May 15 2011

I think I’ve finally developed a really effective way of dealing with people who come up to me in parking lots. You know the types. Usually they’re either trying to sell some sob story and you’ll end up giving them a few bucks just to get rid of them, or else they want you to convert to some religious cult like the Hare Krishna’s or Young Republicans.

I used to be less cynical of these types of people until I got taken for a lot of money one day, but that’s another story. Now I’m a bit more suspicious whenever I’m approached by someone while walking towards my car because it usually means one of three things; they’re selling something, they’re going to rob me, or they’re running for political office – which in my opinion is all pretty much the same thing. So here’s the technique I use.

When someone walks up to me with that big ol’ I-just-want-to-be-your-best-friend smile and says “Excuse me sir, do you have a moment?”, I just reply “Sorry, I don’t speak English and I really have to get going”. This will usually daze them long enough for me to dig my keys out and start to unlock my door. Then if they ask “You don’t speak English?”, I reply with “Sorry, not a word. Have a nice day.” While they stand there confused and unsure of what to do next, I start the car and make my escape.

I think this technique is not unlike the way a lizard, after being pounced upon by a hungry animal, will leave its tail waggling behind while the unsuspecting predator tries to figure out what happened to the rest of its lunch.

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