Too good to be true
I admit I gripe a lot that there are a lot of people who through and through are just not nice - so much so that when I do meet a random nice person it's a pleasant surprise. And my reaction can be almost goofy 'cause I'm thrilled like I just discovered gold or figured out how to split the atom.
So last evening we were making dinner and toolin' around the house when there was a knock at the front door.
I answered and two young women stood there smiling.
They didn't have anything in their hands - no briefcases, no pamphlets, etc., so I figured they weren't trying to proselytize us or anything. And before I could say anything one of them blurted out "Don't worry; we're not psycho or anything."
Her friend followed up quickly with "Listen, it's holiday time and we're just going around trying to meet 200 nice people. You look nice. So hi! I'm ---, and this is ---."
I won't lie. I smiled back, big. I accepted the hand nice-people-girl offered, and shook her friend's hand, and I got goofy. I thought it was some sort of pay-it-forward thing.
I stammered something about this being really cool, told them to have good evening and good luck on their "mission." And I turned to go back inside and tell my wife about it.
And then don't-worry-we're-not-psycho girl deftly slipped the pamphlet out of her back pocket and began peddling magazine subscriptions. That's right, they were selling magazines.
The irony is at that point I recognized the con, 'cause I got roped into it in high school back in the late '80s/early '90s. Magazine subscriptions for a front company that purported to be a branch of some national scholastic society. The sales kids - always seemed to be a group of ragamuffins, a bunch of Oliver Twists desperate for porridge - were always told to suggest the magazines would benefit charity. I sold a few subscriptions, but never got paid. None of us did.
I feel bad for these girls that this was the work they had to do. But it would have been really cool
if they really were just going around the neighborhood saying hi.
Seriously, when I get tired my sucker side starts rising to the surface.
At any rate, any shine on this apple faded over the next 30 minutes as two more mag sellers made their way to our door. Fully recovered, I let 'em know their friends had already tried and told 'em to scram.
My favorite saying: Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out.
Yes, I'm exhausted this evening, but don't try to sell me any bridges. I won't fall for it.