Monday, May 5, 2008

The Salesman Cometh--And Refuseth to Go Away

When our three beagles started barking and clawing at the open blinds on the living room window Saturday morning, I assumed they were barking at someone out on the street, because I hadn’t heard the doorbell. I yelled at them to get down from the window before they destroyed the blinds, but to no avail. As I pulled one dog out of the bent and battered slats, I glimpsed a man at the front door.

He wasn’t one of the neighbors, nor was he wearing any kind of uniform. He was well dressed and sported the telltale padfolio.

If he didn’t see me, then he certainly heard me, no thanks to my hoydenish voice that can be heard in three counties even when I’m not yelling (Mr. Lucky says anytime he's on the phone with me, he has to hold it away from his ear because I talk so loud). But the salesman knew someone was home.

“He already knows anyway,” Mr. Lucky hollered over the cacophony, “because there are two cars in the driveway.”

“That doesn’t mean anything,” I shouted. “For all he knows, we have a third vehicle we took to go out for donuts. Or we flew somewhere on vacation and left both vehicles here to make people think someone was home.”

“Well, that’s why he’s out there,” Mr. Lucky bellowed. “Because he thinks someone’s home.”

Certainly the racket was a major tip-off. And it got worse in a deafening, nerve-shredding chain reaction.

Baby Bear charged in, shirtless and screaming, and threw himself on the sofa. The frenzied dogs continued attacking the blinds as if they were made of USDA prime beef. Then, since I had yet to lose my mind, the phone rang. The answering machine kicked in, and on came a chirpy voice congratulating me for winning a thirty day free trial membership at a ladies’ fitness club.

Mr. Lucky decided this would be an excellent opportunity to conduct an impromptu obedience class for the dogs. He started commanding them to get down and sit. Perhaps the salesman would get tired of waiting and leave.

I joined Baby Bear on the sofa, and tried to soothe him. I nearly lost my teeth and six vertabrae for my trouble.

Meanwhile, the perky voice on the answering machine promised me a fabulous bod just in time for the summer. Wouldn’t I love to go to the beach and attract so many hot looking guys I’d have to beat them off with my surfboard?

A howling Baby Bear had me in a headlock and was ready to flip me over the coffee table, but I managed to steal a peek under his armpit, and saw through the window that the salesman wasn’t going anywhere. He really wanted to make that sale, convert us to that religion, or secure that vote. Why didn’t he give up and try our more hospitable neighbor? Was he nuts, or just desperate? I know if I didn’t live here, I would’ve run for my life by now.

I somehow got the upper hand on Baby Bear, and wrestled him into his room. My husband, who has a lot more patience than I do, finally calmed the dogs and got them to sit. He cracked the door open and slipped out to talk to the man, who wished to impart some “good news.” He wasn’t about to give up and let us suffer all that pandemonium for nothing. Oh, no! We, more than anyone else in the neighborhood, had earned the ultimate payoff for all our troubles: The promise of going on forever, in exchange for some money, our souls, and what little remained of our rational thinking.

I thought we were already doing that. I think Mr. Lucky told him as much—or at least, “No thanks.”

As I stood there panting for breath, sweat trickling down my brow, the gushing lady on the answering machine finally wrapped it up. “So why are you just sitting there, girlfriend? Get off that sofa, get out of your rut, and call now—and discover how you can enjoy a more active, exciting life today!”


Vicki said...

Okay, so I know the day was probably not funny to you, but the post had me ROFL.

Phyllis said...

I'm so happy to learn that I am not the only one whose dogs go absolutely nutso when a saleman comes to the door. Or (sigh) the mailman.

We don't entertain much.

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