A Challenge To All

There is a lot to love about summer. Snowie shacks are open, the splash pad is running, and we even have a quaint, though slightly ghetto, ice cream truck that brings me back to my childhood every time it goes by.
There isn't a lot not to love about summer. But I think the absolute worst thing is the salesman, those darn traveling salesman that suddenly appear at your door.
You know them: they are always either boys aged 18-27, or foreigners who ask way too many questions about your kids. I know about summer sales, because plenty of my male friends (aged 18-27) have left for the summer for the same jobs. Which begs the question: is it against the rule to get a sales job in your own hometown? I mean, why do all the Utah boys have to leave for the summer, only to be replaced by a bunch of weirdos who always, always, always ask me the population of Tremonton. (Which I always forget, and I can't even make an educated guess because I am phenomenally bad at that, like guessing how many jelly beans are in the jar. I'm usually off by like a thousand.)
I have gotten pretty good at avoiding the salesman. Our kitchen window looks out onto the front porch, so if I do some stealthy ninja moves I can usually avoid answering the door for anyone other than invited guests. I don't mean to be unkind, but they've really brought this upon themselves. There was a salesman last year who, after ten minutes of me telling him I was not interested and then finally shutting the door in his face, proceeded to yell through the door for another five minutes. I'm not kidding.
So, generally, it is not a problem for me because I don't let these strange obnoxious pests into my life. But, as is their mission statement, they can't be avoided forever. Tonight, I went outside for literally ten seconds just to turn the sprinkler off. From down the sidewalk I heard someone shout hello. I turned, said hi back, but realized it was a salesman and booked it for the door.
Too late. Like lightning he was suddenly on my porch, acting like he had made the trip out here just for me. (Side note: one of our friends is out on summer sales right now in Oregon, and he's always posting cool pictures of his after-work excursions, because Oregon is cool. I wonder what this poor sap is writing home about. "Well... Tremonton is small, but rumor has it they're getting a Dollar Tree." Clearly he is here to WORK, not for the free vacation.)
This particular salesman was a pest control guy, the worst of the lot because you can pretend you already have a security system, but everybody has bugs. After asking me a lot of personal questions while I tried to inch my way into the house, he proceeded to show me a laminated picture of all different kinds of spiders and wanted me to point to which ones I usually saw in our house. Like I want to relive that! He then explained how for the low low cost of 150 galleons, he could knock down those pesky spider webs between the shingles, but I'd have to be on my guard because it would, obviously, need to be done quarterly. 
Let's get one thing straight: if you could get rid of every spider in my house and GUARANTEE me that there would never be one again, there would be no price I wouldn't pay for that service. (Caleb may disagree.) But you can't guarantee that, can you, you sly little man who doesn't carry a business card when I offer to give you a call if I'm interested?
My problem is I just can't be mean. I can't! And they know I can't, and they play off of it! However, it was 9:00 at night and I really just wanted to go inside and hang out with my husband and I don't know, do anything but stand here and talk about spiders with this stranger, so I had to at least lie to get myself out of future entanglements.
I just don't lie well. For some reason I lied and said Caleb wasn't home, and then I spent the rest of our encounter in fear that Caleb would show up at the door. That would really test my improv skills. "Oh! Manuel! This is my butler who speaks no English!"
Finally, he realized I wasn't busting out the credit card any time soon, despite his constant references to some neighbor who I must know and trust and strive to emulate, who was getting her webs removed on Saturday. But he had to log me as a maybe-sale anyway.
"Can I get your name?"
As he's typing it on his company iPad. "Is that with an i?"
"Great. And can I get your phone number?" Ah! Now I had him! Since it is beyond my capacity to just make up a 100% fake number when I'm put on the spot like this, I gave him my real number, but one number off. It's a trick I learned at the singles ward, when all the crazies would ask for my number repeatedly, and if I gave them a real one they would call FORTY TIMES in one day. Yes this really happened.
Of course, it wasn't until I came in that I realized I had missed a golden opportunity here. After all, he was a stranger who would soon be gone. As far as he's concerned, I could be anyone I wanted. Why stop at Andi? I could be the crazy cat lady who asks if he'll come back tomorrow to hear more of her stories. I could turn the tables and try to make him as uncomfortable as possible.
And this is where I challenge all of you to really go crazy with these salesman. Think outside the box. Don't hide from the salesman: embrace the experience! Step into the role of the worst person you can imagine encountering. And if you do it, I want to hear about it.
Let's make next years training session for summer sales one they will never forget. (Because, I assume, they prepare them for everything... Just not me. Mwahahaha.)

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