Friday, August 10, 2007

All Along the Watchtower

We were walking around town yesterday when we noticed something slightly different about the place, something that made us feel inexplicably homesick for Brooklyn Heights. It took a few minutes to put our finger on it, and then it hit us: the place is absolutely crawling with American Jehovah's Witnesses! Thousands of them! All of them with name tags suggesting, in big blue letters, that we "FOLLOW THE CHRIST." Okay, but only if he leads us to someplace free of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society.

Apparently, they meet here with some frequency - the photo above is from Jehovahfest 2005 (found on an online photo album; used without permission on the premise that violating copyright is less intrusive than knocking on someone's door to tell them The Good News. Incidentally, my favorite picture is the one titled "Typical Mexicans" - because, typically, Mexicans all wear huge sombreros.)

We actually didn't spot them as Jehovahs right away, since they dressed and acted like regular tourists (i.e., "normal people") rather than the rigid, perfectly-coiffed, vaguely Stepfordian vibe they give off in the Heights. I suppose this is because Brooklyn attracts a certain kind of hard-core Witness. If you lived in the Vatican, you could be forgiven for thinking all Catholics wore robes. Mexico, of course, is no place to rail about cultural homogenicity. We very much enjoyed watching the faces of the locals as a large family of African-American Witnesses walked down the street together. (Imagine your town if a half-dozen seven-footers came strolling down the street.) Another guy even sported a prosthetic leg, which made us wonder how he survived the loss of a limb without a blood tranfusion.

Anyway, this wouldn't be a good weekend to drop by unannounced, since knocks on the door will be met with hot oil dumped from the roof.

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