The Book of Mormon opens on a doorstep very much like your own.
The smash Broadway musical, making a six-day Portland run this week, begins with the clear-eyed, full-hearted, short-sleeved protagonists learning how to spread their faith by doorbell at a Salt Lake City training center. Coached up, the fresh-faced Mormon boys are sent to convert hostile Ugandans with only their magic underwear and fanfiction wherein the biblical Jesus Christ has new adventures in the ancient Americas.
Hilarity, as it's wont to do, ensues.
But let's say you see the play and don't hear anything else about the angel Moroni. Or, let's say you don't want to hear anything from anyone on your doorstep. Who does, right? Yet, as Portlanders, we mustn't be unduly rude, even if we have important television programs to watch. So we asked four confirmed door-knockers about the most polite yet expedient way to get them the hell off your porch. Here's what they said.
Girl Scouts: Claim you're on a diet.
"The most helpful response from the girl's point of view is to tell her honestly why you are not interested in buying. However, if you don't have time to explain, the best standard response in my book is that you are trying to eat healthy and don't eat cookies anymore. It is a common response I heard that didn't offend me or hurt my feelings, and I respected customersâ healthy dietary goals.â
—Julie Sygiel, former Girl Scout who sold 10,000 boxes of cookies over 12 years and now owns Dear Kate, maker of leak-proof women's underwear.
Jehovah's Witnesses: Just tell them you're not interested.
"Be polite, with a smile and say, 'I'm really not interested right now, but thank you for coming today.' To be real, I've actually told people that before, co-workers and non-Witness friends who ask what they should say if they're not interested. We have a job to do by talking to people and finding ones that are interested. It's their prerogative!â
—Jehovah's Witnesses friend who asked not to be identified.
Fuller Brush Salesmen: Sorry, no thanks.
"Well, gosh, I dunno. I guess just tell him that you're really not interested. Wow, I dunno. If there was someone that came around that I really didn't want to talk to, that's what I'd tell him."
—Judy, telephone customer-service representative for Fuller Brush Company. (A local salesman and company manager did not return calls for comment.)
Mormons: In areas with heavy missionary presence, keep copies of their literature by your door.
"When missionaries knock on your door, and they will, tell them you've already been given a notarized copy of the Book of Mormon. Like any good Mormon, I've already highlighted my favorite parts.... P.S. As goofy as this whole thing sounds, it's true. There's no way in hell some 17-year-old boy wrote this. Plus, it made me a better person.â
—Inscription in a Book of Mormon given to the author several years ago.
WEDNESDAY JAN. 2
FRIDAY JAN. 4
SATURDAY JAN. 5
SUNDAY JAN. 6
MONDAY JAN. 7