We have two bank holidays coming up. This means long weekends and sleeping in, but it also means unwelcome visitors.
We have a group of people here called Chuggers. These are charity volunteers that stand on the sidewalks and mug you as you go about your business with pitiful pictures of animals or children or what-have-you in an attempt to get your bank details to take £20 from your bank account every month. These are easy enough to avoid. You learn to avert your eyes like with the homeless guy with the mangy dog in the tube stairway (I know, I’m horrible) or in Pete’s case, take out your phone and pretend to be having a conversation.
However, when a bank holiday comes around, they move from the sidewalks to your front door. They know you will be home and having a well-deserved lie-in and they come a-knockin’. The animal hospital and Red Cross I can usually get rid of by pulling my housewife act, “ I can’t make any decisions without talking to my husband.”
However, being that this first bank holiday is associated with Easter, we will also be visited by the religious knockers. These are a bit harder to dissuade. I have no problem with religion or sharing your faith with like-minded people. I do have a problem with you waking me up or making me burn my dinner because you won’t GO AWAY!!! On our street we usually get the sweet old couple from the local Kingdom Hall. How do you close the door on a sweet little old couple? Once, I was really ill and they came to the door and they wouldn’t leave. They asked my name, they offered to get soup for me, they offered a prayer for better health. All this while I was standing in my PJs and duvet when its 20 degrees outside. What would help me is if you let me close the door!!! This particular couple came back two days later to check in on me!!! That’s dedication! Scared the crap out of Pete when the same couple came asking for me by name and checking on my health. He must have thought I was sicker than previously thought if I had succumbed to a Chocker (church knocker?). But they just started in on him.
However, by a freak miracle of chance, I have discovered how to expedite the experience. I pass this secret on to you.
One morning, when I had a rare reason to be up and showered and heading out the door at a particular hour, the Latter-Day Saints came a-knockin’. I was not in the mood, so I threw on my robe (which is a bit short) and stomped from the bathroom to the front door, hair still wet and dripping because I didn’t get a chance to towel dry it before the assault. I wrenched open the door (not due to anger, but because our front door sticks and you really have to give it a good yank) and had to grab at my robe as the effort loosened the hastily tied knot. The men standing on the other side were visibly taken aback and hurriedly introduced themselves and handed over a pamphlet before practically running to the next house. RESULT!!!!
I thought this might be an exception, so I have tried it out on other Rockers (religion knockers?) (obviously, I have too much time on my hands). Sometimes I have to stage it a bit by hiking up the PJ pant legs so that it appears I am indecent and the hair sometimes gets a tussle, but is rarely wet anymore. Works like a charm!! Sometimes it backfires when I have to sign for a heavy package and then wrestle said package into the tiny front hall and the robe isn’t secure and I am actually indecent. And sometimes the animal hospital and Red Cross aren’t as prudish, but overall, foolproof!!
If all else fails, or I don’t have time to stage the wardrobe, we have also taken to hiding in the bedroom until we hear them knock on the neighbours’ doors. Childish, but it’s kind of fun to play hide n’ seek. We perhaps take it a bit too far—sitting absolutely still and giggling and whispering, but you have to find your fun where you can.
All this is to say, if you are planning on stopping by, give us a ring first because I plan to spent the next two bank holidays in my robe with wet hair and hiding in the bedroom. Of course, there are no promises that we will answer…