Saturday, February 20, 2016

How To Get Rid of Solicitors and Religious Zealots

Did you naively buy a sticker that reads, NO SOLICITORS! in ominous red letters? Did you affix said sticker to your storm door and nod in smug satisfaction? Or is that just me? Nevertheless, the solicitors who troll my neighborhood either don't see the sign or interpret it as some form of reverse psychology.

"Miss, do you want to switch to AT&T?"

"No, thank you!" *Smiles sweetly

"Oh.... can I ask why not?" *Raises eyebrows and gives an exaggerated frown.

"Well, if you must know, we had AT&T and it sucked."

"Uh, well, um well it's improved since then."

Now, I'm not unfriendly. Okay, maybe I am. I used to work in sales in college. I was horrible at it. It went something like this.

"Hello, Miss, can I interest you in a pair of kitchen scissors that can cut a penny? Allow me to demonstra-"


"Okay, bye then!"

I get it. People have to make a living. Here's the thing, I spend enough of my days answering "Why not?" with my kids. I spend at least 75% of my day arguing about why we are or are not going to do something. People who want me to buy something that I can't afford and well meaning well dressed people who want me to change my religion are going to have to get in line. By default I've come up with a list of fool proof ways to send unwanted visitors for a hike. If you want to take the full Getting Solicitors off of your porch" course, just pay a fully refundable $99 -  No? Hey, it was worth a try.

1. Rescue several large dogs with intimidating barks. My friend assured me that visitors will jump backward off the front stoop in their haste to escape.

2. When the doorbell rings, drop and hide. Make sure to keep your kids away from the windows. After ringing the doorbell 12 times and knocking another 14 times, they'll get bored and go away. The downside to this method is if they see you ducking out of site or hear you telling your kids to "stay away from the windows" they might conclude that you are paranoid. On second thought, this notion might deter them from returning.

3. Passive aggressively stare st the NO SOLICITORS! sign the entire time the person is talking. If they persist, squint at the sign and say, "My contacts are giving me trouble today. Can you read that for me?"

4. When Jehovah's Witnesses come to your door and begin a monologue about all the negative influences on children today, have your cute precious blessing turn the CD player on and play Taylor Swift's Bad Blood at 850,000 decibels. This is good if rehearsed before hand. Awesome if it happens organically.

5. When Mormon Elders come to your door and ask what you know about the Church of Mormom and if you want to join, be overly friendly. Say ridiculous things like, "Is that like The Book of Mormon?" and "How can you guys be elders! You're so young!" Before they can answer, invite them in for a tequila sunrise, never mind that it is 9:00 A.M. When their mouths drop open in shock and disgust, clap your hand over your own mouth and say, "I am so sorry! How inappropriate! You guys probably aren't old enough to drink!" As they run screaming to their car, yell after them, "I'm free next Wednesday to talk more!" They won't be back. Ever. They'll pray for you.

6. When the (insert cable company here) guy comes over to ask if you've changed your mind about switching services, tell him you have given up TV altogether. Tell him you spend your evenings reading. Then ask him a lot of personal questions about his home life, his tattoos, and his favorite books.

7. When unwanted guests ask when you are free to discuss this further, say, "Next Wednesday at 4:32 AM or every third Saturday between 11:59 PM and 12;00 AM.

8. Tell them your spouse makes all of the decisions. Keep repeating, "I'll have to talk to my spouse about that." The downside to this method is they'll probably come back.

9. Launch into a detailed synopsis of your own religion/belief system and ask if they'd like to convert.

10. Say, "No, I don't need a lawn care service, but do you babysit?" with glazed eyes as your kids run behind you screaming and throwing toys at each other.

Now let me be clear: I am all about sharing faith and I completely respect others' religions. I also respect a person's right to make a living. But no means no. If you want to sell me a roof inspection or a Bible study stay home. If you want a tequila sunrise to bitch about your kids on the other hand, my door is open!

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