Have you ever heard someone say, “I was just sitting down to dinner the other evening when I got a call from a gentleman who wanted to give me a good deal on some aluminum siding, and he seemed so nice and sincere that I bought some — even though I have a brick house? …”
Nah, me neither. …
It seems some of our readers don’t appreciate unsolicited telephone sales pitches, and have devised ways to deal with them:
Jerry Berggren says, “A couple of years ago, I came up with a response that has worked successfully for me.
“As soon as the sales pitch starts, I simply say, ‘I’m sorry, but I’m not authorized to make that purchase. You’ll need to call back when our purchasing director is here.’
“I can’t recall anyone calling back. …”
Mercedes Doré says, “My mother, Mercedes Ohlmeyer, once dealt very effectively with phone solicitation from a particular company.
“After repeated calls from a person trying to sell her siding, she made an appointment for a salesman to go to her home in Plaquemine.
“When the salesman arrived at the appointed time, she opened the door and said to him, ‘I am glad you are here. I just wanted to tell you in person that I am not interested in buying siding. I am not going to be interested in siding, ever. Please do not call me again.’
“They never did.”
And an anonymous reader borrows a line from that ubiquitous State Farm commercial:
“I’ve discovered a sure-fire way to end the call quickly.
“I simply ask, ‘So, what are you wearing?’
“Works every time — they hang up.”
It seems that F.J. in Central is a bit perturbed by the antics of our elected officials in Washington:
“Just to see what they are doing to us, look up an extended definition of ‘congress.’ ”
I went right to my Webster’s, saw the second definition — and realized right away what F.J. was getting at. …
Keith Horcasitas says his Uncle Ray Kleinpeter, of New Orleans, has a story about “Public Enemy No. 1” Alvin Karpis, who was arrested at his Canal Street apartment, with J. Edgar Hoover and a team of FBI agents in on the pinch:
“Uncle Ray said before Alvin was caught, my mom and Aunt Beverly innocently knocked at his door — not knowing who it was — and got a donation for some school function.
“When asked for his name for their tickets, Alvin reportedly said, ‘Don’t worry about that — keep the donation!’ ”
To the surprise of many, this column does sometimes serve a useful purpose.
In the Friday column, Buck Bertrand asked for help finding a fishing buddy.
He says, “As of Saturday morning, I had heard from nine people interested in becoming the fishing buddy.
“I decided on one, and told the others that I will keep their phone numbers handy in case things change.”
Agony of de feet
Joe Cooper says our discussion of the sponsored tablets of either slick or rough paper handed out to school kids in days past reminds him of this “hard times” story:
“I didn’t care about slick or rough, as long as I got the last page and the cardboard.
“This cardboard, folded a couple of times, could cover the hole in the boot or shoe sole for a few days, barring a lot of rain or mud!”
Special People Dept.
- Seida Broussard, of Gonzales, celebrated her 94th birthday Oct. 7.
John and Elaine DeLatin celebrate their 64th anniversary on Tuesday, Oct. 15.
On Tuesday, Oct. 15, James and Dane Braud Hawkins, of Dutchtown, celebrate 58 years of marriage.
Italians, and people who enjoy the company of Italians, will gather at the Belle of Baton Rouge from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday for the “Columbus Day Festa,” featuring food, music and dance, a shopping village, celebrity grape stomp and pizza-eating contest, and the ever-popular “Vino Stroll.”
For more information, visit www.GBRAIA.org.
(Full disclosure: my mother was a DeMarco. …)
Julie Kammer says, “Harry Clark’s story about the children’s sermon reminded me about this one, in Newnan, Ga., that happened to former Baton Rouge resident and Newnan Presbyterian preacher Harry Barrow several years back.
“I am glad to say I was witness to it:
“On Christmas Eve, Harry had called down all of the little ones to ‘children’s church,’ where he invites the children to participate in the story.
“The story was about Jesus’ birth. He started by asking the kids, ‘What special greeting do we give to people when a special event happens in their lives? Happy …? Happy …?’
“One child said, ‘Happy Anniversary!’
“ ‘Yes, we do, but that’s not the one I’m looking for. Happy …?’
“ ‘Happy New Year?’
“ ‘Noooo …’ Harry continued to prompt them. ‘Happy … Happy …’
“After a very long pause, One child yelled, ‘I know — Happy Hanukkah!’ ”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.