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January 8, 2008

Death of a salesman...

We're going door to door...


As the majority of you who read my blog on a regular basis are aware, I am a fairly mellow soul who rarely (if indeed ever) gets my panties in a bunch over the vagaries of daily life. That being said there is something that has been percolating in my brain until I am unable to further refrain myself from venting.

When I was a young man one of the most dreaded daily occurrences was the parade of door to door salesmen knocking on the front door. These guys did everything humanly possible to wheedle their way into the home where they would then harangue the helpless housewife with never ending sales pitches concerning such essential household items as bibles, encyclopedias, miracle cleansing solutions and brushes, vacuum sweepers and any number of assorted sundries.

Usually these sales calls ended with father coming home to discover a stranger in the house with his wife, dishes undone, no supper on the table and his cold beer, house slippers and newspaper nowhere near the front door. Shortly thereafter the salesman was sitting on his butt out on the lawn amidst a pile of his broken and smashed goods. The rest of the evening consisted of T.V. trays and dinners, father watching anything but the usual family fare of Roy Rogers, Lassie and Lost in Space. Children grew up hating the traveling salesman and vowing never to participate in such a despised and reviled profession.

Now, as most of you who read my blog on a daily basis are also aware of, I am a house husband. My wife, God bless her self-employed industrious soul, earns more in a day than I could possibly earn in a week and my talents are better employed keeping the home fires burning. I take my responsibilities very seriously. Every day I am up at the crack of noon and is customary among domestic divas, I don the traditional uniform of hair curlers, fuzzy slippers and plaid housecoat before beginning a rigorous day of childcare and household chores. (Once or twice every three or four weeks I even try to have dinner cooked and ready for my wife when she gets home from work.)

Okay, so once I have Micah settled in front of the T.V. with a Coca Cola filled bottle in his eager hands I begin my rigorously scheduled afternoon. First, I stack the dishes in the kitchen sink to make sure they really need doing. Folks, there’s absolutely no sense in wasting water and dish soap on less than three sink loads of dishes when there are paper plates and plastic utensils in the cupboard. Second, I make sure I’ve got fresh coffee brewing to keep me alert during the rigors of vacuuming the house. This chore, as any house keeper knows is the critical chore in maintaining the appearance of a clean house. Nothing says clean like a well made bed and a vacuumed floor.

So, the other day I’ve got a cigarette in one hand, (no, I don’t smoke it’s just a prop.) a cup of coffee in the other and I’m vacuuming the heck out of the downstairs living room when it suddenly dawns on me that the dogs are carrying on a bit more than usual, so I turn off the sweeper and after a couple of minutes I hear a knock on the front door. I’m not expecting company so when I look through the peep hole and see a girl I have no clue whosoever she might be I return to my sweeping. Ten minutes later I turn off the sweeper and no sooner am I preparing to enter the kitchen and start my dish stacking when I hear a knock at the door.

Sure enough, when I look through the peep hole there is the same woman standing as still as Lot’s wife after the salt incident holding a piece of paper. Well, I’m thinking maybe Felicia is being served for something and maybe I ought to open the door and see exactly what is going on. Well, I pull the folds of my robe together in a show of decency and modesty then I open the front door just far to stick my head into her field of vision.

“Yes?” I ask.

“Hi, my name is Heather and I’m with so and so. Our company is doing some work in the neighborhood and we just wanted to let you know ahead of time so you won’t be concerned when you see us on your neighbor’s property.”

As I prepared to shut the door I gave her a sincere and heartfelt, "thank you." I was just glad Felicia wasn’t being sued or even worse. That’s when the unfortunate incident happened.

Just as I’m closing the door concluding our interaction...

“Sir?”

“Yes?”

She held out a piece of laminated paper towards the door and without thinking I opened the screen door as little as possible and reached out my hand for it.

“Which of these home improvement services would you be interested in receiving some free information about?”

As soon as I opened the storm door to take a hold of the proffered paper a gust of cold air blew in through the breach and it happened.

Oops dere it is, oops dere it is. Who let the dog out? Whoot, whoot! Free Willy...

As my face reddened, hers took on a look of abject horror. I let go of the door and she let go of her laminated sales sheet. I reached for the folds of my house coat and she turned and fled from the porch faster than Brittney’s sister after a pregnancy test at her doctor’s office.

Look, sometimes I wake up in the morning and it just looks so nice out I think to myself, hey, I think I’ll just go ahead and leave it out all day. It’s not like I’m going anywhere. I’m a house husband after all. I’m not expecting unsolicited callers and sales people. Why should I? Aren’t they a long gone and extinct dinosaur of the distant past?

And that’s when I had the epiphany moment. I realized how often this scene is being played out on a regular basis lately. The door to door sales people have returned. It has been slow to penetrate the national consciousness because they’ve changed their appearance. Gone are the trench coat wearing guys with the black cases at their side. Gone are the free brush samples. Gone are the leather bound Bibles in hand. Now it’s all about installing doors, windows, patio decks, room additions and roof tiles.

God I hate door to door sales people! My home is my castle and I hate having it assaulted by hawking hordes of demonic sales people.

