“Intermission” – Patricia in the “BurgerFi”

I’m in Fort Lauderdale for work, stationed at a “BurgerFi” joint (They promise GMO-free, farm-raised fare, you get the drill). My task this week is to baby-sit a new machine, jot down notes, and keep it stocked. So, I’m here for a solid five hours daily, parked at the same table with a convenient outlet for my laptop. Today, a seemingly put-together middle-aged lady strolls up to me and drops, “I sure could have used you the other day…” My inner monologue warns against smart remarks, so I opt for, “How so?” Here’s the gist of our chat:

Crazy Lady: I got mugged down the street by the beach near XXX. Could’ve used a big guy like you. The tale unfolds for a good five minutes. Turns out, she’s been mugged thrice while spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ. These people can’t see the evil and hatred in their heart. (Irony here is thick) She claims Jesus talks to her, inscribing his will on her heart. She’s been knocked out cold and robbed, and the perpetrators, according to her, are basically minions of the Devil. She’s adamant about spreading the good word to counteract such evil and swears it’s the real devil spreading evil. My first thought, “why doesn’t your God do something about all this evil?”

I maintained a poker face throughout this encounter. She’s on a mission, oblivious to my indifference. Once her food arrives, she takes her sermon and evangelism outside. I snap a pic of her and her unwitting audience, the “Looney Toons” lady standing out.

What motivates someone to do this? How many others out there genuinely believe it’s their divine mission to accost strangers with a religious spiel? Frankly, encounters like this leave me both sad and disgusted. She couldn’t care less about my beliefs or opinions; she’s solely focused on fulfilling her life’s purpose of winning souls. If I didn’t have a call in five minutes, I’d have recorded our conversation. As an practicing Street Epistemologist, I relish such encounters with the eccentric. If she shows up again, I’ll capture and post the audio for posterity.

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