who knock on doors for Jesus, but I was a bit taken back that they drink alcohol on the job. But then there was this naiveté about her so I asked, “You know that Smirnoff is vodka, don’t you?” She replied, “No shit. This whole day is just one mistake after another. I’ve been to fifty or seventy-five homes and nobody wants to get saved. One guy had me seriously thinking about Buddhism, but I don’t think I’ve got the right karma for that. So what is your religion anyway?” At this point I go into my St. Dobbs story. She actually seemed to be listening.
I decided to give her the long version but was interrupted when she asked for a second drink. I hadn’t finished my first but I grabbed the glass from her outstretched hand and headed to the bar, or in my case the kitchen. Since I don’t cook in there I don’t really think of it as a kitchen. Although my daughter-in-law cooked a spectacular brunch there yesterday, with all the trimmings. But I am digressing. So there we are talking and laughing and she’s asking for yet another drink. I asked if she was driving. She said no and that her ride would pick her up promptly at 6. I just looked at her and said, “It was 6 an hour ago. Is there someone you should call?”
She mumbled that her husband was going to be rather pissed, “And he’s our pastor, ya know.” I explained that no, I didn’t know her husband was a man of the cloth. So we kept talking and I asked if she usually drank so much. She responded that she doesn’t drink anything but wine at church because it is a sin. I have a basic rule in life. When nothing makes sense, there are only two possibilities. But it was getting late. Screw trying to interpret a drunk person.
I went and got a comforter and pillow out of my closet. I would have offered her the guest room, but she was all ready out like a light. While I was concerned, I decided that whether or not she phoned her pastor husband was her call, so to speak. Anyway, I’d deal with it in the morning. When I awoke she was gone. I found a note. “Sorry about everything. Thanks for listening. Maybe I’ll see you at the Church of St. Dobbs. I’m thinking it makes more sense than knocking on doors with a bible.” I have an expression. “You can’t make this shit up.” It gets me through a lot of crap. Only today I realized, “But at other times, maybe you can.”