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The Only Thing We Have to Fear is a Kirby Vacuum Salesperson

The only place I could escape politics and Trump lies and Trump liars seemed to be Nextdoor. This neighborhood social media app discourages contentious discussions about topics such as religion and politics in favor of helpful tidbits shared by people whose only connection is a close physical proximity.

Last week, in and among the requests for recommendations for plumbers and sales of no-longer needed household items was one post that stood out. A man in the neighboring Georgetown community posted a photo of two women looking at him through an minivan window, faces expressing both incredulity and no little fear.

In the post, he told us all about how these two women had knocked at his door and offered his wife a free home cleaning product. Wife asked who they were with and they mentioned *Alavir, which she took to mean a new company that opened up recently. They then ‘changed their story’ he said, and stated that they were selling Kirby vacuums.

Wife said she wasn’t interested, and the two women left. Hubbie, already suspicious about how they wouldn’t say who they were or why they were there (other than the fact that they stated they were Kirby vacuum cleaner salespeople), noticed them standing by a minivan. Obviously the two women were up to no good.

Armed with his smartphone, Hubbie approached the two and demanded to know what they were doing in the neighborhood. They reiterated, once again, that they were Kirby vacuum salespeople, and offered to show him their permits. He was having none of it and continued questioning them. They got into their van, which is when he took the photo displayed in the Nextdoor post. He also took photos of their license place, too.

Returning to his house, and his front window, Hubbie noticed a man coming from another home down the block and approach the van. Hubbie is on the verge of calling the police when the guy got into the minivan and it drove away. That’s when Hubbie took to Nextdoor to blast a warning to every neighborhood in West Chatham County.

Warning! It shouted. Suspicious people!

The Hero

I sat there, dumbstruck by the comments to the post.

Many expressed appreciations for him giving them a heads up. Several commended him for his heroic actions in questioning the two ladies, and warning the residents.

A couple commenters suggested he called the police. He later responded that he had, giving the police his photos and video.

Meet…the Boss

In among the comments was another from a guy who stated that the wife of one of his employees had called the employee at work. Stick with me a moment…Boss said employee said wife said that a Kirby vacuum salesman had ‘forced’ his way into her home and wouldn’t leave.

Well, Boss was having none of it. He sent the employee home with two other workers to save the little woman. When they got to the house, the three employees kicked the salesman out. They watched as the salesman walked up the street and got into a minivan with two women already in it.

Still suspicious, Boss’ employees got into their truck and followed the minivan. In his comment, Boss noted the directions they turned, the streets they went down; the make of the car, and general description of occupants.

In a later comment, Boss wrote, “Someone forces their way into my home I’ll grab my gun and hold them them until the cops come!”

Is there any sanity left?

Among the comments, soft bits of sanity dropped. Sadly, not enough.

A woman quietly noted that the two women were selling Kirby vacuums, and she found them to be friendly and not pushy at all. Another commented the same, and that she’d actually bought a vacuum from the guy.

“It’s a great vacuum”, she assured us.

I didn’t respond until I saw the comment from Boss about him holding someone at gunpoint for the police. I suggested that he rethink his approach of pulling a gun on a door-to-door salesperson and holding them for the police. I noted the two women hadn’t forced their way into anyone’s home, hadn’t broken the law, and holding someone against their will at gunpoint is frowned on by the police.

He and another guy then pointed out Boss’ earlier comment about the wife’s ‘rescue’.

I read what Boss wrote. Nothing he said made sense.

Why didn’t she call the police if the guy had actually forced his way into the house, I asked? And why didn’t the employee call the police when his wife told him about it? And why didn’t he, the Boss, call the police when the employee told him what his wife had said?

By all that’s holy, why would you call your husband at work when a man supposedly forces their way into your house, and won’t leave until you buy a damn vacuum?

I’m not a good neighbor

The last time I had so many white middle-aged guys correct me in comments was when I replied to yet another Trump follower’s election lies in the Facebook comments for the Savannah Morning News.

The responses all reduced down to: how could I question what the guy was saying?

Because, I said to one of the more persistent, if a man had actually forced his way into the employee’s home, his wife would have called the police. If the wife’s husband really felt his wife was at risk, he would have called the police. If the Boss really felt that someone was in danger, he would have called the police.

I genuinely have no idea, no clue, why they acted as they did. But it wasn’t because the salesman ‘forced’ his way into the home, and then refused to leave when told to do so.

One thing I’ve learned in social media, I told Mr. Persistent, is to question inconsistencies. I then added this might not be something he practices.

I’m now blocked.

Pity the poor salespeople who come to our neighborhoods

Since the events of last week, two other posts have popped up in Nextdoor with bold headlines of “Suspicious People!”, about sales people coming to doors. I can only sit here, mesmerized by the rising level of fear and hysteria exhibited in the comments by people who live in low crime rate areas, about ladies toting vacuum cleaners and guys hawking ADT.

I looked to see if there was a way to mark oneself as Safe in Facebook if Amway were to stop by.

I fondly remember a time when the appearance of a salesman in the neighborhood triggered annoyance, not fear or the need to broadcast warnings on social media. I strongly suspect it is the latter that is leading to the former.

Pity the door-to-door salesperson, post Kirby 2021.

*Alavir is a new Kirby vacuum cleaner line

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