December 18, 2006

When the Going Gets Weird, the Weird Turn Pro


Just when I thought my trilogy of tirade against the dark side of Christmas was over, things have turned strange once again. The other night, in my supposedly secure apartment building, my doorbell rang unexpectedly. That is not supposed to happen unless it is a neighbor or perhaps a member of the building staff. I looked through the peephole, which gives a really distorted view even for a peephole, and saw two shadowy figures who resembled the Men in Black, or perhaps the Agents from The Matrix. So of course, I opened the door.

I was greeted by a young man with a black hat and a beard, dressed in black and white Hasidic Jewish garb, and a boy dressed the same. The young man asked me, in a thick Eastern European or perhaps Middle Eastern accent, if I was Jewish. I said no. He then asked me if I knew any Jewish people in the building. Again I said no. I was abrupt with him because I was still in mild shock as to how he had gotten into the building, and because he was asking personal religious questions without even having introduced himself. I explained that I had just moved into the building.

"Oh? Just thees week?"
"No." My turn at taciturn was not about to change at this point.

The young man sensed defeat and, just before walking away, said to me, "Stay strong." I had no idea what that meant, other than as a piece of advice that is so generic as never to be inappropriate.

After shutting and then double locking my door, I thought about calling the building complex's security office and reporting that we had uninvited solicitors roaming the halls. But then I thought of the Christmas stupidity that has been the subject of my three previous posts, and realized that it was the night of the second day of Hanukah. These young men simply may have been trying to spread some Hanukah cheer or a Hanukah message. As I have learned this season, in many locations that is impossible to do in an officially sanctioned way.

This season, those who are spreading messages alternative to the mainstream Christmas message may just be forced into guerrilla tactics including trespassing, breaking and entering, and acting like X-Men.

2 Comments:

At 4:59 PM, Blogger honeykbee said...

There's no such tradition as spreading chanukah cheer nor chanukah caroling. Those characters were sketchy, for sure.

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger Matt said...

I think they were probably asking people to light Hanukah candles and say prayers. It's not quite as fun as caroling, but based on the timing I suspect it was holiday-related.

 

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