Monday, July 03, 2006

hippy magnet-target

so, I don’t know, maybe it’s the colored pretty glass in my windows, or having my apartment on a busy corner, but it seems lately all the petitioners and political activities come to my door and chat me up about this candidate or that organization. And I moved my computer into the kitchen, which has a nice windowed view of the happenings in the neighborhood, but unfortunately makes me extra visible to anyone approaching my door. Sure, sometimes if I see someone coming I hit the deck and silently creep into the living room, so I can watch my unwelcome visitor through the peephole fidget and flounder at my door. These instances are fun because I pretend I’m a ninja who’s completely infiltrated the enemy residence, and if I make one noise, one creak of floorboard, one joint cracking, I’d be turned into hamburger meat at lightning speed.

But this time I was caught at my seat; I saw the environmental tattooed pierced college student/hippy approach, and ring my doorbell. He looked to his right, and saw me sitting at my computer, staring back at him. I got up to answer the door and totally give him a piece of my mind, but I ended up getting sucked into his cause.

He has a lisp, not that lisps are funny (well, a little funny) and I didn’t know where to look he had so many odd piercing in his ears, face and neck. The first thing I thought when I saw his face was infection. “Hello, ma’am, how are you doing on thish fine schummer day?”

Strike one: He referred to me as “ma’am.” I know I don’t look that old. I should still be referred to as “miss” for all intents and purposes, especially by someone who wants me to sign their stupid petition. Maybe he was lisping because he has some hardware in his mouth. If that’s the case, I feel extra not-sorry for him.

“Fine, what can I help you with, chief?” I asked him. He went on to give me a prepared 5-minute synopsis on his organization and how they are going to help the environment. He asked for a donation, and I told him I was broke but would still sign his thing. He then informed me that I could only sign his thing if I made a donation. Exasperated, I told him “well, I guess I’m not signing your thing.”

Why is it my responsibility to fund bureaucracy?

A few days ago something similar happened: there was a volunteer for a local guy who wants to run in the next gubernatorial election. I let the campaign worker give me his schpeil, but I think I was spacing out on him. I know it seemed like he said “medical marijuana” a few times. He asked me if I ever heard of “Ben Westland” or someone, and I swore I had never heard of him. Then this volunteer bends down and picks up a dirty weatherworn post card with his guy’s face and info on it. “Well, it seems we stopped by and left you this,” he said, as he wiped the dirt and cobwebs off and offered it to me. “Oh yeah, look at that,” I sheepishly agreed. I guess I had been stepping over that for a couple of weeks to go in and out of my apartment. I think I just blocked it out. Now I felt obligated to sign his petition, and after doing so, he went on his way to the next audience. I haven’t been able to forget the look on his face, when he looked down and realized that I completely ignored the un-recyclable offering one of his brethren left me. It was like a mixture of hurt and smug contempt. The whole encounter took on new meaning for this guy from that point forward, and possibly changed his night.

I think the next time someone comes by I’m going to sit right here and ignore them. Maybe even look right at them but make no move to get up or open the door. Now that would be funny.

No comments: