I feel like being in a ranty mood, so here we go.
This evening I was accosted by a solicitor. She rang my doorbell and knocked on my door, not a friendly knock mind you, but the kind that announces, "HEY, I'M HERE TO SELL YOU SOMETHING YOU DON'T NEED AND AM GOING TO MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE A JERK IF YOU DON'T BUY SOMETHING FROM ME." She shook my hand immediately after I opened the door and I noticed at once that she held a bottle of water. "One of those," I thought to myself.
"You're not trying to sell me water, are you?," I asked with a cocked eyebrow.
"Water, no, but water filtration," she responded, as if I didn't know that before hand.
These people are funny because they try and take a bottle of water (which invariably is just tap water, too) and compare it to the gross tap water that you somehow manage to survive drinking. They then try to trick you into buying their filtration equipment because you must be less than human (hey, even dogs turn their noses at that stuff!) because you drink from that cesspool of a tap. Truth be told, I agree, which is why our fridge does all the drinking water filtrating. But I digress.
I told her that her people had already been through the neighborhood and that I wasn't interested.
"Oh, but we're a different company!", she retorted. This seemed to get under her skin quite a bit because I am sure that even if she were representing a different company she must get told that a fair amount.
"Sorry," I apologized, "I really am not interested." At that point she made a funny face because I started closing the door. She started trying to say something, but more firmly repeated the same thing. Close the door, lock it.
This same scene has been played out too many times with other people selling cutlery, vacuums, steaks (steaks?!), cleaning supplies and other wares. There is quite the array of products they peddle , but the annoyance and sham is still the same. One guy even tried to ask to come in for a glass of water, once, in a pathetic attempt to gain entrance to my house. It did feel unchristian at the time, what with a blistering heat outside, but the inner sanctum of many homes has been breached on too many an occasion by those trying to prey upon the indulgences of a too trusting society.
The tactic that seems to work for me is to not let them talk. Like the Sirens of myth, you cannot be ensnared if you never give them a chance to speak. To normal human interaction, such actions seem uncivil or rude, but so also is making a living out of accosting and duping people into buying something.