Who’s That Knocking At My Door?


I had thought that sociological changes would have rendered the art and practice of door-to-door sales and solicitation obsolete.  I am surprised (and disappointed) by the number of folks who still ring my chimes.

We recently replaced our front door, and now have no outer storm door, through which I can talk at unwanted callers.  If I open the door too wide, the stupid dog takes off to water all the light posts.  I must seem a strange paranoid sight, suspiciously peering out, and talking through a six-inch gap.

I was just dozing off for my 6PM nap recently, when the front door was thumped on strenuously.  When I peeked out, I saw an 18-year-old male.  Ignoring his immediate verbal presentation, I saw a belt-mounted ID badge for UNICEF.  Did I also see confusion and disappointment as I closed the door?  Put on a mask and costume, and I’ll put a dime in your collection box, as I do with the rest of the kids collecting at Halloween.

The doorbell recently rang at 3 PM.  After I shut the mouthy dog up, and stepped onto the porch, a middle-aged male handed me a coupon from Culligan, which would have him inspect my water softener for “Only $14.95.”  I’m also sure I’d be inveighed to replace my antique, which is paid for and works just fine, Thank You, and rent one from him at $29.95/Mo.

In a time and culture where both parents often work, I found 3 in the afternoon a strange time to be calling.  Wouldn’t he have done better, coming around early in the evening?

The one with the best line, and the best delivery, was a 20-something male who showed up in the middle of a Sunday afternoon.  He was dressed in a very official-looking uniform, with a very official-looking laminated badge – which didn’t actually identify his employer.

When I opened the door, he informed me that he was from, “the inspection division.”  (Of what?)  He was there to, “ensure the integrity of my home,” (My home’s integrity is better than yours!) and he would “just leave my shoes, here on the front mat” – and also looked so confused and disappointed, standing there in his socks, as I shut the door.

Governments of any level, phone, email, or send letters to inform of any such “inspections”, and damned few of them pay people to work on Sundays.  I don’t know what his game was, but the look on his face told me that I was one of the few who didn’t just unquestioningly let him in, to later wonder where the laptop, or family silver went.

It is not my job to make uninvited solicitors happy.  I don’t always try to make things hard for them….sometimes it just turns out that way.  Early of a recent evening, the doorbell rang.  I played Rock, Scissors, Biscuit with the dog – and lost.  When I gapped the door the regulation six inches, he was still barking in one ear as I tried to hear what the female of a well-dressed 20ish couple was saying.

Jehovah’s Witnesses??  No, I managed to make out that she would like me to step out, so that we could talk about my telephone bill.   Was I  ‘J. Smith?’  Kicking the dog back, I stepped out.  I didn’t confirm or deny that I was J. Smith.  I’m not the one the phone is registered to.  “Why do we need to talk about my phone bill?”

I’d already spotted ID badges, but she informed me that they were from Bell Telephone.  They just wanted to be sure that I was happy with the company and their service….was I?  “Well, it’s better now.  I had to call the repair department, and they sent a tech around this morning to do some repairs.”

That caused some consternation.  “But he got here with no problem?”  “A couple of years ago, when we had a different problem with your service, the tech arrived a day earlier than promised.  Scheduling said this one would be here the standard ‘between noon and 5PM’; he called at 10 AM, said he’d be here at 11, and showed up ten minutes later.  What if we’d been at a doctor’s appointment?”

Hmmm…no comment.  She referred to a clipboard.  “I see here that you have only a land line with us.  I assume you get your cable and internet from Rogers.”  “No, and No!  Directly above you, on the porch roof, is my Shaw satellite dish, from which I don’t get cable.”  “I’m too short.  I didn’t see it.”  Not even from the sidewalk, where you should be??  “I’ll boost you up so that you can see it.”  “No thanks!”

