I have consoled myself over the last couple years in the knowledge that I only studied with one person who ever got baptized and that person has long-since quit the JWs. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks:
Holy Crap! I have personally baptized hundreds of JWs over the years!
Oh well, if not me, there were plenty of other attention seekers who would have jumped at the chance. I think I was often picked for the baptism pool mainly because I was married with kids and not particularly hot looking in a wet T-shirt.
I digress. On to the topic.
A few years ago at a DC I was "privileged" to do some serial dunking of newbie cult members. The guy in charge made a BIG DEAL during the pre-game show in the locker room about making sure that the "Baptismal Candidate" (tm) was COMPLETELY submerged. That presumably is one of the reasons we always have pairs of guys working together doing the dunking. One guy is "the watcher" and the other guy is "the dunker" and you switch off every few dunkings. Also, more importantly IMO, the watcher can help lift someone up if the dunking goes awry.
I'll never forget this one woman who reached the top of the stairs, ready for dunking, and MAN did she look unhappy. Her facial expression looked like a cat who had already been through the spin cycle with an extra rinse. She was 1.) extremely obese and probably feeling somewhat self-conscious about that and 2.) deathly afraid of the water. But, she knew there was no way to avoid certain destruction at Armageddon if she didn't come on down the stairs and get it over with.
Now at this particular dunking ceremony, there was enough room for two teams of dunkers. The other team had one guy on it who made Barney Fife (Don Knotts) seem laid back by comparison. How he ever got picked for dunking duty I'll never know. It was his first, and I'm pretty sure his last, time to be used in the baptismal pool. It was my turn to "watch" and my partner, Brother Seriously Buffed, was going to have the pleasure of baptizing the reluctant hydrophobic feline. I'll spare you some of the drama of getting her ready for the baptism, but here's a couple tidbits. Her family was screaming very obnoxiously from the "spectator section" like she had just scored the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl. She was borderline hyperventilating. Bro. Buffed would shoot me the occasional "I'll be glad when it's over" look. After what felt like an eternity of awkwardness and/or terror for all of us, Ms. Hydrophobia was finally ready to take the plunge for her Creator. She sank beneath the surface.....
.....except for her thrashing feet. They must have kicked in and out of the water at least 4 or 5 times.
And Barney Fife is all over it. Mind you, he's not even on our team, but the thrashing caught his eye and he's got a Divine Mandate that must be carried out. "Her foot came out!! Her foot came out!! You've got to do it again!!"
All three of us, Ms. Hydrophobia, Bro. Seriously Buffed and myself, simultaneously turn on Barney Fife with a look that screamed "Are You Freakin' Kidding Me?!?!" Unfortunately, since speaking in a low voice was not in Barney's individual skill set, the screaming family picked up on the invalid nature of the dunking and they joined voice with Barney in demanding a do-over.
Another minute or two of cajoling, encouraging and psyching Ms. Hydrophobia up ensued. Bro. Buffed actually says a short prayer with her. We're finally ready to go again. Now, I don't know if the Holy Spirit had anything to do with this or if it was just good timing, but when Bro. Buffed dropped her below the water for the second try, Barney Fife was preoccupied with his own partner's dunking. All the while, Ms. Hydrophobia had one big toe that apparently just didn't want to join the cult. That toe stayed out of the water the whole time. I saw it and so did a somewhat patriarchal looking gentleman in the family section. I looked at him. He looked at me. And now Bro. Buffed is looking at me like I'm the line judge or something.
My ruling? Close enough. Next!
1. Did any of your body parts not quite make it all the way beneath the water?
2. Did they make you go under again?
3. Any other weird baptism stories you'd like to share?