Rainy Day Writing

Writing, Reading, Inspirations and Aspirations

Pandemics, Proselytizers, Politics and Pollsters

When my brother rented this place from us over a decade ago, the Mormons showed up so much they eventually succeeded in reeling him into their orbit. He attended their church for several months, and when I asked him if he believed their theology, he said yes. And not much else.

It was a curious time for me. Phil was always the radical, liberal intellectual older brother, not immune to religion but more likely to believe that all religion has some truth and no one faith is the gospel, so to speak.

So I was a little surprised by his response.

But by the middle of that summer he was loading up his belongings on a truck and hauling ass back to the east coast, after telling his Mormon friends that he had an ex wife back there he was going to try to make amends with. What a crock of it. He’s been a bachelor all his life. It think he got in over his head with the LDS crowd but I think he also wanted them to remember him well or something. Who knows? The guy has always been pretty inscrutable. It’s part of his charm.

So off he went, leaving me to deal with the Mormons.

And they do still come round regularly. Once in a while someone who was cycling through the area on their mission when my brother was here stops by asking about him, and I tell them he is doing well, he has family back there so he isn’t so lonely.  I go along with his original story for their sake, telling them not really lies and not whole truths. They’re nice people. I don’t want to drop any truth bombs on them like how everything he told them was pretty much BS and how he worries every time he visits us that they will show up and lure him back into the fold with promises of free food after church and a steady stream of virgins in heaven.  I don’t want them losing sleep at night worrying about his soul is what I’m saying.

We get visits from the Jehovah’s Witnesses fairly regularly too. I’m always polite to them also. I don’t mind talking religion with people because I’m fairly confident in my own beliefs. I have them. I don’t know if they are correct. I’m cool with that. Because let’s face it, whatever it is, it is. I don’t feel any compelling need to be right about it. I did at one time, but I don’t anymore.

I guess it will be revealed to me one day and I’ll probably say something like “Oh wow man”…or maybe “Holy shit! Really?”.

Like I said, it is what it is.

But the JW’s seem to latch onto the old man a lot. I guess because he is a nice person and all. He has even developed patience with them over the years. Which is weird because when he was young he ran them off a couple of times when they invaded his space without warning. And he was kind of crabby about it. Not like 2020 America crabby with guns cocked and spewing expletives, but more like good old fashioned “Get the hell outta here” crabby.

He got on their black list. The list that says “Don’t go there. That guy isn’t nice to us” or something like that. But he’s really quite congenial with them now.

Maybe, as he’s getting closer to death, he is hedging his bets a little in case they really do have an in with the guy upstairs.

Regardless, they do show up every couple of months and chat and invite him to read something. I don’t know if he gives them money for their literature. The Catholics back east used to do that– ask for money in return for tracts. I think that is probably frowned upon now. Like a lot of things the Catholics used to do.

But with the pandemic, no one is knocking on the door to share any good news or even warnings about impending doom, which seems like a missed opportunity considering the times. I mean, if you ever wanted to convert people based on a fire and brimstone and the end is upon us missive, now would be the time.

And you know, I think the old man is getting a little lonely. A little hungry for someone to talk to that isn’t me.

Because he actually took a Nielson survey over the phone the other day. It took 30 minutes. I don’t think he’s ever stayed on the horn with me for that long. Even when I call long distance while away from home! Maybe I need to ask more multiple choice questions.

And that same week he agreed to take a phone survey! On politics, of all things.

And he was marginally nice, but did ask them who the hell wrote these loaded, impossible to answer questions? Which made me giggle some. Because I feel the same way about political polls. They are too damn political.

You can pretty much tell which party the pollsters are affiliated with by how skewed the questions are to make you approve of them. But you know, with everyone staying home with not much to do and all the time in the world to do it, maybe they are getting a wider audience of participation, instead of just old white guys with a grudge and lonely old women with maxed out credit cards from watching too much HSN.

They told the old man they were looking for people who represented our county to answer questions on politicians and he told them forth right his views do not represent our county, but I’m game. (We are both political outliers here.) He answered their questions then hung up, proclaiming it all a crock of it.

So while the proselytizers aren’t knocking, the pollsters are calling. And I suspect they won’t stop any time soon. And since we have lot’s of time and are pretty bored and need an occasional excuse to stop stuffing our pie holes, we are picking up the phone more when it rings.

I wonder how long it will take the old man to get on their black list?

©2020 by Ilona Elliott

Me and Cosmo

The Author (on the right)













  1. I had dealings with a group of kind Mormons, but I was thrilled when I got on the “Blacklist!! True story. Stay safe and well. You always make me smile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are kind people. I think my brother was lonely at that time. He really isn’t a Mormon kind of guy though. You be safe and stay healthy too. XO

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Darts and Letters

    Your essay reminds me of a million years ago possibly when dinosaurs still roamed the earth emitting megatons of methane, I did telephone surveys and polling and the most frustrating part of the job was the smart alecks who had fun at my expense, I was just a complete nincompoop know-nothing-at-all kid who spent half his time trying to get OFF the phone with people who had me wrapped around their finger for fun, lol! When I actually got a polite, patient and unsuspecting person on the other end of the line, my goal was to get off the call as quickly as possible and spare them the misery I was being paid to inflict upon the public. Suffice to say I did not last long in the industry. I think my very last day in the job I mispronounced a word from around here and the lady on the other end was laughing so hard she probably wet herself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same thing happened to me with Puyallup. I said it like ” Pull yall up” with a cowboy inflection. She thought that was hilarious. I think she was a realtor I was calling about a house for sale. Never did meet with her. TF I have done that kind of work too in the past. It sucks. So bad that now I have a hard time working for political campaigns doing any type of canvassing. I did some for Bernies campaign and a tiny back for Obama’s second term, but I hate it. Even if I love the candidate. Some of us are just not cut out for it.


  3. I loved all of this, but this line in particular made me snort with laughter:

    “I mean, if you ever wanted to convert people based on a fire and brimstone and the end is upon us missive, now would be the time.”

    That’s pretty high praise as I am resistant to chuckling alone in my basement as I fear it will make me seem deranged to tech who is working with my child upstairs.

    Oh, that reminds me…I’m supposed to be working. Opps.

    If you ever need someone to call, just let me know. I’m stuck at home looking for excuses to avoid housework/schoolwork/any work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I kind of suck on the phone, lol. But I’m great over a cuppa. Wish we had the opportunity. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      • I also suck at phone conversations, but do remarkably well with Skype/Zoom ones. I think I need visual feedback or I feel like I’m talking to myself. Or just doing all the talking…
        Me on the phone:
        “Babble, Babble, Babble (three hours later) Hello? Is anyone still listening?”

        Liked by 1 person

      • I used to have a friend that fell asleep a lot when we talked over the phone. So perhaps I’m a tad bit boring over the phone…or maybe it was her life–four kids, close together. lol

        Liked by 1 person

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