Two weeks ago, the doorbell rang. It was 10:00 A.M. on a Saturday morning, so I looked especially haggered and greasy. I went and opened the door anyways, to find a most familiar sight: two men, both wearing trench coats stood grinning in the rain. “Hi, how are you?” they asked in unison. “I’m great! How are you guys?” They quickly cut to the chase. I don’t think they even answered my question. Instead, they asked me if I ever wondered what my purpose in life is.
I must admit that I have never seriously considered that question until that moment. What is my purpose in life? Is there, indeed, a purpose in life? I hope not, because if there is, I have surely not achieved it. I just like to dance and eat and drink and be merry! I really like dancing, especially. What is the purpose of dancing? I should have asked them that question.
As I paused to think about their question, they took the opportunity to show me a booklet, which had several questions much akin to “What is your purpose in life?” and the answers too! The little booklet made a lot of references to another book called The Biblio, or something like that, that they promised to also provide, if I invited them back the following Saturday. In the meantime, they encouraged me to have a look at the smaller booklet, and think about questions to ask them the following week should they come back. I took them up on their offer.
I took a quick look through the booklet they so generously provided for me. Lots of pictures! There are pictures depicting evil: people drinking and having licentious, unceremonious sex in dark rooms. Scary stuff. There was a whole section devoted to the things that God hates. I read it on the toilet for the next week, eager to here what they had to tell me the next Saturday morning. On Friday night, I set my alarm for 9:30; I wanted to have some tea prepared for my guests!
They came at exactly 10:00 AM. Actually, it wasn’t the same two guys. The ‘leader’ of the two came back, but he had a different sidekick this time: he just so happened to be Scottish and he was incredibly full of life. I welcomed them in to my kitchen and the dog barked at them for a while– eventually he settled down, though. It became obvious, very quickly, that both men were “dog-people”. They pet Barkley, and commented about what a ‘beautiful animal’ he is. They declined my tea-offer.
We spoke for about an hour. It was a very regimented meeting. There were readings, both from the book I had been perusing on the toilet and from the big black book they gave me free of charge. We took turns reading aloud, though it appeared that they have the selected passages from both books memorized. It was pretty fun!
At about 11:00, they told me that they didn’t want to take up any more of ‘my assuredly busy, Saturday schedule’. I mentioned to them, earlier in the meeting that Margo and I would be moving at the end of the month: that scared them a little bit. Before they left, Wayne (the leader) said that he and his wife were going to be out of town for the next couple weeks. I was kind of put off by this, seeing as though my very soul was at stake, but I took him up on his offer to hang out when he got back. We exchanged phone numbers and he assured me he would ‘gimme a shout’ when he gets back from Mexico.
I received a lot of literature that day. As I mentioned, he gave me the big black book, but he also gave me a bunch of magazines called “The Watchtower”, which have several more questions and answers. They have a web-site too, that answers questions like, “What should I do if someone asks me if I wanna ‘hook up’?” The magazines are very visually appealing: glossy paper and everything. I haven’t started reading them yet, but I have two weeks to catch up!