door ringers and interruptions

I’m not sure what it is about our neighborhood that attracts so many door ringers. You know what I’m talking about – those annoying-as-hell people who make their living by ringing your doorbell to take donations to save bulimic whales, or buy magazine subscriptions to send some kid to self-esteem camp in Rangoon. There is nothing worse than being pulled away from my favorite pastimes of dish washing or cleaning up the beagle’s dinner that she hurked up on the living room carpet.

What is it about my neighborhood? Do we look more depraved than other neighborhoods? I would think these folks would want more bang for their buck and go hit up the neighborhood above us. They have about 3,000 homes and we challenge the growth charts at 36. And that’s including the greenbelt.

I try to be nice, and I could lie like a cheap rug and say that I smile politely and say, “No thank you. Oh, and have a lovely day.” But my kids would narc me out and say that I snarl like the beagle when she’s in full designer doggie chewie mode. Especially if I’m writing…like I was last weekend. The doorbell rang. I was alone, happily tippy tapping aways. I considered ignoring it, but I can’t do that any more than I can ignore a ringing phone.

On top of that, my hip is killing me, so it really hurts to hobble up from my desk (hurry up surgery!). So up I get, ow, ow, thinking this better be good.

“HI!” says the perky man in a suit. A suit? Who wears a suit on a Saturday? “I’d love to talk to you about your soul.” Ah ha, it’s then that I spy the bible he has tucked under his arm.

Blink. Blink. “My soul?”

It was the perfect opening for him to launch into something that involved Luke and Matthew. A few more blinks and I muttered something and closed the door.

My soul? Holy savior, Batman, I’m an editor. I have no soul.

What kinds of interruptions drive you to the brink of madness when you’re writing?

21 Responses to door ringers and interruptions

  1. NinjaFingers says:

    Let’s see:

    No. I do not want a three month trial of the movie package. I told you that last week. And the week before. And the week before that…

    Your little dog is cute, and when it yaps its way along the corridor, I can’t resist getting up and poking my head out to see it… (It is almost as adorable as the beagle).

    At least the six months of loud construction from 8am to 6pm six days a week are done with…

  2. S.P. Bowers says:

    Would you like to have a soul? I have a couple you might be interested in. I’ll come over tonight and tell you about them.

  3. Frank Mazur says:

    Ah, interruptions. Recently, a collection agency kept calling my number who isn’t me and isn’t someone I know. I told them to check their database. or maybe the debtor deliberately gave out a number other than his own. They continued to interrupt and annoy, and so I got legal help. That resulted in a check for $500. Now for those who interrupt at your doorstep, your first move is to ask them if they have $25. That’s what it will cost them if you are to listen to their pitch. And surely if they believe in their pitch, $25 dollars is nothing. And when it comes to souls… well, they should be ashamed if they can’t fork it over. You missed an opportunity for some pocket change, Lynn.

  4. My next door neighbor, the guardian of a rather large, feral cat colony, will walk around calling for her favorite feline…

    It starts with a quiet, “Snow Ball.”
    Then she erupts with, “SNOOOOOOWWWWW BAAALLLL!”
    And finally, she resorts to his high pitched nickname, “Snoooo Booooooo!”

    This incites all three of my dogs to jump up and start barking.

    Then two of mine turn on my own cats, while the third uses the opportunity to beeline for the counter and check to see if anyone left anything edible upon it.

    This, always, when I am deeply involved in my writing. Makes me want to dig out my husband’s paintball gun. And no, I don’t plan on aiming it at Snow Ball.

  5. We have a lot of middle and high school age kids in the neighborhood and I swear they have fund raisers every week. I’ve bought more magazine subscriptions for people in countries I can’t find on a map than I can count. It’s the fear of what these kids will do to my house in the middle of the night if I say NO that keeps me writing checks.

  6. Oh, I was going to blog about this but then I didn’t want people to think I had gone insane.

    Is it getting worse or am I getting less tolerant?
    Our home number is unlisted, and we’re on the “do not call” register, but I still get calls. Especially charities, who, when I remind them I’m on the register, they remind me they’re exempt. I don’t care if you’re exempt, I’m on the ‘do not call’ for a reason. I can do without the interruptions thank you. And I do donate to charities, the ones of my choosing, not yours.

