Brother and Sister Bishop had to be the most annoying Witnesses in our congregation. Sister Bishop was a shrill overweight busybody who had nothing else better to do than spread rumors about both people and inanimate objects. On the other hand, Brother Bishop was a rail thin cuckold of a man nearly 20 years younger than his wife. He wasn’t as harmful as his wife was. Being incredibly dim-witted, he seldom gave talks and his responsibilities in the Hall were about as low as you could go and still be counted as an elder.
Sister Bishop just loved finding things wrong with “worldly” entertainment. Our family hosted the book study, and one day after the study I was showing one of my friends the cover of the Led Zeppelin 4 album. She must have been familiar with the symbols on the cover, since she snatched it out of my hands and showed it to my mother. It was thrown into the fireplace soon afterward. The next time I listened to “Black Dog” and “The Battle of Evermore” would be 10 years from that day. Because of her, to this day I have not seen Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I really started to hate the Bishops.
Then came the Smurfs. My brother was more of a fan than I was, but I watched the show anyhow. A worldly uncle noticed this, and taking pity on us one holiday season, bought both of us Smurf plush dolls which spoke when you pressed a hidden button. Mother allowed us to have them as long as we didn’t let anyone else know about it. Mine was Papa Smurf, who said “Have a Smurfy day!” Since I was already growing out of it, I abused my toy, letting it fall into the pool. Soon Papa Smurf’s words were sounding almost demonic due to the water damage.
Though I was careful in keeping my toys, my brother wasn’t, and it happened that one night Sister Bishop found his Smurf toy on display in his room. She got very heated, even going so far as to insist that she would never come back to our house again if she did not see us destroy this demonic toy. My brother’s Smurf was soon destroyed, and he cried all night about it. I went to comfort him, and we came up with a plan for revenge. Next meeting, I would open up my Smurf and tape the button down, making sure Papa Smurf never ended his demonic diatribe.
The plan was to throw it into the Women's Room trash when Sister Bishop went in there before the meeting. After a few false starts, we had a perfect opportunity when she was the only one in the restroom. I quickly taped down the button and threw it in the trash without even entering. We didn’t have long to wait until we heard a scream, following by several panicked screams of “Jehovah” as she ran from the restroom and into the parking lot. Brother Bishop bravely strode in the restroom to find out what was wrong. It went like this:
“In the name of Je-HO-vah, get out!”
He repeated this a few times until he followed his wife’s example by pathetically screaming God’s name at this kid’s toy and went running outside as well. The ministerial servant who ran the literature counter was in his 20’s and about as hip as a Jehovah’s Witness could get. Once he even showed me his vinyl copy of Led Zeppelin 4. He calmly went into the restroom, grabbed the offending Smurf, and snapped off its head to stop the voice. After taking it outside and throwing it in the trash can, he went back to the literature counter like nothing happened. After the meeting he took both me and my brother aside and politely asked us to not do that again. He’d cover for us this time, but that was all.
I think the Bishops knew who was behind it, since they stopped bothering us and transferred to a new book study. Sister Bishop was eventually disfellowshipped about 5 years later, which her husband conveniently blamed on the Smurfs.