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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Intruder Alert!

Watch Cats, Gaston and Rocco
Coco on duty
Last Sunday was beautiful, warm and sunny after so many dreary, rainy days and lightening filled nights. Coco and I were sitting out on the veranda, peacefully watching the birds zip by, the leaves dance in the gentle breeze and the tide run out (for beer and smokes, most likely) when, of a sudden, she was all ‘INTRUDER ALERT, INTRUDER ALERT!

I was curious but not overly concerned -- Coco can be a bit panicky at times. Plus we live in a neighborhood whose only real, pro B&E artists are of the raccoon persuasion.

A few minutes passed when two youngish (in their 30s perhaps) women, who I’d never met or seen before, appeared. They were in knee-length dresses -- not ragingly stylish, flashy or mod but nice, pleasant. The outfits were, in hindsight, perfect for setting folks at ease. The female equivalent of the male biz casual suit?

The first thing that struck me as funny (funny/odd) was that, in greeting me, they were signing -- I imagine they were speaking too but, WILD, they were signing to me before I even had to do my usual ‘I’m deaf so speak slowly and I’ll try to lipread you’ schtick.

It took me a few minutes to orient myself, to turn on the ASL part of my brain. When located, I managed to ask, in sign, ‘what can I do for you, what brings you to my home?’  The one on the left signed ‘we’re looking for Donna,’ to which I replied ‘that’s me,’ before my residual carnie mega caution kicked in. You see, I was still kind of blown away that these folks signed to me first. How did they know I’m deaf?
They introduced themselves and, boy-howdy, I was floundering. You know how it is when you’re having a conversation in a language other than your native tongue? Especially when you’re not prepared or expecting the language switch-a-reeno. Also too, being late deafened and all, my only ‘native tongue’ is the written word. Everything else is a linguistic struggle through, almost set, warm jello.

After we exchanged a couple of pleasantries (nice day, sorry my signing’s so weak, LOVE the color of your dress) I got back to the point (my paranoia now online), and signed ‘what can I do for you, what brings you to my home?,’ once again.

Turns out, these lovely, very considerate, ASL fluent visitors were, yup, Jehovah’s Witnesses. Before they could say more, I put up my hand (international sign for 'STOP right there, Missy!'), sincerely thanked them for popping by but was uninterested in their religion.

The lady on the left (I think she was the team leader) VERY politely asked if I had Jesus in my life (or something like that). Instead of going into a long, Rococo-ishly filigreed explanation of my beliefs (Zen Buddhist/Jewish/Pagan/Agnostic..sorta) I just said ‘I’m Jewish and real happy about that but thank you so much for coming by all the same!’

Yeah, I feel guilty about fibbing (I never went through with converting to Judaism). Must be my residual Catholic school upbringing rearing it’s parochial head.

All in all, this was THE best experience I’ve ever had with JW visitors. Honestly, it was a surprising and amusing treat.

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