    I have a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on the letter box but they ignore it and cram it in. So I post it back to them without a stamp and they pay for it. Hahhahahahaha!

    I also have a ‘do not knock’ sticker on the front door – and they still knock!!!!!!


    thank you, I think my spleen is empty now.

  7. I used to have this gorgeous brass plaque that I put right next to the doorbell that said, “No Solicitors.” Of course, they’d see this and knock, playing the innocent, “Oh, I didn’t see this,” to which I’d reply that their reading comprehension equaled their shoe size. Gah.

  8. NinjaFingers says:

    Lynn, one of these days, I should tell you the story of the witch and the Mormons, but I don’t want to do so this publicly…I still haven’t worked out how to use it yet ;).

  9. I have to admit that you’ve piqued my interest. We’ve been besieged by Mormons here, since we’re close to one of their temples. I can see their white shirts and black pants from a mile away and managed to avoid answering the door. Last time one got me, I told them I belonged to a Coven of witches who strip down to their skivvies and dance around a Coleman stove. I had no idea eyes could get that wide.

  10. NinjaFingers says:

    Can I email it to you? It beats that, trust me.

  11. Bring it, Ninjie.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I’m a regular commentator but for reasons soon to be apparent I’d rather not have my name to connected to the following story. (Agree or disagree with me on the issue, but I have a business to protect.)

    For years I kept a bumper sticker with “Keep Abortion Safe and Legal” on the front door. Right at eye level. It didn’t stop the religious door-knockers altogether, but it sure did slow them down.

  13. Cat says:

    I did blog about this some time ago. We have a sign on the door. I open the door. I tell them “We do not do business at the door.” They (always seem to come in pairs now) tell me that they are not trying to sell me anything. I tell them to leave our premises or I will sue for trespass. (I can if they refuse to leave after being asked to do so.) Then I shut the door quite firmly. Oh yes, I do understand about being interrupted and having to get all four paws to the door. Gah!

  14. awparker says:

    Yes, but he give you my manuscript?

    I paid for that, you know.

  15. Um. Totally confused by that…

  16. Becky Mushko says:

    Years ago, when I lived in the city, my two dogs who would go into a barking frenzy whenever anyone rang the doorbell. If it was someone I knew, I called the dogs off and let the visitor in. If the ringer was a solicitor/Morman/whatever, I’d yell, “Sorry I can’t hear you over the dogs’ barking!” a couple of times. Meanwhile, the dogs barked louder and louder. The person eventually left.

    For phone callers, I ask for a credit card number. When they ask why, I say I’m a consult and that I expect to be paid for my input. (“Isn’t that why you called—to get my input? Well, I’m entitled to a consulting fee.”)

    Lynn, can you train the beagle to howl loudly into the phone? That might do it.

  17. Becky,I LOVE the credit card idea. I’ll use that from now on. The only time the beagle howls is when she hears Sweetcheeks’ voice on the answering machine. Goes nuts.

  18. NinjaFingers says:

    We used to use the dog trick against telemarketers. My father’s little mutt barked at the drop of a hat. Including into the phone. So ‘accidentally’ dropping the handset next to her did the trick. We’d also regularly ‘accidentally’ lose our grip on her collar when dealing with solicitors. She wasn’t vicious or anything…just ADHD and LOUD. And she once stole a copy of the Watchtower from the JWs and ate it…

  19. And she once stole a copy of the Watchtower from the JWs and ate it…

    I think I pulled something in my back from laughing so hard. I would give anything to see the horror on their faces. But you have to be careful of the dog at the door trick. They can call the ASPCA out on you for a vicious dog.

  20. NinjaFingers says:

    This was in England, where animal control laws aren’t quite as ridiculous.

    The dog concerned was, to our knowledge, the bastard offspring of a whippet and some kind of spaniel. She was not just hyperactive…she was stupid with it. But pretty. Very very pretty.

    Really, there was only one accurate word for that dog: Bimbo.

  21. Pelotard says:

    I usually tell the JW people that I’m not interested, but if they’re knocking on my door because they’re genuinely worried that I might be going to hell, and they want to help me, completely unselfishly, then I hope that God blesses them.

    I have so far recieved one happy smile, thirty-one very worried looks.

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