Yesterday around 11 a.m. there was a knock on the door. A 20-something guy in white and green plaid shirt, jeans, nothing in his hands, some kind of watch chain going into one pocket.
"Hey, I just moved here from Palm Springs to live with my grandpa around the corner." He pointed up the street." And he says how friendly all the neighbors are. You've probably seen him walking his golden retriever every morning at 7 a.m."
I got kind of stuck on all that information. For one thing, three days a week I happen to leave the house at 7 a.m. for a run - and I've never seen a guy walking a golden retriever. In fact, I don't remember seeing anyone walking a golden retriever on my five-mile runs.
I also thought he was saying something was wrong - the dog was missing, the grandpa had fallen, something.
"Is anything wrong?" I asked.
"Oh no, no." He smiled. Then really fast he said something like, "Tell me if I'm talking too fast, because I'm kind of nervous and it's something I'm working on in my public speaking class, but there's 50 guys and 50 girls and we're having a contest..."
Which is where I smelled a rat and said politely, "Sorry, I'm not interested," and closed the door. I have a feeling if I had kept it open it would have devolved into one of those door-to-door magazine scams where the person is just one customer away from winning the grand prize. (They are always just one customer away, for some reason.)
Just Google "door to door magazine salesman" and "rape" or "assault" and you'll get lots of stories. Including one last month in Portland that began, "Calling him a "brutal sexual predator," a judge has sentenced a door-to-door magazine salesman to 30 years in prison for the 2005 rape of a woman who answered the door at her Portland home and was gagged, beaten, choked and assaulted."
Later we saw him going up and down the street, in the rain, smoking a cigarette. We made sure to keep the doors locked.