In my local congregation w-a-a-y back in the 60's, there was a brother who was an Uber-Witness.
Brother H. T. Jones, as I recall.
Stolid. Impassive. Hewn from stone.
He was built like a cast iron furnace. When he shook hands, your own hand disappeared into his hairy paw
and a sickening crunch soon followed.
His specialty was cornering the Friends, sucking them into intense conversation about some trivial minutia concerning their duties and especially with a view to creating discomfort. i.e. "guilt trip."
Few came away with joy in their heart but him.
Brother Jones sudden appearances were blitzkrieg.
Before you could shout inwardly,"OH SHIT!" Brother Jones had you pinned down like a butterfuly - withering under his steely doll's eyes like Spielberg's shark.
There was no wiggle room, only inevitable surrender.
He'd grill you.
He'd counsel you.
You'd skulk off and take a cold shower and drink too much.
One day I was walking down the street minding my own damn business when a large truck slowed, made a U-turn and puttered up beside me as I made my way from Point A to Point B.
My policy--to ignore encroachments.
There was a minute of me walking and the truck ominously creeping beside me along the edge of the street.
Presently, the truck sped up just enough to cut over in front of me!
The window rolled down and the monstrous head of Brother Jones appeared like a storm cloud full of thunder bolts of crackling malevolence.
He glowered silently.
I paused with the realization I was doomed to one of "those" conversations.
I waited for a greeting. (After all, he stopped ME.)
I could have waited till the sun went down. He never greeted.
His clipped monotone was pure law enforcement declarative; no-nonsense.
"Get in, Brother Walstrom."
"Oh, thanks for the offer, Brother Jones. You see, I'm out getting some refreshing exercise and. . . "
(Easy to see why he had so many successful Bible studies going ...)
I did climb in to his truck. (You would have as well!) It was a serial-killer victim moment if ever there was one.)
Once inside the cab of his truck, Brother H.T. turned only his head on a neck the thickness of a tree trunk.
The impression was like that of an enormous owl.
"Have you made out a daily schedule?" His voice was flat, without a trace of human feeling.
My mind's computer sorted, collated while searching to provide me with context; which was more than Jones had done.
(Sidebar: At the previous Service Meeting, a talk was given counseling all JW's to create a personal schedule to manage their every waking moment. The purpose was now suddenly clear to me. It was to prevent idiots such as myself from wasting time walking down the street instead of knocking on doors.)
I had to decide whether or not to play this interrogation game with Brother Jones.
Some part of me bristled. I tend to become insubordinate when cornered. But I tried to be pleasant.
"Sure. In fact, I'm scheduled to be about a block from here at this very moment--had you not stopped me."
I grinned. (A slowly dying grin.)
No trace of emotion on his side of the truck!
"When you sit down to make your schedule do you know how you are supposed to start it?"
Now I was getting steamed; I don't like intimidation!
"Of course. First things first. Second things second. Third things third--well, I think we can see where this is headed." I didn't smile.
His eyes narrowed only by a millimeter or so. He had no sense of humor or radar for sarcasm or--well, he had nothing personable to offer.
"You put the things you HAVE TO DO first. Our service to Jehovah is what goes to the top of the list. Everything else goes second."
Parsing this flash of infinite wisdom in my head, I pursed my lips thoughtfully.
"Not much room for 3rd, 4th, 5th, eh? FOOD, SHELTER, CLOTHING. What about bathroom breaks?"
I guarantee you, this man did not detect for an instant of time that I was anything but clueless!
He sat there.
He. . . just. . . sat there.
I sat there.
I. . . just. . . sat there. Until I couldn't take the torture any longer.
"Well, thanks Brother Jones for this little chat!"
I grabbed the door handle - my escape route inches, only inches away.
Sunlight, fresh air, and FREEDOM. . . if only I could make it out unscathed!
Jones' hairy paw clutched my elbow. I was Fay Wray to his King Kong.
He had SOMETHING ELSE to say!
His voice changed. Perceptibly. I can't say how exactly.
"I have an hour sermon this Sunday at the congregation in Denton. I have to go out of town. I need for you to present it in my place. The outline is in the glove box."
("What the fuck?") was not in my vocabulary. At least, not at that time.
I did manage to compose myself long enough to utter the word, "Huh?"
So, that is why he stopped me. The pretext of counsel on how to make a schedule was just bullshit.
It was a Friday and the Sunday hour public sermon was two days away.
Lucky for him he saw me, the one Brother known for having a super memory.
I delivered the talk in Denton, Texas.
The title was, as I recall--"HOW PRACTICAL IS THE SEARCH FOR WEALTH."
It went over well. I like to think it was because I ad-libbed my way through it and inserted humorous asides
you'd now be castrated for doing.
Now I ask you, who was the REAL uber-witness in that situation?
The Bro who fobbed off his assignment or the poor schmuck walking to see his girlfriend who got kidnapped?