This is not going well – for her….I think it is.  “Bell is installing new fibre-optic cables, and we’d like to know if you’d like to pay to upgrade your service.  Are you J. Smith?”  “No, I’m not.  That would be my wife.”  “Oh, could we speak to her?”  “No, she’s upstairs in bed.”  “Oh, I hope we didn’t wake her by ringing the bell.”  “No, you set the dog off, and he woke the whole neighborhood.”  “Ohhh…”

The guy with her never said a word.  One of them was probably training the other, though I’m not sure which was which.  I told them I was already being charged too much for the amount we use their services, and shut the door before one or both of them broke down and cried.   😀


14 thoughts on “Who’s That Knocking At My Door?

  1. Meg Kimball says:

    I was accosted on my front porch by religious converters. I decided to go the honest route, and I laid out for them my convoluted belief system, and they ran screaming into the neighborhood within five minutes. (I was already outside and could not just close the door. This worked almost as well, though.)


    • Archon's Den says:

      We don’t get too many religious callers, although I came home to a glossy flyer from Jehovah’s Witnesses recently.
      When I am asked if I have “found Jesus”, I reply that I have never lost him, which is true (enough).
      The daughter goes with surprise and outrage, “Why?? Did you lose him – again?? Isn’t he important to your faith? You should keep a better eye on him!” 😛


      • I love your daughter’s response!


      • Archon's Den says:

        I have raised a den of snakes free-thinking iconoclasts. The daughter has transplanted a portion, and is fertilising it. The Thumpers are often so focused that they don’t ‘get’ irony or sarcasm. Imagine a neighborhood with signs on all the light posts.

        Real name Yeshoah
        Answers to ‘Jesus’
        Short Jewish male
        Swarthy skin
        Bearded – hooked nose
        Reward of Eternity in Heaven if found

        Liked by 1 person

      • ladyryl says:

        Actually, I found a new one to spring on them rattling around in the back of my brain… The next time they accost me I’ll politely tell them I found him sleeping on my couch this morning and after feeding him breakfast and coffee, he went on his way, so he’s wandering around here somewhere.
        I wonder how much that will blow their tiny minds…???


      • Archon's Den says:

        Throughout his travels and ministry, Christ relied on the generosity of strangers for food, drink and housing. The kind of ‘Good Christians’ you’d meet in that situation wouldn’t really want to admit that, most especially if you insinuated that he was sleeping off a hangover.
        Near Cordelia’s Mom, in Buffalo, a sculptor installed a ‘Sleeping Jesus’, a bronze statue of a homeless man with stigmata, on a bench, with a cheap blanket pulled up over his face.
        People have called the police to complain about the homeless man in front of a Catholic Cathedral. 😯

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We have a “No Soliciting” sign right on our front door window. You can’t miss it. But it doesn’t stop people from trying anyway. We’ve disconnected the doorbell, which confuses the hell out of them. They keep pushing that bell with no response and eventually start banging on the door, which we ignore. Sooner or later, they just go away.


    • Archon's Den says:

      You’re even more stringent about not answering the door than I am. I’m glad I phoned ahead before just showing up – and it’s a good thing Cody heard me outside. Other than being grumpy(er) because my nap was interrupted, I regard bell ringers as better entertainment than most network TV. I disconnected one side of our doorbell. Now it only goes ‘ding’, and the dog only barks half as much. 🙄


  3. BrainRants says:

    I had Kansas solicitors under control… then I moved. We’ve had no religious knockers thank… something.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Speaking of ‘religious knockers’…. A co-worker once admitted a Jovie pair, a middle-aged man, and a well-built young female. His daughter?? Then he told the old guy he should continue on up the street and leave the honey for him to ‘talk to’. They ran for it and must have put him on the JW no-fly list. He was never bothered by them again as long as he lived there. 😀


  4. I think you need another screen door. We had a metal safety door put on our flat outside the regular door. We can bolt the metal door and padlock it if we go out. The safety door has a grill at the top through which we can talk while keeping the inside bolt on. Many flats here have those.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Just filed our income taxes and are getting a small refund. The wife was already planning to have one installed this summer. I’ve had aggressive solicitors just reach out to open the last one by themselves.

      Steel grills over doors and windows are common in the ‘war zones’ of big cities like LA and Chicago. Occasionally you hear of a fire starting inside, and the family dying because they can’t unlock it in the panic. 😦


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