- Telemarketers trying to sell me an extended warranty on an ancient car that never belonged to me, but which I took to get new tires and quite a lot of service done on it as a favor to a friend? How did these people get, or who on earth gave them, my phone number? (I’m looking at you, Toyota.) Go. Away.
- Utility companies who want a piece of my electric bill, and who want to make me feel good about myself by signing up with them for transport. Clean energy! Local energy! Safe energy! Cheap energy! (Right. LOL.) Go. Away.
- Those people who put the little helmets, or hoods, or mesh or whatever the hell it is, over your gutters? Cards in the mail. Phone calls. Sometimes they bang on the door (I don’t answer), and they leave flyers for me to throw away (if a sheep doesn’t eat them first). Go. Away.
- Dentists, who, without having ever seen me, think there must be something wrong with my teeth. Surely I need implants? No, I don’t. (Well, not in my mouth, anyway, LOL.) How about an ultrasonic cleaning? X-rays? Braces? Free consultation? No, thank you. Go. Away.
- Mindboggling numbers of people who want to buy out my oil and gas lease for a lump-sum payment. More letters, sometimes just business cards left in the mailbox. Messages left on my answering machine. (These guys aren’t as fly as the car warranty people. They call the landline number, which I give only to people I don’t want to talk to, and every week or two I delete whatever’s been saved on there, unheard–I do tell them that in the message, but it doesn’t seem to deter them.) Go. Away.
- Religious proselytizers suddenly at the front door, most of whom seem to have had extensive work done by the aforementioned dentist, to judge by their wide, and not terribly sincere, smiles. “Sister, have you been saved??” “From what? And I’m not your sister.” Go. Away.
- How about trying DirecTV? (No thanks. Had it for 20 years. Not going back.) But! Free installation!! Premium channels included at no cost for 90 days! HBO! Starz!! MLB!!! NFL!!!! No thank you. And don’t tell me about the introductory rate that’s about a third of what I was paying after 20 years as a loyal customer. Get lost. There’s almost nothing to watch on the 300-odd channels I do get now; I really don’t need any more. Go. Away.
- “Howdy, ma’am, your house looks like it could use a new roof.” Stop right there. Go. Away.
- And on and on and on. Just like that bloody song at the end of Titanic. (No, that’s not the musical interlude for this post.)
All of you. JUST. GO. AWAY. I may be a doddering old woman in the middle of her seventh decade on this earth, but I’m neither stupid nor senile, and I’m not your target of opportunity, today or ever.
There’s something faintly ironic about the fact that I often sit down at the computer and get on the Internet for a bit of peace and quiet, for some sane conversation, and to escape the daily attentions of men and women who don’t know me but who daily present themselves as my new best friends, and believe that either they, or whatever they’re offering, will prove irresistible to me. Most of us know that much of the Internet in general, and social media in particular, is a sewer in which unpleasantness, stupidity, hysteria, fantasy, and character assassination are belched out in equal measure by brave poseurs who, in person, wouldn’t dare to confront, or even have a face-to-face conversation with, those they’ve decided to take down in absentia and online. So much less threatening, and so much more fun, to form and live in, a little echo chamber of like-minded and ignorant hatchet-men and women, sneering at everyone who isn’t any of you, instead. Mighty cyberwarriors, indeed.
But I largely avoid the nastiness by sticking to Ricochet; a few news sites; some crafting, home improvement and cooking sites; history and literature sites; several blogs that interest me and which I follow sporadically; and links which are sent to me, for my information and amusement, by trusted friends.
This morning, I was having a conversation (a real one) with one of those friends, and expressing both my joy at something I’d come across on the web–something so ridiculous that it reduced me to tears of laughter (not the first time that’s happened)–and my eternal frustration with the depredations of the Guy Smiley types who regularly invade my space and behave as if I owe them more than a moment of my valuable time.
“I have just the song for you. And for all of them,” said my friend. And sent me the link.
It’s not my usual style, which leans more on the side of Shirley Jones and Robert Preston singing Till There Was You, in The Music Man.
But Lord, just today, it made me laugh some more.
Now, to find the ringtone!