Monday, April 24, 2006

The Games People Play

Last Friday some young punk knocked on my front door as I was finishing lunch. He was selling magazine subscriptions (supposedly under the authority of some larger legitimate organization) to finance a personal trip to the Caribbean. I fell for this schtick last year, “renewing” a Rolling Stone subscription because the smooth-operating young man hawking the goods made me feel a) ageless and beautiful ; b) lucky to live in my neighborhood; and c) completely seduced and impressed by his slick salesmanship. I’m not kidding. This man could talk Howard Stern into celibacy. Or Thomas Pynchon into a splashy media campaign to promote his next book.

So because J (home for lunch) snuck off to hide in the living room, I politely listened to and tactfully declined the pitch, although this young salesman could have really given last year’s huckster a stroll for the money in a suave-off. “Sorry,” I said as nicely as I could in my sing-song, please-believe-my-fake-regret-to-end-this-moment voice. Instantly, he snapped into snark-mode (with a whiff of K-Fed pseudo-tude): “Don’t be Sorry. That’s a board game.”

He really said that. Slightly baffled, I had to pause for about five full seconds to absorb what he meant by that strange comeback. And then I got it.

In response, I wish I would have said this: “I can see you haven’t got a MONOPOLY on magazine sales in this neighborhood, because I fell for this BUNCO last summer. So I’m afraid that today won’t be your PAYDAY. You’ll have to look into some less DICEy CAREERS. This OPERATION seems to be more TROUBLE than it’s worth, and hardly worth the AGGRAVATION. I don’t have a CLUE how you get people to fall for this RISK-y and TRIVIAL PURSUIT; it BOGGLES the CRANIUM.”

Instead I cowardly sicked him on the elderly women that live across the street from us. And yes, that’s how you spell “to sic” in the past tense. I looked it up, bitches.


36 comments:

  1. Hilarious. For real. I wish you had said that to him.

    I mean, really. Magazines? What ever happened to twizzlers?

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  2. I love that...when I was little, my dad and I would always play a game he called, "pun fun"...it may have been the most annoying game known to man (or at least known to my mother) but I still get a good laugh thinking about...

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  3. Those LATE COME-BACKS are ALWAYS the best. Just too bad you can't remember and use them on the next disgruntled MAG salesman you find! ~ jb///

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  4. So, I take it he was selling subscriptions to Games magazine?

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  5. Those mag peddlers come around my neighborhood every so often - total scammers!

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  6. Well, Chutes and Ladders! That young man needed a Rock'em Sock'em Robot punch to the chin.

    Hey, at least you answer the door. I have gone to cowering in my house until they give up.

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  7. LMFAO. The best comebacks are the ones that we think of like, the next day.

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  8. *Sigh*
    Hours later, the brain always produces the best comebacks.
    I fell for the same marketing strategy last year, only with children's books...now they keep sending me stuff I don't want.

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  9. That's a frickin' awesome comeback, even if it is after the fact. What a random thing for that kid to say.

    You know, playing Balderdash on Saturday night was how I discovered my new favorite word: clinchpoop.

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  10. Hey, it's a theme! Sweatpantsmom also wrote about her late comeback dilemna today!

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  11. Sorry? That's a board game? That's hysterical! I can't believe he said that! I think I would have laughed and closed the door. At least the kid has a sense of humor huh?

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  12. I honestly think they teach these kids to be rude. We get them here a LOT, and they are ALWAYS very rude when I turn them down. They scowl and say, "Oh, COME ON, I want to go to Europe!" to which I want to say, "SO DO I, PRICK, GO AWAY". What I do say, since I don't want them to set my house on fire, is, "Sorry, I'm not interested." But it would be fun to say, "BLOW ME YOU LITTLE SHIT", and find out who the assholes are that train them to be so rude.

    To be fair, I have had one (1) of these kids be polite when I said no. I was shocked. Shocked.

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  13. He probably wouldn't have understood some of your comeback anyway. Whippersnappers!

    I had one of those kids come to my door last year. I had a screaming, colicy baby in my arms and two crazy, barking dogs barely contained in the kitchen when I answered the door. He tried his pitch for a minute until he looked over my shoulder at the source of the commotion and said "Um, are they friendly?". To which I said "Well, I never can tell these days. With the new baby and all they can be a little protective..." He forgot all about selling me magazines and left the neighborhood quickly. I haven't seen one of those kids since. You could try that the next time with your dog. It could work!

