Monday, April 5, 2010

Peddling, And What They Get.

Nettie brought this on, I have to admit.
She posted a hilarious and wonderful blog on how she deals with sales-calls on the phone, and I must say, this is where it comes in handy to have a prolific fantasy.
It has stopped now, but for the longest time we used to get visits from people of the "Jehova's Witnesses" church, and from Mormon youngsters who were doing their duty overseas.
I don't like soliciting of any kind, but religious soliciting is beyond my tolerance.
You don't have a lot of time to come up with something original once the door bell rings and someone holds up a pamphlet up under your nose and intones, "The Lord be praised!"
Yes. Ma'am. I praise the Lord. But I don't need your help to do it.
There is a standard way. I don't look too German, and when I'm alone at home, I'm a t-shirt and sweat pants slobber.
So here is the easy version: clutch the hem of your shirt, knit it anxiously, and say (loudly; Turkish women have generally loud voices. At least here.) "HUSBAND NOT AT HOME! NO SPEAK GERMANY!! ALLAH IS GREAT!"
That sends them away. Every time.
The second approach is "The Stout Believer".
"I have my own faith, and you will not deter me. Amen. Go away." THAT will make them hesitate, but delivered in a stout manner, make them move on.

Now if I have a moment to prepare myself and I'm in the right mood, they get the "Alien" treatment.
It is a little time consuming, but worth the effort, and it goes like this.

Ring. Ring.
I open the door. Two young men, both in badly fitting black suits,  white shirts and ugly ties, their hair plastered to their foreheads, their chins shaved to an inch of their lives, and shining zeal in their eyes, a book in their hands, come up the stairs.
Not evil people. Just young Americans who do their duty for their religion and their congregation, but sadly come to my evil lair.
They are so polite and nice, and they try to tell me that there is only ONE way to find God and consequently salvation, and that is the bad part, because THAT I do not believe,
Never have, never will. Sorry.
I wring my hands and take a deep, painful sigh.
"It's so good that you are here!"
This confuses them. They are not used to pleas for help.
"I've been tortured by this question," I say, "And no one can give me an answer."
Expectant glances, a hopeful expression, and for a moment I feel like a pig.
"Do you think," delivered in a measured, breathless voice, "That Jesus also cares for the other planets?"
Bewilderment, and for a few instants,  silence.
So I go on: "Jesus. Is he only responsible for Earth? Or does God want him to look after all the other planets, too? Or is there a Son of God for every inhabited planet? Because, you know, that would keep God pretty busy, would it not, in the son-making department? I mean, just think of that "Alien" movie? Does Jesus look like an Alien there? One of those monsters with the ugly metal teeth and the acid  breath?"
And some more in that vein, Use your imagination, you can play it out endlessly.

They find excuses pretty fast. Every time. And they leave. I never get an answer to this one, sadly.
So this is my "how to deal with peddlers" story.
None of it is true, of course.


  1. Of course none of that is true. I, however, have had very little success short of closing the door, very politely. I once told them I'm Jewish and had no plans to convert, and they still persisted.

    One group handed me a bible and I said, "Thanks, I've always wanted to read the New Testament!" It wasn't free, so they grabbed it back.

    I generally tell them I'm not interested, and never, ever, ever buy anything when approached this way, religion especially, with them a nice day and gently close the door.

    Jeff Foxworthy's idea is to draw a chalk outline of a body on your porch and toss around a few religious pamphlets. That could work, too.

  2. OMG I love the chalk outline idea.... only here's the hitch: You haven't got one, or you would also have a stove on it, right?

  3. nah..... answer the door nekkid and holding a snake.
    ...they run for the hills.


  4. Hilarious idea but they might even rise to your 'Messiahs on the planets' challenge and then you'll have wasted even more time on them. I once said I was Jewish to a Mormon group and had to be rescued by a kindly neighbour after almost an hour's 'grilling'. Apparently they love any admission of religious belief. I wonder if they get any converts by door knocking or does everyone feel the way we do about them.

  5. Hello! From twitter to here - made it! :)

    Oh your post did make me giggle. I must admit I actually don't answer the door when I see them (we get a lot of religous canvasers as well). I never thought to confront them! Love your three approaches, especially the 'standard way' - could just picture the anxious shirt knitting!

  6. cracked me up with this image:
    " clutch the hem of your shirt, knit it anxiously, and say (loudly; Turkish women have generally loud voices. At least here.) "HUSBAND NOT AT HOME! NO SPEAK GERMANY!! ALLAH IS GREAT!"

    Please say you do this???

  7. At the dormitory, I used to invite the Mormons in for a cup of tea. They stopped coming after they realized that I indeed am a witch and have no plans on changing my mind on that. They were very polite, though.

    Jehova's witnesses, on the other hand, are difficult to get rid of. Once my sister opened the door, all in black and with goth makeup on her face (she was about to go out) and said something like, "Be gone, weaklings, I only worship the devil!" And the elderly couple smiled and said in a really pleasant voice, "Really interesting, you have to tell us more about it."

    However, I love talking to telemarketers. I love wasting their time in a pleasant and polite way. And no, I don't buy anything from them.

  8. The Jehova's Witnesses here balked at the "Alien" approach. Oooops.... I said that was not true, right?

  9. Chapter 6 of the Gospel According to St. Matthew is the one part of the Bible that no one seems ever to have read. It's impossible to say how many people have been discouraged from becoming Christians by this sad fact.

  10. OMG!! you are hilarious... I will definately try the alien thing. love it... hahaha

  11. Mariam,
    It's Cindy (Charity's sister). THis is awesomeness. ha

  12. Just one example of a trick that didn't work: I was addressed once in Avignon by one of these orange guys (hare krishna or whatever they are called) I answered his french greeting with a simple "I don't speak French" (in German). Alas without a pause he switched to a fairly fluent German.

  13. You are crazy & evil - I love that about you! :)

  14. When a young & fiesty girl in her first apartment, my roommate and I thought the Mormons were SO adorable! We kept them busy for many weeks and eventually they spent their "Monday's" with us - their "off days" - we'd make nice meals for them etc. We tried very hard to convert them to OUR ways- no such luck! I do love the Mormons and offer them a drink before they continue on their way. "Not interested , honey- but can I get you a glass of water". I find Mormons particularly thirsty.

    As for the JW, they too are pleasant but it is SO wrong to participate in any conversation with them. Once I aid > "I have my own views" and they asked to hear it. I said NO, that I didn't feel it necessary to share it.

    The last time I saw the dear ladies, was the day after the Haiti earthquake. I had just written a poem about it when the doorbell rang. When they offered some reading material I said "No thanks-but I have something YOU can read. Here's a poem I just wrote" and thanked them for dropping in :-))

    I live in eastern Canada so truly, people aren't very pushy here. But I can sympathize with other areas where they are. I did, however, go to the JW website and it made me AFRAID. Yes- very afraid.

  15. And I can see WHY they scare you, Miri. Thanks for commenting! :)