Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Witless Wednesday.

Some folks call it “hump day”.  There’s a tiny part of me that finds that ever so slightly rude.  Something an overzealous male dog might try to do to your leg.  That kind of thing.

Speaking of rude…

Gawd I love the way these segues pop into my head. 

I was about to head out this morning for my usual morning (and lately somewhat frigid) jaunt down Mariahilfer Straße,   (that’s pronounced “strasse”, with the “s” like the hissing of a snake, if you’re new here.  And the “e” isn’t completely silent.  It’s hard to explain, but I thought I’d try.)

…when the doorbell rang.

It’s not all that difficult to get into this building,  since we do have at least one Doctor who has some sort of varicose vein practise,  along with a lawyer or two.  Plus half the time the bloody front door is open as a result of the twits from the Quick Green joint around the corner having to get into their storage room.  And even if the door is locked,  chances are that you can hit any number of door buzzers and someone will just pop the door open for you.  This is why it’s nice to have a peep hole.

I should also mention that there was a break-in last winter on New Year’s Eve.  We were in Canada at the time.  It was in one of the apartments down below,  and although their doors are huge,  they’re only made of wood after all,  and the thieves simply used a cordless drill to drill past the deadbolt.  Apparently there’s a certain amount of noise making going on over New Year’s here,  and nobody really noticed the noise that the crooks were making.  Bastards.

Getting in to our humble abode here wouldn’t be that easy,  since anyone wishing to drill through the door would need to make a hole big enough to climb in and out,  since there’s not only a key only operated dead bolt from both sides,  but seven additional bolts that get thrown into the frame around the perimeter of the door.  Three on the hinge side,  and four on the lock side.  Those are in addition to the dead bolt.   A bit of a “Fort Knox”  theme going on there,  but I’m OK with it.


I’ve taken a picture,  but I’m not sure it helps.



See the little nubbies?

And,  if I leave my key in the lock like that,  then Travelling Companion wouldn’t be able to get in this evening.  Just saying.


Anyhoo,  I peeps through the peephole,  and it looks to me like there are two ladies standing out there,  so I have my suspicions,  but figure I’ll open the door to them anyway.

I should mention that, hardly anyone just shows up at the door anymore,  but in the first year of living here I had all manner of unsolicited “visitors”,  including Jehovahs,  some guy wanting me to pay my TV tax (not happening)  and even a couple Catholics from one of the bazillion Catholic Churches around here. 

Yes.  Not kidding. Catholics.

I explained to those two,  who were very pleasant by the way,  that they didn’t have a hope in Hell of getting us in their Church, since they were competing with St. Augustine.  And for me being the non-Catholic type,  you’d better have a pretty good choir, a couple top notch singers,  and maybe a twenty piece orchestra. 

I realise that’s a pretty tall order,  but if you’re going to make me freeze my feet damned near off,  sit on a hard pew, and pony up €5 for the collection,  you’re going to need to entertain me.  Sorry. 

I know I could put in less,  and in many areas I am indeed a cheap bugger,  but the sound of “coins” being dropped into the collection has always bothered me.   Not sure why that is.

Just to be clear,  I didn’t say “hope in Hell” to those two.  That would be rude after all.  But I did explain it in those terms.  They understood.

I’m starting to really get off topic here.  Presuming there ever was one.


So I open the door to the old ladies. 

Oh that’s right,  they weren’t exactly young snappily dressed,  radiant beauties, since that might have actually held my attention for more than about five seconds.   And as soon as the one on the right went to peel off one of their “this is a message that will change your life”  type of pamphlets,  I basically said,  (in German) “Oh right,  we have your types back in Canada,  just let me show you the technique I use there too”,  and at that moment I pointed to the lock on the door (it’s a distractionary tactic) and proceeded to close it.  

If, by the way,  you ever find yourself sitting in front of a really good salesperson,  you may notice that if they want to draw your attention to let’s say a contract they want you to sign,  they might take their pen out of a breast pocket (this is in the case of a man,  obviously)  and then use it to point to a line on the page.  Human nature is such that your eye will follow that pen,  thereby distracting you from whatever objection you might have had to the proposal.  Works every time.   As far as female sales types are concerned,  I won’t get into the use of cleavage,  hand wringing or any of that crap.   It’s not hard to figure them out either.


Now,  you might consider that to be a bit rude. (closing the door.  Not the cleavage.)  But here’s the thing.  If you’re going to show up at my door without an invite,  we’re not quite sure what’s going to happen.  You’d certainly better not show up empty handed.   Some pamphlet,  or a copy of the “Watch Tower”  isn’t going to cut it.   I should have asked,  “Did you bring chocolate?”  but I didn’t want to get involved with them even that much.   Plus,  I would have been ever so screwed if they had said,  “Why yes,  yes we did,  and it’s the good kind.” 

Crap.  Then what do I do?

But see,  that would be one helluva an angle.  Just hand out chocolate!  Put your message inside. I might even read it.   But a couple of old gals?   Not happening.

My apologies to any of the “older gals” out there,  but at least you’re just sitting there reading something on your computer,  and not out bugging people at their front door.  Good for you.


When we first moved into our house back in Canada,  we had a host of people showing up at our front door.  Uninvited.

I’ve even been known to ask for their address,  just so I could show up at their house during dinner,  uninvited.  

The first summer we were there,  I was out cutting the grass with the old lawn mover that the previous owner had left behind,  and out of the corner of my eye I see two ladies coming up the drive.   With a little bit of a sigh I shut off the machine,  waited for the smoke to clear,  and got ready for the “pitch”. 

“Oh, where’s the older gentleman who used to live here?”

(See,  we bought the house from the estate of my late father-in-law)

“We used to have such lovely chats with him”  Those were her exact words.  “Lovely chats”. 

(Well of course you did,  he lived there by himself and,  not unlike my father,  he would sit and talk the ear off an elephant.  They probably couldn’t get away from him.)

So I kindly explained to them that,  that was my late father-in-law,  and that he had passed away the previous December, and that we were living there now. 

Also,  that I would love to sit and chat,  but since I had to go to work later that afternoon (Afternoon shift Caretaker)  somebody was going to have to cut the grass,  and which one of you would that be? 

There was a lot of silence.

Since neither of them volunteered to cut the grass for me,  we said our good-byes.

And here’s the thing about that particular old lawnmower,  the exhaust pipe of which just happened to be pointing in their general direction,  when you first fired ‘er up,  there would be this great blue billowing cloud of smoke that would come belching out.

I think they got the idea.  They didn’t come back.  

Was that rude?


I actually have several more stories like that,  but I can see by my word count that you’re probably starting to nod off,  so we’ll leave that alone.   For now.


Be nice to your neighbour.


Thanks for stopping by.




  1. Love your stories. I had Jehovah Witness people show up on my doorstep and I decided to out talk them. Just the mood I was in that day. So every time one of them tried to say something, off I went and I talked and talked and talked. Finally they gave up, told me to have a nice day and wandered off looking like they didn't know what hit them. It was quite fun. However, in order to talk that much I really do need to be in the mood.

  2. great chuckle to my we think sure wouldn't want to know what I did to the 'let me save your soul" folks in the past...and I also have to add here that I have a 'blast' with the telemarketers...awww maybe a blog story for me in the future...

  3. some days maybe you just pretend you aren't home!..gotta love those door knockers!!


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.