Urban Hermit

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Recently we heard in the news that a man had been going around posing as a city worker. He comes to door and explains to the homeowner that he can show what work the city is going to do by taking a look at the backyard. While the fake city worker is showing nonsense out in the backyard, another criminal walks through the now unlocked front door and steals everything that is not nailed down.

This story follows some other stories about a rash of home invasions. In the home invasions the homeowner is sometimes tied up, sometimes beaten, sometimes raped, and sometimes killed before, during or after the robbery.

For these reasons, and doubtless because horrors we no longer care to remember, we do not open the door to strangers. Either we have to already know the person at the door or the visit must be planned in advance. No appointment, no entry. This goes double for night time. We don’t care if you are male or female. There are some general exceptions. If you drive the UPS or Fedex truck, we still consider opening the door for you. I say consider, because you will just leave the package if we don’t sign for it so we can take our sweet time coming to the door and whoops, we missed you! But we still get the package.

We no longer have a landline phone either. When we had a landline phone its main use seem to be as a magnet for junk and telemarketing calls.

What all this growing isolation means is that our chances of encountering random people that we don’t know or expect at home has gone down to almost nil. The only time we might meet someone whom we don’t know outside is if they catch us out front working in the yard or the garden or collecting the mail.

If our behavior is being practiced by thousands of others as well, there must be whole industries going by the wayside. Door-to-door salesman jobs must really be drying up. I know I am not opening my door to a salesman. Are you? Come to think of it, I have not seen a girl scout selling cookies door-to-door in a long time. The only time I see kids selling stuff is at the mall, under the watchful eye of a parent or two.

And those poor telemarketers that we all feel so sorry for must be going the way of the buggy whip manufacturers. A job no one needs filled anymore.

And what about retail religion? What will become of those clean-cut, freshly scrubbed young people selling God door-to-door? I don’t know. I just know I don’t open my door for anyone. Not even God.

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