Fortress Bow

Cornwall Castle

One of the things that I like about my house is that it’s a split level townhouse. Yes, this means that there are a lot of stairs to navigate (34 - we counted when we moved in), but it also means that the kitchen is directly above the front door. So, occasionally, when the doorbell rings and I don’t have time to make myself decent, or I’m unsure of who might be calling, I just run down to the kitchen, pull open the window and call out, “can I help you?”

You won’t believe how useful this is.

Indeed, earlier this morning I heard the doorbell ring. Who could be calling this early on a Saturday morning, I wondered. My parents weren’t due or anything. So, rather than risk a face-to-face meeting with a stranger, I went up to the kitchen window and pulled it open.

“Can I help you?”

Two Mormons (I could tell by their matching uniforms: blue dress shirts, red ties and dark suits, Bibles tucked under arms), step back, looking perplexed. “Um… hello,” says Mormon 1 (let’s call him David).

“Hi,” I say.

Silence follows. I smile, because I know I’m safely out of reach, and there is no open door for them to stick a foot into. They’re clearly flummoxed. Nothing in their manual prepared them for a voice from above.

“So… can I help you?” I ask.

“Uh… yeah,” says Mormon 2 (call him Brian). “We were… just in the neighbourhood, and we wanted to know if you’d like to… chat?”

I think about this a moment. Then I say, “no, thanks!” and close the window.

You know, I could have prolonged this conversation. Perhaps I should have said, “what about?”

I expect the answer would be, “uh… Perhaps you could come down and we could chat about it.”

“No, no, I can hear you fine from up here.”

“Yeah, but,” stammers David, “If everybody hears us talking about God, we lose the element of surprise!”

Erin tells me she might stay out of sight and speak in a deep, low voice.

“David! Brian! This is God!”

(Mormons freak out)

“It is not my plan for you to protheletyze to this family, David!”

(Mormons freak out some more)

“It is my plan that they sleep in, and make love! That is my plan for you too!”

(Mormons look around in confusion)

“Don’t you think Brian is a nice looking man, David?”

(Mormons freak out some more)

“Don’t try to deny it! Remember, I’m omniscient!”

Erin notes that you have got to admire individuals who are so firm in their faith that they are willing to tromp around early on a Saturday morning, in the remnants of Tropical Storm Ernesto, and be mocked. And I agree. But I still say that the best thing yet about the location of my kitchen window is that it’s right next to the stove. Perfect for boiling oil.

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