Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sideswiper Evangelizer

It's kind of a personal thing with me that I speak to people when I pass them. The crossing guard in front of the girls school, the security guard in the building, the housekeeper who always seems to be on the elevator with us, the building maintenance people, etc... you get the idea. These people are part of my kids daily lives and we greet them when we pass. "Good morning Mr. Michael" we chorus to the crossing guard. Over the past three years Mr. Michael and I have chatted occasionally, he remarks on how much older Ramona looks and how tall Beezus is. He's friendly with a couple of the teachers at their school. He has laughed at me (and at the girls) after we yell at a car who is going too fast or has come too far into the crosswalk. Seems like a normal guy.

But today? Today I figured out that Mr. Michael is definitely not your typical crossing guard. He's a sideswiper evangelizer.

I actually have a lot of respect for sidewalk evangelizers, no matter what their faith. They were some regulars that used to get Mr. Quimby and I outside the gym at the University of Maryland when I was in grad school. When I used to make the short drive into D.C. for my previous job, there were frequently some nicely dressed older ladies at the 7-11. Really - I think it's cool that they feel so passionnate.

But with them, I knew what to expect. They were pretty upfront about what they were talking about. With Mr. Michael today - I got sideswiped.

As I was crossing back into the parking lot, I mentioned what a great feeling it was to be running "early" for a change. He asked about Ramona's name and I commented where her name came from in the Bible as a way of explanation. He started talking and did not stop for 16 minutes. He followed me through the crosswalk and we stood on the sidewalk for 7 minutes. Then when I did my "Great talking to you" and tried to move away, he said he would walk me to my car. We get to my car and he's still talking. We went from languages in the bible, to how the hebrew people don't even speak hebrew, to how the letter J is only 500 years old so how could somebody be named Jesus when there wasn't even the letter J when he was alive, how many other things aren't what they say they are, to the Library of Congress building and how it has demonic statues.

That's when I forcefully said "Great talking to you - got to get to work!" and jumped in my car. Note to self: do not engage Mr. Michael in conversation again unless I am running really early and have noting else to do.

2 comments:

Marya said...

I've never heard the term Sidewalk Evangelizer before but it is a perfect description. That is my "something new" today.

Rachel et Natalie said...

I like the hebrew people don't speak hebrew...

 
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