Fredericton — What wears suits, travels in twos, and can’t take no for an answer? That’s right — the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who will be out and about in record numbers this spring and summer, bothering everyone in sight.
“We’ve noticed a distinct uptick in the evangelical variety this year, so it seems their numbers must be expanding,” explained biologist Martin Anderson, who studies pest populations in the Maritimes. “It should also be noted that for the purposes of this study, we’re grouping Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses together as one thing, because to the public, they’re equally annoying and basically indistinguishable from each other.
“Now, in past years, you could say you’re not interested, and it seemed they took note of that or something and didn’t try again, but now they’re more aggressive than the zombies in The Walking Dead.
“If you see one…haha, I mean, if you see one pair, then we recommend you take cover immediately unless you want to be bored to death for two hours of your precious weekend.”
Locals are already attesting to the extra-hardy strain of Jehovah’s taking to the streets this year.
“You know how it’s usually two little blond guys who look like they’re never been outside — they’re like 19 at most — and they stare blankly at you and ask, without a hint of irony, if you’ve ever heard of Jesus Christ?” said Anna Jeffers, 36. “It’s like, ‘Yeah man, I’m the one person on Earth who’s never heard the good news — you lucked out!’ But they don’t understand sarcasm, so your jokes just slide right off them.
“This year they’re getting tougher with their tactics. It’s not just two teens you can brush off — they’re attacking in groups, and they’re desperate to get you to their church. Some of them are even wearing normal clothes so you don’t suspect anything until it’s too late.”
Haley Jewett of Devon recalled that when two missionaries came to her door last week, her indoor cat escaped.
“Mittens ran past them, and so I pushed them out of the way to catch her, and they still didn’t grasp that maybe it wouldn’t be an ideal time to try to convert me to their religion,” she said, rolling her eyes. “They can never tell from context that they should leave you alone. Never — they just keep on talking. It’s like they work on commission or something…Do they get a cut of every soul saved?!”
Some say the Witnesses’ strategies are evolving for converting unsuspecting locals who are just trying to enjoy their day.
“This year they’ve been driving around in a nondescript Toyota Corolla, stuffing their goddamned pamphlets into my mailbox, the fence, between doors, polluting my lawn with their poorly written materials,” complained Bob Allen, 48, of Marysville. “They just keep coming back, too, usually when I’m not at home.
“If they have that much money to waste on gas, maybe they should invest in a graphic designer, because, I mean, their pamphlets aren’t pretty. You should have seen the Easter one. It showed one of those old Bible-story pictures of a stone being rolled away from the tomb, right next to a 1980s man in a business suit going into a church. Then it said I could go celebrate the death of Jesus with them in a crappy font. I threw it in the garbage, obviously, but the next morning it was on the counter again, good as new. I think a pair of them must have hidden in the house waiting for me to go to sleep, then fished it out of the trash.”
Anderson emphasized that, while it may be tempting to just give in, it’s still better in the long run to resist their attacks.
“You may feel so fed up with them that you want to throw your hands up in defeat and go to one of their services. But that will just be the beginning. Before you know it, you’ll be the one out there pounding the pavement in 30-degree heat in a cheap black suit with your lame-ass partner. You’ll be the one everyone would rather jump in front of a moving vehicle than talk to,” he said, before clearing his throat awkwardly, and asking:
“By the way, do you have a moment to talk about the good news of Jesus Christ?”