The last person who called me with an offer for a low APR credit card was informed that credit cards were against my religion.
The last person who called me with an offer for long-distance service was informed that I’m not allowed to use the telephone.
An infinite number of rednecks in an infinite number of pickup trucks shooting an infinite number of shotguns at an infinite number of road signs will eventually produce all the world’s great works of literature in Braille.
I use the old “no, she’s not here, she’s out of the country for the next six months.” The next time I’m going to say “she” is on an expedition to Everest and we don’t expect her to return because she’s never been mountain climbing before.
What about those Mormons who interrogate you on the street?
When I lived in San Francisco, I walked to work every day and passed about 10 Mormons who tried their damndest to recruit me. I was forced to invent lots of comebacks. Damn, those boys were cute, but with their phony niceness and glazed look in their eyes, I thought that I should be saving them.
Here is a small sampling:
“Why are you called an “Elder” when I’m older than you are?”
“Sorry, I’m living in sin.”
“Do you want to talk about it more over dinner and dancing tonight?”
“Why don’t you try to recruit homeless people?”
“But I’m a woman, why would I want to be a Mormon?”
There were other, better ones, but I can’t recall all of them now. It all paid off when, one day as I was waiting for a bus, a car load of them drove by and the driver slowed down and all of the recruiters inside waved and smiled at me.
When I get one of these sales calls, I tell 'em slowly and clearly,
“I’m sorry, but I don’t accept telephone solicitations.”
Just about the time they figure out what I just said, the line goes dead on them.
I had just exited from a parkway to a local street. On the shoulder of the exit ramp was a disabled car with someone standing at the open trunk. I passed him, then stopped at the long signal at the bottom of the ramp. I looked in my rear-view, and saw him walking down the ramp with a gas can.
It took him about a minute, but he came up to my window and got my attention. I rolled down the window a few inches. He asked if I could give him a ride to the gas station. I gave him the lame excuse “I’m in a hurry to get home, sorry.” He thanked me, then crossed the road and continued toward the gas station.
I initially felt bad for blowing him off, but then came up with these justifications:[list=1][li]It was only about 2/10 mile to the gas station anyway[/li][li]Wasn’t it convenient that he had a gas can, yet he didn’t have gas in it.[/li][li]I was at one of the longest red lights at a relatively dark intersection[/li][li]He just started walking after I got stopped at the light.[/li][li]Who really runs out of gas nowadays?[/list=1][/li]
So if he were truly out of gas, it wasn’t much of an extra burden on him. And if he weren’t, I avoided a dangerous situation. Right?
Judges 14:9 - So [Samson] scraped the honey into his hands and went on, eating as he went. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them and they ate it; but he did not tell them that he had scraped the honey out of the body of the lion.
Once, when I was called asking if I want to refinance my home loan, I said “Can I get some extra cash on the loan too? How quick can you get it done? I need an answer in a week, before the bankruptcy hearing is held.”
Sometimes I’m in the mood to get into Discussions with Jehovah’s Witnesses or Jews for Jesus. But when I am not in the mood for panhandlers, politicos, etc., I smile and politely tell them, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak English.”
I say it without a trace of any kind of accent, and if they try to continue, I repeat politely, “You don’t seem to have understood—I don’t speak English.” I mean, what can they SAY to that?
I love one that I heard on “Seinfeld.” Jerry’s half of the conversation went something like this:
“I’d love to hear more about this, but I’m busy at the moment. Why don’t you give me your home number, and I’ll call you tonight and you can tell me then. (pause) You can’t give out your number? (pause) Oh, I guess you don’t want to be bothered at home, huh? (pause) Well, now you know how I feel.” (click)
For surveys, I’ve found that telling them you work for a market research company will get you off the phone right away – they aren’t allowed to include you in the survey if you work in the field, which I learned while working for a technology research company.
This isn’t an excuse, but it sure worked well at never having to make up one again.
I was at home, and it was early. We have a large bay window in the den, and I was looking out at the cul-de-sac when I saw a truck with ten men get out of it, and start going up the driveways of people I knew not to be home. The men were well dressed, but it gave me the creeps, so I called the police, who promptly came out and…yeah, it was the Jehovah Witnesses getting busted!