The other day I wrote about the army of youngling solicitors that have been carpet bombing our house trying to divorce me from my wallet. If they’d just double my property taxes I’d get a lot more peace and quiet so it would be worth it.
What happened to the American dream? My guess is that Donald Trump bought it and subdivided it. And installed special plumbing so they don’t just get water, they get a little icy beverage known as Trump Ice. It’s better than water.
I must be something special. It seems the whole world is after my wallet. It works a little something like this:
- I turn on my TV. I’m bombarded with ads. They are louder than the content. The announcers are literally yelling at me. Colors flash.
- I turn off the TV and watch a movie instead. It contains sneaky product placement. And cigarettes. Lots and lots of cigarettes.
- I drive through my home town. Feather flags, sandwich boards, moving message boards, billboards, logos, giant television screens, banners, posters, waving costumed mascots, inflated gorillas, the dancing flag machine, balloons, and monument signs assault my senses.
- I go in a store. Advertisements hang from the ceiling. Advertisements are painted on the floor. Advertisements stick out from the product shelves. Scientifically programmed music soothes my senses to put me in the mood to buy. And, the paranoid believe, the music contain subliminal urgings to spend. Little television screens populate the rows of goods and are found at the end of every aisle. Bigger televisions are found during checkout.
- I drive to the restaurant. The radio yells at me during every commercial break. Vehicles around me are covered in advertising and website names.
- In the restaurant’s bathroom a television hits me with more ads. An advertisement is literally inside the urinal. I literally pee on it.
- The menu lists the brand names for the various ingredients.
- The server brings me a hot dog with an advertisement grilled into the surface of the meat.
- I’m told if I want anything other than butter on my baked potato it is an “upgrade” and I’ll be charged $2.
- I check my mailbox. It is stuffed full of full color glossy ads for things I do not want or need. I toss it all in the trash. It also contains many offers for credit cards and loans from financial institutions that I don’t have a relationship with.
- I go to a movie where I watch 20 minutes of commercials before the scheduled showtime. When it is showtime the house lights dim, followed by more commercials then movie trailers (also known as commercials for other movies).
- I retreat to the safety of my home. Some asshole has left 42 pounds of yellow page books that I do not want and will now have to recycle.
- Solicitors pound on my door offering to sell me everything from fish, meat, Mormonism, and magazine subscriptions. They also ask for canned goods, my used clothes, and, if they are young enough, to fund their schools.
- My phone goes off. It’s a text message that I have won prizes and a Starbuck’s gift card.
- My fax machine is out of paper because the “Human Resources Department” wanted to let me know about hot vacation deals in Tahiti.
- Telemarketers call multiple times per day on my wife’s phone. We ask them to stop and they hang up. We call back and an automated message tells us they don’t accept incoming calls.
- I check my email and there are a few hundred scam attempts to rip me off or phish for information that will be used to hurt me.
- I surf the net and videos with sound leap unbidden onto my screen. Commercial images flash, blink, and move around my screen. Windows open up. I’m told I have to pay money or my computer will stop working. I realize that the website looks like the digital version of the exact same visual experience I see when I drive through my hometown.
- I download a “free” game from the Apple App Store but quickly learn it’s crippled until I spend real money on an “in-app purchase.”
Gee. Isn’t capitalism fun? Have you blown your brains out yet? But wait! If you act now we’ll throw in another Brain Splatter Towel – absolutely free! Why cause extra mess and fuss for your loved ones when you can do it the Brain Splatter Towel way? Wow. That’s absorbent!
Meanwhile, my wife had surgery three weeks ago and it has been my job to try to take care of her. One of my sworn duties is to protect her peace and quiet so she can grab sleep whenever possible. This is not a trivial thing. She’s unable to sleep well at night due to pain and discomfort. So napping has become vital.
What I’ve learned after a few weeks of education is that is the one thing the world won’t allow to happen. She finally falls asleep and then someone comes to the door. The neighbor school children are selling something or want a donation for their cause. Solicitors are hitting the door AND the phone.
It’s so bad that I, your Guru of Negativity, even resorted to using the phrase, “Thank you for your kindness.” I know! I thought maybe a twisted mind fuck would help.
I ended up making a note and taping it to our front door. It reads something like this: “Please do not knock or ring the doorbell if you are not expected. We are recovering and may be asleep. Thank you for your kindness.” I even used the Comic Sans font as a gesture of goodwill!
So far it has been partially effective.
I’ve got history with this sort of thing. You might call me an expert. A long time ago I worked for a newspaper and had a no “soliciting sign” on my door. One day I heard a knock. I ignored it. I then heard a knock at the apartment next door. I heard the person say they were were selling my newspaper. And I was already a subscriber. They didn’t even bother to be organized enough to not hassle people that were already their customers. After my neighbor told them to pound sand I heard a strange ripping noise. I went and looked and, sure enough, my no soliciting sign was gone! It seemed ye olde solicitor had quite the attitude.
I notified my company to complain and got response #42 from their playbook: The solicitor was a “contractor” and there was nothing they could do. Funny. That’s the same thing they told subscribers when a newspaper carrier put their product through a window. “He’s a contractor. It’s not our problem. We recommend you take it up with him.” Funny. That’s not who they called when they subscribed. That’s not who they had the business arrangement with. Funny. Since then that newspaper has lost 80 percent of its value and is going belly up. Hey, that is funny. Ha ha ha. It’s almost enough to make me believe in karma.
OK, I’ve rambled. I think I’ve made my point. In my defense I would like to draw your attention to the fact that at no point in this entire post did I ever attempt to sell you something.
I am your true friend.