A Short Play
[Setting: Noon on a summer’s day. A sidewalk in a residential area of a city with parked cars along the opposite side of the street.]
Two sisters, May and June, are out in field service and May had been carrying her heavy bookbag all morning. She stops and sets her oversized bookbag down on the sidewalk.]
May: Oh, my aching back and arms! [She presses her hand against her back and stretches backwards as far as she can, then side to side. Then she stretches out her arms wide, and then her legs one by one in various stretches. June notices a guy in a nearby car holding up his cellphone towards them.]
June: Let’s keep moving. [They walk on.]
[Setting: A typical Kingdom Hall immediately after a meeting with members conversing and moving about. Three elders, the presiding Elder Bushtit, the flamboyant Elder Makinwupee, and the elderly Elder Wetpants call May and June into their walk-in-closet sized ‘Room of Reproof”.]
[Elder Bushtit holds up a newspaper with photos of them in an opinion article entitled ‘JW’s Perform Yoga Before Coming to Your Door’.]
Elder Bushtit: Sister June, did you observe Sister May performing yoga1 out in public?
May: I wasn’t performing yoga, I was just stretching.
Elder Bushtit: I was asking Sister June. Now you’ve spoken out of turn. Is that the way a submissive sister is to act?
June: It’s true. May, I mean Sister May was just stretching her worn out bones from carrying around her excessively heavy bookbag.
Elder Bushtit: I was asking Sister May if that was the way for a submissive sister to act. Now you’ve spoken out of turn….and what do you mean her ‘excessively heavy’ bookbag? Do you think us shepherds of the flock are giving you an excessively heavy yoke? Do you?
June [with an exaggerated smile]: Why no, of course not Elder Bushtit. Sister May always carries around the Concordance, Insight on the Scriptures, several Bible versions, most of our books (no matter how outdated…I mean after new light is shed, of course), and many many issues of the magazines, (which, by the way, she hardly ever places even after trying to give them away just for a high placement count). It makes her feel so superior to be able to answer any question right then and there because she’s so prepared with all those reference books.
May [confused expression; not sure if she’s just been insulted]: Well, it’s better to be prepared, having our ‘lamps full of oil’, than to keep telling householders, “Well, I’m not sure–I’ll look that up and get back to you,” just so some sisters can have a roster of Back-Calls. (Her eyes dagger June.)
Elder Makinwupee: Well, let’s get back to the reason we’re all gathered here together tonight, in this tiny, sweltering closet of a room as I watch the perspiration bead on your perfectly round white forehead, Sister May, and form a slowly descending track past your deep blue eyes and down your delicate neck to parts unmentionable….ahem!
[Elders Bushtit and Wetpants stare at Elder Makinwupee.]
Elder Makinwupee: It’s obvious to me from these very suggestive poses exposed in these photos that Sister May has a very flexible and lithe figure, well-proportioned, and toned. Yes, very toned, especially those gluteus maximus. All indications that she practices yoga on a regular basis.
Elder Wetpants: Here! Here! [Strikes his cane on the floor.]
Elder Bushtit: In this photo, you are obviously doing the Warrior pose. Does Jehovah like warriors?
Elder Wetpants: No! No! [Waves his cane back and forth.]
Elder Bushtit: And here you are doing the Downward Dog pose! Do you remember Rev. 22:15: “…outside are the dogs…”? Do you want to be outside with the dogs Sister May?
Elder Wetpants: Oh, I just remembered I have to go home and walk my dog Dammit!
[Everyone looks at Elder Wetpants in astonishment.]
Elder Wetpants: No, that’s his name, really. Dammit.
Elder Makinwupee: If you can please refrain from swearing for a few minutes, Elder Wetpants! This won’t take long to determine her guilt.
May: That is NOT a Downward Dog pose. I was picking up a penny.
Elder Makinwupee: Without bending your silky, long, lovely legs Sister May? Perhaps you can demonstrate the difference to me between bending over with your gluteus maximus high in the air and the Downward Dog pose?
Elder Bushtit [staring at Elder Makinwupee then slowly turning and addressing May]: You were picking up a penny? Why? Was it your penny? Was it laying face up so you thought it would be lucky to pick up a penny? Was that it? A lucky penny? Does Jehovah’s organization on earth believe in luck? Or were you going to take someone else’s penny? Do you know what we call it when we take someone else’s possessions? We call it stealing! Does Jehovah approve of stealing? Need I remind you of the Ten Commandments: Thou Shalt Not Steal!
Elder Makinwupee: I still say she should prove she wasn’t doing that Downward Dog thing.
May: It’s too stuffy and hot in here, I feel like I’m going to faint. Can’t we open the door?
Elder Bushtit: Absolutely not! Our disciplinary meetings are completely confidential; we can’t allow the flock to overhear parts of our conversation and spread gossip from misinterpreting what they might hear—-
[May loses consciousness and falls backwards onto the floor.]
and Elder Wetpants: [The elders look at her for a moment and then pointing at her cry out in unison]: SAVASANA POSE! Consider yourself disfellowshipped Sister May!
1. On more than one occasion the Watchtower has warned that “yoga is not for Christians.” In the August 1, 2002 edition, yoga was categorized as “spiritism.” In their publication, “Pay Attention to Yourselves and to All the Flock” (WBTS, 1991), spiritism is listed as a disfellowshipping offense on page 95.