Way back in the day, in another town in a county south of here, my then-husband had cured the local Ultra-Christian gangs of rousting us from our coveted, heathenish weekend sleep. One Sunday morning, after a brisk round of knocking, he opened the door in his birthday suit. Nothing like a naked brown man with tousled hair to send proselytizers packing. After the brief commotion in which they hurriedly turned and hustled down the porch steps, shielding their kids' eyes, no doubt, never to return, I sleepily asked him why he even answered the door and then without the jammies God gave him last Christmas. He said with all that pounding on the door, he thought it was an emergency, like the time the hillside was on fire, or the drunk burglar was hiding, noisily, in the back yards on our block. I hazarded that the Adventists had probably once thought we were a spiritual emergency, but now thought we were spiritual felons. Or a lost cause, for they never came around again. None of them did. Must have been a note they passed amongst themselves: crazy naked heathen, black as Hades; don’t take the kids.
But that had been another neighborhood in another county, as I said. And while it had been a sure-fire method, that husband now lived on the other side of the globe and couldn’t be called in for doorbell duty.. When it rang in the middle of a weekend morning, I wasn’t ready to shuck my clothes, especially since I had probably just succeeded in getting into them. Nor did I think I carried quite the same scare-factor: a buck-naked woman, no matter how over the hill and hefty, might be considered an attraction to some. You just never know.
So one day I printed up a sign and posted it on the door. It read: “Herein resides a bunch of FUB's: Finnish Unitarian Buddhists. We promise not to proselytize you, if you promise not to proselytize us.” A few groups clomped up the steps, stood for few minutes, then retreated. They must have put some sort of hobo-sign on our house that warns others away from the FUB Cabal, as we haven’t had any cult-callers since, even though the sign disintegrated and disappeared years ago.