I was getting the tea ready earlier this evening, when the doorbell rang. I went down to answer it and I could see two young-ish guys, smartly dressed, with clipboards. I looked at the nearest one expectantly.
"Hi there buddy, how are ya doin?" he started.
"Look, I'm sorry, but I really don't have time for this now"
His next piece of repartee from the script vanished into the night air as I shut the front door.
Back in the house, the dialogue went like this:
"Who was that at the door?"
"Some b****** doorstep salesman"
"What was he selling"
"Dunno - I didn't let him get that far"
"Well how d'you know he was a salesman"
"When someone you've never clapped eyes on before smarms all over you like you're a long-lost friend without saying who he is first, it's a dead giveaway"
As I finished getting the tea, I reflected on the times I used to go knocking on doors, years ago when I went out canvassing. The people who said "No" upfront were a godsend when you were getting paid £x for a fixed number of houses: you'd get the whole thing done and dusted in no time. You could do without the ones who messed around pretending to be out while surreptitiously peering through a crack in the curtains, the ones who yelled at you through the letterbox, not to mention the ones who asked if you could come back when their husband/boyfriend/parents were in - or the "I'm just the babysitter".
It occurred to me afterwards that I'd answered the door wearing a pair of sheer black tights and a red T-Shirt with "Smile if you wish you were gay" written across the front. When you go round knocking on peoples' doors you see it all, believe me!