Wednesday, June 4, 2008


It fascinates me to live in a country where the most hated sub groups are non-environmentalists, the Bush family, and street preachers. Seriously, ethnic minorities can complain all they want, but the only racist remarks I have ever heard, were said on the bad character. But just try admitting that the only reason you want to "go green" - is because the merchandise is cute...or that you don't actually think Bush committed as many atrocities as Hitler, Stalin or Kim Jong-il.

Now, there are probably some conservatives who would rally behind me on those last two, but everyone loves to hate street preachers...they're loud, angry and usually carry a sign encouraging the viewer to "Turn or burn!" or some such variation...what's not to hate?

Plus, there's the added bonus that no one will ever think you are bad for hating a street preacher. Most likely you'll be hailed as some kind of Gandhi-like figure, because you love people so much you just can't stand to see someone hold a sign at them.

In the town where I work we have our very own street preacher. I've never had the pleasure of seeing him work, but office gossip has me informed that he shows up at public events with the usual signage and catchy slogans.

Well, a few days ago I was helping a nice lady figure out how to design her ad.

I hate helping people design their ads. What I always, always, always want for my customers to do is to tell me what they want, leave the verbage, and come back when it's done. Always. I can't be creative with some nervous Nelly peering over my shoulder and whispering, "Wha-what if you moved it a little to the left? No, not there, not there, yes, no, no, no-" It can't be done.

But, like I said, this lady was nice. I was feeling pretty good about the episode when my boss walked in and said, "I see Random-Name's wife was here." This elicited a, "Oh my goodness, that was his wife?" from everyone else, but mere raised eyebrows from myself.

Turns out she's the wife of the fellow who harasses people about eternity in his spare time. So I joined in the gaping - because how could this lovely person be married to someone who makes people wish stoning had never been outlawed?

"Yeah," my boss continued, "didn't you see the big 'REPENT!' painting on the side of the van?"

No, I had not. So then I just had to wonder how this lady felt about it all. Does she wish she had a normal van or maybe even a smart looking four door? Is she embarrassed when her husband starts every conversation with, "You're going to hell," ?

They left their name off the advertisement. My coworkers suggested that it was so potentially buyers wouldn't be scared off at the thought of buying the street preacher's house. I think it's so people won't see where they live and decide to egg it - or worse. I have to wonder if it bothers her that either possibility is even something they have to consider.

On the other hand, is it possible that she's proud of what her husband does? It seems mildly unfathomable, but what if she really thinks he's...what, winning souls? Does it hurt her that other people don't see him the same way?

I know, these are random things to be thinking about, I guess I'd just never thought about street preachers having wives and children and the whole thing set me wondering.

On my way to the dentist yesterday I passed a house that said, "Adulters will be judged!" My first thought was, "That would make them different from...?" my second was, "Could that be the street preacher's house?"


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