Invasion of privacy ridiculed

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 3, 2002

The woods is full of folks standing around with their hands stuck out, asking for donations or trying to get you to sign a petition.

These people are easy to deal with so long as they do their soliciting during business hours.

But when they start ringing your doorbell at home at suppertime or telephoning you with requests when you're trying to relax in the den after a day at the office, it's high time to draw a sharp line.

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I'm here to testify that folks of this latter stripe get very short shrift from yours truly. In no uncertain terms they are advised that their supplications have fallen on deaf ears and to "get out of my face."

Some of those phone solicitors get real personal with you like you're a long-lost friend. Using your given name (or nickname), they will address you thusly: "Hello there Buster, old buddy, how are you doing these days?"

Then they set out with the guessing game routine, putting off the disclosure of their true identity for about 30 or 40 seconds (meanwhile, you have missed the sketch on TV where Fred Sanford is having "the big one"). This does nothing but create displeasure on your part.

The light finally comes on in the old bean when your caller asks "have you ever considered switching from your present supplier to my company's services?"

That's when the "short shrift" thing comes into play and the caller is ticked off with a brief oath and a hard slam of the phone into its cradle.

There ought to be a law enacted and enforced limiting the freedom of the phone lines to valid, necessary calls.

Already there is a law to that effect, making telephone harassment illegal

but it applies (apparently) only to life threatening calls or those involving sexual harassment.

We at this end of the line consider interruptions of routine family life by outside, unknown person(s) as harassment. Agree?

Another gripe, as long as we're complaining, has to do with the glut of unwanted, unsolicited mail (fourth class and no-class) that is thrust into the mailboxes at private residences via the U.S. Postal Service.

It ain't Uncle Sam's fault that this fact of life has become so prevalent

he's just doing what the law dictates.

The complaint in this instance goes directly to those individuals who painstakingly prepare mailing lists for the giant-size corporations and the pint-size companies as well.

It's devoutly hoped that some "brain" will formulate a plan that will bar the flow of unwanted trash mail and the irritating, maddening home phone calls.

My trash can overfloweth with the former and the old eardrums ache as a result of the latter.

C'est la vie.

Imbeciles (feeble-minded persons), apparently, are born every split second.

This fact was forcefully brought to light in the public domain when an atheistic Californian sued to have any reference to God removed form the Pledge of Allegience, the U.S. Constitution and all governmental entities.

His main gripe was that he didn't want his school-aged daughter exposed to the Almighty as referred to in the pledge.

Do you reckon he's ever heard of home-schooling?

The federal judge who approved this heretic's suit should be assigned to limbo along with the pagan who initiated the lawsuit.

All I have to say to those two is: God Bless America, her heritage and the freedom of thought she inspires with the salute to the Flag, under God.