Monday, June 18, 2007

Carpetbaggers beware in my small town

There's a backyard full of puppies a few blocks walk from our house that the girl's absolutely MUST visit on a daily basis. That a classmate of C's resides in the house of little fuzzy furballs only adds to the positive elements surrounding a quick trek up and over for a visit.

Not long ago, while approaching the pupperoni house, I noticed a "stranger" talking to the Lady of the house on the front porch. He was dressed in a shirt and tie, was carrying a briefcase and a sales sample satchel of some sort.

A door-to-door salesman.
The solicitor general of the flim flam family.
Sir Carpetbagger, hocking his wares the old fashion way.
An original cold caller.

I thought these fellas had gone the way of Crystal Pepsi and Windoze users who thought Microsoft made a bug free operating system.

The last time a door-to-door sales pitch was made at me, was back in LA, made by a string of kids with large vinyl containers full of peanut brittle, caramel nut cluster candy, candles and coloring books. Any one item for $5 each and for the good cause of winning the saleskid a trip to Magic Mountain -- all in an effort to keep him off the streets and out of the gangster lifestyle.

Or I could refuse to buy something and have the kid kick my potted azalea plant over today, and maybe have to face him down at a street corner a few years down the road when he's a full fledged member of the local street gang.

I usually bought the peanut brittle.

Back to my small town...

D-2-D man and his potential customer appeared to be having a jocular conversation with each other, so I just waved to the Lady and continued our puppy trek.

At the end of the block, we approached the backyard to the house we've labeled as the "Rock Wall" house, due to the large artificial climbing wall that the owners have built for their kids to play on. Rock Wall house was full of girls, ages 5-12, who gathered around Franny for an extended session of "pet the pooch." One of the girls was Jayme, a softball teammate of C's.

I mentioned the "Stranger" I had seen down the block and inquired whether or not he had been by their house earlier. Immediately I was deluged by every stray fact (and some theory) that the slew of Nancy Drew's had gathered in their recognizance of the stranger."He asked where our parents were..."
"He was selling educational software..."
"His car had an Oklahoma tag on it, but there was a Georgia Tech sticker on the rear windown..."
"He seemed kinda creepy..."
"He was pretty tall, had brown hair and brown eyes..."
"I think he looked kinda like Will Gotchalk, don't you think he did kinda?"
"He said that even our Sheriff bought some software from him..."
"Was he wearing glasses....I don't remember if he was wearing glasses or not?"
"He was carrying a suitcase of some sort..."
"I told him that I lived here, and that our folks had just run to Braum's and would be back in a few minutes or so..."
Have to admit, I was pretty impressed at how thorough their investigatory skills were.

The eldest of the gaggle seemed to have things well in hand and they knew what to do and who to call if anything looked out of sorts, so we walked home, thinking not much more about the Stranger.

Then this article comes out in the local paper...

A small town nut can have a hard shell to crack.

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