By Vicki McKenna
I hate pushy door-to-door salespeople. I’ve had my fair share of carpet cleaning guys knocking on my door offering to clean a room for free and those over-priced vacuum cleaner reps who come into your home and throw coffee filters and dirt all over your house in order to demonstrate the incredible suction of their $1,200 vacuum.
OK, I admit to buying the miracle spot and stain remover, and let’s not forget the time I ended up talking to a wholesale meat dealer. After two hours of talking beef, he finally revealed to me that what he was really selling was a freezer – a $2,500 freezer! He said he couldn’t sell me the meat until I owned the freezer. Shouldn’t he have told me that up front?
Well, last week I opened my garage door to find a short man with a clipboard and a binder lurking around the front of my house. “Oh, you scared me,” he said, laughing nervously. I didn’t like him already. We were heading out to Olive Garden for my son’s birthday, and we were running late. This was the last thing I needed.
“I’ve been talking to some of your neighbors, and it seems they’re having trouble with this guy right here.” He flipped open a binder which revealed a collection of graphic photos of bugs that I’m pretty sure live in the Amazon – not Antioch. He showed me a photo of a hairy yellow spider. It looked like the photo had been enlarged about 100 times.
“I’ve never seen that in my house,” I assured him. “And besides, we already have an exterminator. We use Clark Pest Control, and we have always been happy.”
This man did not understand my fierce loyalty to Arturo, my exterminator who has helped us with rodents, ants, spiders and even worms. Arturo is now considered family, and I would never leave him.
“Well, I can save you money,” He persisted. “If he’s a friend, he would want you to save money. I’m sure he has other accounts.”
“You don’t get it,” I argued. “We get together for drinks at Christmas!” OK, that wasn’t really true. I did give him a bottle of wine one Christmas though. “We went to the Big Time Rush concert together,” I added. OK, that wasn’t true either, but we did bump into Arturo and his family at the concert.
I embellished a bit because I needed to get the message across to this guy that I wasn’t about to cheat on my exterminator.
“Well, I hate to tell you this,” he said, glancing up at the eaves underneath my garage, “but you’re infested. That’s spot-webbing up there, and that means they’re in your walls.”
“Who are in my walls?” I asked, getting even more irritated.
“This guy,” he said, flipping to another creepy photo in his bug binder. It was a black widow spider – by far my most-feared bug. My sister-in-law sat on one a few years back as she hopped out of a hot tub. She spent three days in the ICU on a morphine drip. I never want to have to go through that or watch one of my kids go through it.
“You know in 16 years none of my guys have been bitten by a black widow,” he said proudly. What does that have to do with anything? It’s not like his employees have to engage in hand-to-hand combat with black-widow spiders. Don’t they just douse it with chemicals? How risky is that?
“Well if I see one, I will be sure to call Arturo,” I said calmly.
“I thought you said you were with Clark,” he asked, looking puzzled.
What a boob!
“Yes, I am,” I explained. “Our technician’s name is Arturo. He works for Clark.” I couldn’t help but roll my eyes. I yelled into my house at my kids, “Let’s go! Now we’re going to be late!”
Thankfully he got the hint and took off down the street to bug my neighbors. All I know is he really should put a big picture of himself in that bug binder. He was the biggest pest of all.