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Column: Time of the year, again

Posted: October 9, 2018 1:25 p.m.
Updated: October 9, 2018 1:22 p.m.

Anyone who knows me knows just how much I enjoy invasive contacts.

More specifically, I get pretty chafed, pretty quickly, with unsolicited sales pitches and other such unwanted interruptions of my personal time and space.

They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the bottom line remains the same. Someone wants something, usually money, from me and they don’t seem to have a problem invading said personal time and space to beg for it.

So I’m going to put this out there one more time,  just in case anyone missed, misunderstood or just plain ignored it the first 14 times this month: I’m not interested!!!!

That means I don’t want to switch my long distance service, nor do I want to hear the Good News, nor do I want to buy cookies, popcorn or magazines, nor am I willing to give you ten dollars for a can of Fix a Flat. I have found Jesus -- he was behind the sofa the whole time; I do know for whom I am voting -- that would be whoever is not calling, spamming or coming by unannounced; and I am not interested in giving to the charity of the day, unless they are coming by later to mow my lawn, and that by appointment only.

No, really; I’ll call you when I do need anything like that. In fact, I’ll go one better; I’ll come over to your house in the middle of the day and interrupt you at lunch or wake you up from a nap and double check that you don’t want to buy shares of the Wateree River bridge or give to Jimmy’s Church of the Living Cactus.

In the meantime, I don’t want to hear from anyone about any of this anytime soon, and by anytime I mean, “never.”

Oh, does the usage of the word “anyone” seem to be confusing? Let me clear that one up, too.

By “anyone,” I mean “every single solitary soul who calls, emails, solicits, begs, or otherwise just appears at my front door” with something to sell me, be it faster internet speeds or eternal salvation. As every dad in the early ‘60s used to happily say to his whiny brats after a hard day at the office and without the slightest concern about a visit from DSS: “whatever it is, the answer is ‘no.’”

I know I should be kinder to telemarketers, after all, telemarketing for a living just flat out sucks.

On the other hand, virtually all phone solicitations originate either in some back alley boiler room or in some former east bloc nation. And face it, they are all scams.  So being nasty, while not very palatable, is fun. It’s even more fun to mess with, say, a foreign scammer pretending to be the IRS and thus keep them on the phone and wasting their own time -- but most of us who, you know, actually work for a living really don’t have the time for that kind of sport, amusing as it can be.

My mom seems to have found a nice out -- when telemarketers call, she sings to them. Apparently, that really freaks them out -- they don’t know whether they’ve dialed a regional church choir or a home for the criminally insane.

As to those who appear in person, well, one would think -- especially in this day and age of such uniquely American dystopian delights as creepy clown sightings and elaborate home repair scams all taking place against the backdrop of enthusiastic second amendment advocacy and rampantly frivolous litigation -- that most legitimate businesses and organizations would hesitate to send representatives out door-to-door.

One would also think that no one in their right mind would even want to put themselves in the position of soliciting door-to-door.  We all hear about criminals posing as door to door sales lizards but I’m thinking the situation is just as easily reversed. What if the psalm singing, Bible clutching sweet little old white haired lady who cheerily invites the burglar alarm salesman in for a nice cup of tea is actually the mother figure of a family of loony cannibals addled by generations of multiple daily ingestions of one-pot meth recipes and horrifically unbiblical procreational activities?

I mean, didn’t anybody see the Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

Hopefully, such circumstances are few and far between. Actually, since I’ve moved, such circumstances occur even less, although we still find the occasioal religious tract stuffed under a planter on the porch.

While it’s rare, it’s very annoying -- and may ultimately become especially hazardous --  because it means someone has engaged in some pretty serious and deliberate trespassing, which means some more extreme counter-measures may have to be considered.

Wow. I feel better already.


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