If you are a door to door sales person, let me give you some advice. First, if you hear someone at work in the house, say maybe vacuuming, knocking on the door until you force them to answer it is probably not going to work to your advantage. Second, if they answer the door in a robe it is a signal for you to apologize for interrupting their morning and then quickly as possible make a graceful exit. Third, if you don’t want an eyeful, don’t make them open the door on a windy day.

Last but not least. Stay away from my door. I know who you are now. I won’t be fooled again. If I need new doors or windows I’ll call someone. Please, don't make me have to kick your butt off of my front porch and onto the lawn.

As a side note; thank you, Heather for the follow up call and the very kind words. Also, the flowers were very sweet and quite appreciated.




Monday’s Market Numbers

DOW + 27.31

NASDAQ - 5.19

S&P + 4.55

Thank goodness for a rally of this magnitude. I was beginning to think 2008 was going to be a very bad year for Wall Street.

15 Comments:

Blogger Claudia said...

Oh my... I laughed too hard and had a coughing fit. Thanks.

Wow, when you get your house groove together, you got it all covered eh> pass the bon bons, Days Of Our Lives is starting.

January 08, 2008 1:15 AM  
Blogger DirkStar said...

claudia - you are right on my wave girl!

Ericka is my main soap squeeze...

January 08, 2008 1:22 AM  
Blogger bloggerwife said...

Just what I thought was happening while I was at work all day!!!

January 08, 2008 9:11 AM  
Blogger DirkStar said...

bloggerwife - Uh, I didn't think you read this...

Pookie lips, of love muffin love cakes.

January 08, 2008 9:53 AM  
Blogger Pepper said...

Well that is one way to keep the salespeople away. Now if she came back for an encore......

To funny.

January 08, 2008 10:29 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

At least she didn't come by and disturb you while you were watching Oprah. That REALLY would have been rude.

I usually answer the door with a bottle of tequila in one hand and a 9mm in my belt. They almost always say "sorry, wrong house!" Try it sometime. If you can get the baby to stop playing with the 9mm and drinking the tequila. ;-)

January 08, 2008 11:31 AM  
Blogger DirkStar said...

jay - The baby is still a little young for tequila, I thought I'd start him out on Jack Daniels first.

January 08, 2008 12:17 PM  
Blogger buffalodickdy said...

I've been a salesman for over 30yrs, as my father before me. I always feel seriously sorry for people that have to go door-to-door in the 21st century. It doesn't work anymore- I'm not sure it ever did... My large(friendly) Airedale jumping on her hind legs, barking, while I hold her by the collar has been very effective with door to door salespeople, Mormons, and other folks that weren't invited to the house...

January 08, 2008 1:15 PM  
Blogger zen wizard said...

Well, you have just described why, back in my day, Ward Cleaver went to his job as an accountant at some nebulous IBM-like computer firm, and Wally and The Beav went to school and then football practice.

Back in those days, you didn't have porn, so you got a job as a Fuller Brush salesman and then when June Cleaver opened the door in her robe, maybe you got a shot of boob if you were lucky, and that made the fact that you had THE. SHITTIEST. JOB. IN. THE. WORLD. somehow worth it.

It helped that American females' boobs were so sharp they could cut glass up until the Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan Show. I guess that is why the Fuller Brush salesman didn't grab their boob; their boob might cut his hand. I am not sure why American women's boobs got duller after a bunch of limeys sung four-chord songs about holding your hand. But they did...

For some reason, door-to-door salesmen quit wearing hats about 1964, too. I think that was Kennedy's fault, somehow...it had something to do with Hubert Humphrey and Nixon getting their asses kicked, and boating off of Hyannis Port, and getting a suntan--I remember that part...

January 08, 2008 1:30 PM  
Blogger Craig D said...

Speaking of salesmen...

Do you have a license to sell hot dogs?

January 08, 2008 3:21 PM  
Blogger DirkStar said...

craig - No I do not, however, I do have a wiener wagging permit...

Up to date of course.

In fact, I'm giving everyone a wave at this very minute.

January 08, 2008 3:33 PM  
Blogger Wizened Wizard said...

I'm reminded of a friend of mine who (in his youth) made the mistake of allowing the Mormons into his living room. Presently his mom came to see who had rung the bell, realized what had happened and said, "Well now Timmy, why don't you pour the little men something to drink while I go and slip into something more comfortable..." End of Mormon invasion!

By the way, I'm glad it's nice out at your house. Sigmund Gnome says it's nice out here too.

January 08, 2008 6:03 PM  
Blogger Citymouse said...

I do a great deal of door to door for non profit groups, some paid work, some just because I believe in a cause.

I am lucky, i only do what i believe in so I have no problem bothering people LOL --

go ahead.. get the eggs out ... Im use to it!

January 08, 2008 7:47 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Priceless!

Hope you don't mind....I added you to my 'bloggers' list.

January 08, 2008 11:38 PM  
Blogger Gledwood said...

hey I am fascinated to know... what does She do then..??

January 09, 2008 9:13 AM  

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