Well it happened on Monday. I was walking around near 100th street on the west side of Manhattan, listening to my iPod, and a woman approached me and indicated she had something to say. I took off my headphones and she started her spiel.
"Do you know how people say that they hate to be the bearer of bad news?"
"Well I'm glad to be the bearer of glorious news."
She pushed a pamphlet at me. I looked at her, and my heart sank. I couldn't argue with this woman. Not only was she old and tired looking, but she actually had oxygen tubes inserted in her nose, breathing from a tank on wheels she was dragging along with her. She was also African American, and I was standing in front of a set of housing projects. While I feel relatively safe even in sketchy neighborhoods these days, I wasn't sure that arguing strenuously for the non-existance of God with a decrepit old church lady would be a wise course of action. Matriarchs garner a lot of respect in the African American community, and telling one of them that while she would indeed be dying soon there would be no heavenly rest after her difficult life, well, it might ruffle a few feathers.
I just looked at her, smiled slightly, and said "No thank you." She nodded and I kept walking towards the park.
I could have stayed and argued. I once did that with a blind street preacher. But I just didn't have the heart to fight this time. Oh well. I'm sure there will be other opportunities.