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  14. i think i would have asked if you too could sell magazine for a trip to the caribbean because life it way too expensive to pay for such a trip due to your "input made up illness."

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  15. Jeez, Jess. I think I'll give this a "perfect post" award because it's just so funny. Did you then tell him to put his subscription sign-up forms down the CHUTE and then escape down the fire LADDER?

    And seriously ... um, couldn't he come up with something better than selling the magazines to finance a trip to the Caribbean? Like some lie about charity or somethig? Sheesh.

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  16. Your comeback would have been fabulous, but I can't get past his rudeness.

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  17. Omigod, Jess - after I get finished laughing, that response makes me want to kiss you....so cute!

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  18. “Don’t be Sorry. That’s a board game.”

    What.A.DORK!

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  19. Last year I was leaving the grocery store on my way to softball, hauling two cases of beer, when I encountered two boys selling . . .something. When I declined, one sneered, "yeah, you would just rather get drunk."

    My initial reaction was "You Little Shit!" which I managed not to say to the rude little bugger.

    Then I thought, "Wait, he's right." Why was I so insulted? I mean, who wouldn't rather get drunk than buy stupid stuff from puny salesmen?

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  20. It seems today's theme is The Late Comeback (check: SweatpantsMom).

    You should have said, "wow, you've put on some weight!"

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  21. I never would have known that that was the past tense of "sic." I guess I should get a LIFE.

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  22. You also could have said, "I've killed children larger than you." But that's not so much a play on words as it is a threat.

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  23. Oh my god. Every time I think you can't get any funnier, you do.

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  24. what a knob... you should have said "no, SORRY is your ass not going to the carribean"

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  25. I fell for this once as well, 1 magazine and a renewal cost us $90....I wish I could think of something clever that does not involve explicatives....

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  26. I know it was right on the tip of your tongue, right? You were probably just stuck on Careers...

    I ALWAYS buy shit people are selling door-to-door. Oranges, spaghetti feeds, carpet cleaner. It's a wonder I'm not a Mormon 20 times over.

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  27. That would have been a great comeback! Either way, the kid needs to learn to take disappointment a little better, especially if he's (at least temporarily) in sales. Maybe his parents never tell him no.

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  28. LOL, Well I just tell the people at the door that I'm just babysitting. This normally scares them away, cuz I can't "make any household decisions".

    If that doesn't work, I say, "Oh and the baby is in the bath alone" and start screaming like a crazy person and slam the door.

    Oh and once I had a kid approach me on the street practically asking me to marry him, then started his sales pitch, I respectlly declined and then he said "well fuck you then" and walk off. I was so in shock I couldn't come back with anything.

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  29. If only you'd been able to lay that on him. Little snarkass punk would have been the speechless one.

    I hear a good one the other day. You say "I'm sorry. I never conduct business at the front door. Please contact me by mail with your offer"

    Haaaa bitch!

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  30. HA! That was very funny!! Can I save that to Microsoft word and print it for personal use?

    I try cut them off before they even get started by saying, "Sorry, not interested. Whatever it is, I can find it cheaper on the internet."

    I LOATHE door to door salesmen. My best friend's husband used to run a sales crew for the local paper and I told him if he ever dumped a van load of his boys in our neighborhood I'd have him drawn and quartered. I meant it too.

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  31. That was awesome!! I think those some kids must have come to my door here in Texas a month ago.. They gave the same song and dance, but there were two of them, so they were double teaming me with sales pitches. I snet them on there way pretty quickly.. :) Love your blog! Come by and visit my little blog world down here in Texas when ya get the chance..Hope ya have a great day today up in Wisconsin.. How's Lake Geneva by the way?? : )

    C.

    C.

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  32. I'm going to spend the morning trying to work "Hungry Hungry Hippos" into a witty reply. I'll get back to you.

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  33. I'm not good with quick comebacks. I would have probably said something stupid like, "Oh yeah.... well you're ugly!"

    Hmm, now that I read this, I guess the same thing is true about my ability to write clever comments.

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  34. I'm so impressed that you used all of those games in a sentence. You're my hero!

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  35. No he di'int!!

    Ugh, what a loserboy. I would have said mean stuff in my head but none of it would have come out coherently.

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  36. Ohhh...I feel your pain. I just wrote a post about this, but unlike you, I didn't have the pressence of mind to sic my perpetrator on someone else.

    (And we have those same guys trolling our neighborhood. I'll have your post ready in case I need to come up with a board-game-themed comeback.)

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