Michael J. Fitzgerald has been a journalist for 40 years, working as a writer and editor for newspapers, magazines and web publications. In 2014 he published the novel, "The Fracking War." In 2015, he published his second novel, "Fracking Justice." He writes or contributes to five blogs. He and his wife Sylvia Fox are the owners and principal partners in *subject2change Media, a multi-media firm involved in print, video and broadcast. He writes a weekly column, "Write On" for the daily 'Finger Lakes Times' newspaper in Geneva, NY. He was a journalism professor at CSU Sacramento from 1986 to 2011 teaching Newswriting, Column Writing and Magazine Writing.
SACRAMENTO, California, USA - The doorbell rang about 10 a.m. this morning, a ding-dong that would bring Jimmy Hoffa back from wherever he rests.
I knew it wasn't the UPS or FedEX guys - or even any of my neighbors. Nobody, I mean nobody rings doorbells in Sacramento, unless they are with the Jehovah's Witnesses on a neighborhood sweep for lost souls.
Now if you think this is going to be a rant about those people who go door-to-door, handing out Watchtowers and keeping an even keel while people slam doors in their faces (and worse) you are dead wrong.
But a doorbell? Kee-rist (sorry).
Aha, I thought, looking through the stained glass window.
On my doorstep were two of the most gorgeous blonde women I have seen outside the pages of Playboy magazine. (I read the magazine for the articles, like everyone else, but the women are hard to miss.)
I realized that I had been harsh in saying that the only group in Sacramento who would ever ring a doorbell was linked to the Witnesses. I had forgotten about the one group of people ranked down at the bottom of the social order with journalists, used car hacks and lawyers - Realtors!
So when I cracked the door (after quickly making sure my shirt wasn't sporting any remants of my morning's tea) I expected that these two long-legged women would quickly ask me if I was interested in selling the house, or if any neighbors might be willing to talk with them.
But that's not what they wanted. They asked me if they could help me with my soul.
Nope, they weren't demons, I was right the first time, Jehovah's Witnesses. And looking up and down the street, I quickly saw that it wasn't just the two runway models on my doorstep. Damn near (oops, sorry again) every doorway up and down 4th Avenue had two well-dressed tall blondes ringing doorbells. I was so stunned I neglected to run and get a camera. Without a photo, I find it hard to believe myself, now 12 hours later.
But what a great strategy for the Witnesses. Instead of guys in poorly fitted suits, or mothers dragging kids, you have a pair of every middle-aged man's dreamboats showing up on the doorstep. Hell (oops, sorry one more time), I even took the literature and dawdled at the front door for a few minutes before the two angels wandered off to find other souls to save.
One neighbor up the street - who golfs religiously every Sunday - kept chatting so long with them while he raked his yard that he wore his newly planted grass down to bare soil in a three-foot circle.
I'm sure he'll tell his wife the gardener did it, though he could be more accurate and quote the late Flip Wilson: