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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Claire Wolfe

The lighter side of keep out, go away, get lost, drop dead, and no soliciting

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

During those horrible late-teen years of not knowing what I wanted to do with my life but knowing I needed money to do it, I managed to grind my way through three weeks as a door-to-door salesthing.

My one good memory from those endless years of days was (tellingly, I suppose) a hand-made No Soliciting sign. It said:

If you’re selling something
I don’t want your magazines, your cookies, or your religion.

I was tempted to knock on the door just to tell the people how cool I thought it was. I figured I have my own someday.

Most of my life since then I’ve lived in places where few commercial peddlers and only the most determined religionists dare venture, so I’ve had no need for a No Soliciting sign on my various hermitages.

Now, however, I live where we have mobs of door-to-doorists. It’s time to take defensive measures.


I thought door-to-door selling was a pestilence that had nearly been eradicated, but whoof, not around here.

We have the standard crooked meat dealers (who just happen to be in the neighborhood and just happen to have a surplus of “top quality” frozen meat they have to get rid of and will give you an unbelievable deal on). And the standard desperately chirpy robot kiddies who claim they’ll win some sweepstakes (whose nature you can’t grasp because they’re chattering so rapidly about it and which probably doesn’t exist, anyhow) if only you buy their overpriced and possibly non-existent magazine subscriptions. No vacuum cleaner floggers or gypsy roofers so far, but I’m sure that’s only a matter of time.

In our area we have not just the usual two brands of house-to-house religionists; we also have another off-brand congregation that’s relentlessly aggressive about scaring the rest of us into attending their “The World is Going to End Last Week!!!!!” revival meetings. And yes, the knock on the door bearing pamphlets is their preferred method.

There’s an occasional out-of-the-blue oddity, too. Just recently there was a pair of the chirpy types who showed up with hardbound books in hand, for sale at ludicrously high prices. The young women didn’t mention religion, but the titles of the books all seemed to be something like 101 Recipes That’ll Make Jesus Smack His Lips or Put GOD on Your Football Team!. When I told them, “No, thanks” and closed the door, they left a tract on the porch rail. Something to the effect that God loves me so much that he’ll torture me forever and it’ll all be my own fault.

And then there are the politicians. Have I mentioned the politicians? Hereabouts they have little money to buy advertising, so they either march from house-to-house themselves or send their tottering, aged parents out in hopes of getting the sympathy vote. Marauding hordes of do-gooders. Slavering packs of government supremacists. Stinging swarms of v*te grabbers.



So I went in search of either a sign like the one I recalled from those Fuller Brush eons or someone who could custom-make one cheap.

I still haven’t found exactly what I’m looking for. But these days of Amazonian wonders are a far-cry from the time when disgruntled homeowners had to make their own “get lost” signs if they wanted them to have any style or substance.

A sampling:*

There are the no-nonsense-this-means-you signs that couldn’t possibly be misread even by those sorts of peddlers who are sure you don’t want the other guy’s foul lies and superstitions, but are positive you really crave their shining Truth.

There are even door stickers that threaten to call the police if salescreatures don’t take heed. Naw, can’t see myself doing that.

NoSolicitingThinMints I’ve found an amazing number of No Soliciting signs that make specific exceptions for Girl Scouts. But even though I occasionally do buy their cookies, I’d rather buy from the kids who set up tables outside the grocery store, thank you.

Anyhow, a lot of these kinds of signs say the homeowner has already found Jesus. Um … not up for lying to complete strangers even if it’s all pretty funny. Now, if I actually were religious, I might go for this sign. Not for door-to-door peddlers, of course. But for various sorts of roving vermin.

Other signs are preacher specific and quite good at that. But those wouldn’t keep out the chirpy girlies selling $40 copies of “Bead Weaving with the Holy Ghost”** (and BTW casing the joint for future burglaries or hoping to snatch a checkbook or cash out of a carelessly left-open purse) or the guys pushing leathery meat. Nope, still not what I’m looking for.

Now as a dog person, I could truly go for this one:


And I may yet. However, it lacks the vital “this means you” quality to ward off the serious fanatics. Hm, perhaps that along with this 10-pack sign set of serious keep-outery would do the trick.

But those lack the panache I’m looking for. Now here’s one with style:


But recalling the last helpful Mormon missionaries who came to my door, I’m afraid they might just cheerfully pop in and start loading the washer and dryer (although I’m fairly confident they’d skip the wine).

So what then, what then? Frankly, the “your wording here” signs are generically boring.

If I did end up opting for a generic No Soliciting sign (and if I had the bux) I could go for this tres elegante Craftsman:


I love that style and that’s a classy sign. I want one! But is it really worth $47 to keep city council candidates off my doorstep? Hm … pondering. Hm …

Well, I still can’t decide, but if all else fails there’s always this approach, which ought to give any serious person pause:



* And yes these are Amazon Associates links and yes I am cleverly trying to get you to click on them to buy stuff (any stuff; not just weird signs) so I can make money off you. But at least I didn’t come knocking on your door while you were having dinner, taking a nap, or engaged in bare-nekked romps. Give me credit for that.

** I mock, but I actually have, and have made a necklace from a book called Beading for the Soul. But that’s different of course. :-)

32 Responses to “The lighter side of keep out, go away, get lost, drop dead, and no soliciting”

  1. Curt S Says:

    Er….one thing you might try, and I actually saw this work re those religious types. I used to live in an apartment way back when and the manager was a real riot…lots of fun. Anyhoo, she had this act of hers down to a science. When she saw those religious types at her door she quickly got into a black floor length gown thing, she wore a silver crucifix upside down on it. Oh opening her door she told them they were just in time to participate in her black rites. It was amazing to see the speed they managed to get up going back down her walkway!

  2. Bear Says:

    Survivors will be folded, bound, stapled, and sold to the competition.
    (Yes, I found Jesus. I fed him to the rottweiler. There was a reward? Damn.)

    If the white-shirt brigade are particular problems:
    Black Mass!
    New Inductees Welcome!
    (Paying bonuses for ritual altar applicants)

    Much more expensive, but fun, would be to buy half a dozen of those dummy security cameras and mount them along both sides of the door. Set up a cheap motion sensor to activate an LED sign on the door (preferably with a little 555-driven progress bar). Someone walks up, and the sign lights up:
    Present access credentials in 5 seconds

    Or you could do like I did: Answer the door in nothing but gym shorts and a broadsword, and yell, “What the [****] do you want?” Word gets around. You be amazed how long that kept ’em all from my front door.

  3. Karen Says:

    OMG Bear! I think you owe me a keyboard…..
    “(Yes, I found Jesus. I fed him to the rottweiler. There was a reward? Damn.)”

    Being a hermit in the forest with a no trespassing sign on the gate deters 99% of would be solicitors or missionaries, but should one get to the door they’re greeted by the standard “Dog friendly. Beware of Owner.” sign.

  4. Keith Says:

    My access track is getting pretty rough, so I don’t get many visitors.

    I actually like the local J-h-v-h’s Witnesses, If they do visit, and I’ve got a few minutes, I make them a cup of tea (clean cups and good milk too – and not out of a sheep or a sow).

    I have thought of deliverance hill billy type signs, but my most frequent visitors are cops; which is my own fault for having put myself and my guns on a list when I was in my late teens – before most of the cops whom I see were born, come to that, it was probably before most cops parents had their tenth birthdays – whichever event came first

    Anyway, signs suggesting nuttiness would likely give them an excuse to waste time and money. I just let them scrape hell out of the undersides of their cars getting here.

  5. Ellendra Says:

    Learn how to say “I’m deaf” in sign language. They’ll hand you a leaflet and go away.

    Or, for more extreme isolation, a handwritten “quarantined” sign worked well for me one time. I had eaten something that decided to fight back, and in between the puking and the just trying to sleep because I was too weak to do anything else, the ^&%(^&% doorbell kept ringing!!! So a dug out a marker and wrote “QUARANTINED – If you wake me up to try to sell me something, I will throw up on you.”

    It worked so well I really wanted to leave it up. Dad said I was being anti-social.

  6. LarryA Says:

    Crafty Cabin
    We have no cash or credit, but we have lots of cool stuff to barter. No hurry. You can talk as long as you’re trading.

  7. Claire Says:

    Damn. You guys are a devious, clever, and sometimes pretty funny bunch.

    Ellendra, I’m sorry you ever had to use the “I’ll throw up on you” tactic. But your quarantine sign reminded me of something. I once knew a local political candidate whose surname was Leppert. Several of the people who put his signs in their yards found that friends would no longer come to their houses because they assumed the signs meant somebody in the house had leprosy and was contagious. True story, I swear.

    I might have to try Bear’s line about the Rottweiler …

  8. Joel Says:

    Please don’t ask how I know this, but a “no soliciting” sign will not work on JWs. If you point the sign out to them, it will only encourage them to explain at length just how it is that they’re not soliciting.

    I have recently learned that even being a hermit in the desert with no formal address will not always save me from those who would save my soul. A large, loud, angry dog, however, will. They followed the footpath until they were in sight of the Lair, and then Little Bear lit up. He would make Godzilla at least pause to think it over. They stopped, observed, conferred, and went away. Gooood boy, LB.

  9. jed Says:

    Don’t get too many of those where I live, thankfully. I typically just tell them I’m not interested and shut the door. I did once engage some religeous type in a theological discussion, in which I began pointing out the various problems and contradictions in the Bible. I think she was fairly new, because as soon as one of the minders figured out what I was up to, he popped over and whisked her away. Apparently, being exposed to rational thought was something to avoid. I’m not as good at that as I used to be.

    I do like the idea of coming to the door in a manner which will simply drive them away, without exposing myself to criminal charges.

  10. ff42 Says:

    I have a small “No Soliciting” above the doorbell (which has worked so far), but feel I ought to have something bigger (so they can read it) before crossing the yard – but my wife doesn’t like the idea of “Warning Anarchist Lives Here!” sign

  11. naturegirl Says:

    Back when my dad was dying of congestive heart failure one of his day nurses was a JW. One day my kids pulled out their Ouiji board and she ran out of the house screaming. Never did come back. – gave me the perfect idea for a No Soliciting sign, bought another board and painted No Soliciting No Exceptions in the center and hung it outside the front door.

    Once you decide on what you want it to say, I’m sure your art/creative self will kick in and you could probably make your own faster than finding one and buying it.

    I’m kinda in an area right now where if there was any kind of gun ownership indication sign it would only encourage people to break in and try stealing them.

  12. ENthePeasant Says:

    I want the cookies. The rest can go **** themselves… Did I mention I want the cookies?

  13. Matt, another Says:

    No solicitors making sales in my neighborhood. The,neighbors,would make off with the samples if the cops didn’t. The JW don’t come buy anymore. We had a,misunderstanding whilst I,was armed, they went away. I thought I was polite but adamant. I think they might of marked my property. The Mormons come by now and again, I,enjoy their,company they are always good for an argument. They walk now their bikes get stolen to,fast,around,here.

  14. Kent McManigal Says:

    Oddly enough, and not planned, I was visited by religionists a few times while I was cleaning guns or sharpening knives/swords. Only the Mormons stayed on the porch. In fact, I invited them in. I’m not afraid of some theological discussion if I am bored.

    Once the little shop I owned was very devoid of customers and some JWs came in. I engaged them and left them scratching their heads- utterly unable to answer my questions and challenges. They decided to leave rather than stand there at a loss for words and looking kind of foolish, but promised they would find the answers and be back the next day. I never saw them again, and was actually a little disappointed.

    If I ever decide I need a “Go away” sign, I’ll make one myself. I can always come up with a good idea when I really need one. Maybe a sign that says “Have you heard about Libertarianism? Ring the bell and let me open your mind” would work.

  15. Mary in Texas Says:

    Years ago we lived in a town on the US-Mexican border. We were visited by two very nice Mormon young men. They saw one of my husband’s garage projects and visited about it rather than religion. After their second non-religious visit, they were invited in for milk and pie. They visited around once a week during their assignment in our town, never talked about Mormonism, ate a lot of pie and cake, and watched my husband’s project near completion. The day before they left they came by to bid farewell and mourn that they couldn’t see the final product. The only mention of religion was a brief one on the first visit. I guess you need something that attracts them enough and get friends rather than nuisances.

  16. MamaLiberty Says:

    Shortly after I’d moved here to rural Wyoming, I was surprised to find a pair of JW folks (holding their pamphlets) on my back deck. I opened the door, and they got an eyefull of the gun on my belt and departed without a word. I swear, I never touched the gun and I didn’t even bark at them, though the dog did. They never came back. Works for me.

    Other than that, I can’t think of many strangers knocking on the door. The first time the UPS man came was fun. He didn’t say a word, but he never took his eyes off the gun the whole time. Guess he figured out I was harmless. He’s been back many times since and doesn’t seem to notice it anymore. The lady that delivers sometimes never did pay any attention to it. Guess she must be from Wyoming. :)

    I always wanted a big poster with that .45 sporting the legend, “Smile, Wait for Flash.” Just don’t see any need for it here. :)

  17. Debbie from Maine Says:

    Trespassers will be shot … survivors will be shot again! The last time the religious peddlers came I let my huge German sheppard out on the deck. I can play with his collar and make him growl. Last time I have had anyone come calling.

  18. Nemacolin Gardener Says:

    Just tell the JW’s that you are “Disfellowship”. That means that you are being shunned as a sinner, and that they are not allowed to talk to you.

  19. Scott Says:

    Despite living in a cookie-cutter subdivision located on the edge of town, in 22 years I have yet to have one salestype or religioso come to the door. I did have one hallucinating city worker come by,apparently, ( I got a nastygram from the city claiming I had algae growing up the side of my house and I had x number of days to clean it off-there wasn’t any green stuff growing on the house anywhere) but that’s it.

  20. Victor Milán Says:

    Get a peephole and don’t answer the door unless you see someone you know.

    And should you get caught anyway, remember the power of the simple “no,” followed by shutting the door.

  21. Pat Says:

    “Get a peephole…”

    That’s funny ― and it works both ways. I have a narrow glass panel by my door, and the last religious couple who came (a woman and a young boy being “groomed to the mission”) saw me mouth “sh*t” as I reached the door to open it. She fumbled some words, and he handed me the tract real quick, and both turned away and left without further talk.

  22. Bear Says:

    Victor Milán Says: “Get a peephole…”

    Peep holes are of minimal value when the idiot missionaries pounding on the door refuse to stop until you drag your up-on-midshift-til-7AM ass outa bed to talk to them.

    Hence the broadsword. Broadswords say “no” surprisingly well.

    A gun port though…

  23. Unclezip Says:

    I do have a No Soliciting sign. But below it is a similar sized sign asking “Please Call Ahead”.

  24. JWG Says:

    I made one with a safety sign generator.

  25. Jack Says:

    When I was living in Colorado Springs, I had a “No Soliciting” sign on my door. One day someone knocked, and two young fellows were there trying to sell something. (I forget exactly what.)

    I pointed to the sign and the lead guy said yes – it was a very nice sign. I then looked straight at them, started to tremble my head a bit and said “I’m getting a very bad tone in my head.”

    The guy looked a bit skittish and said “Tone? In your head?”

    Yes, I replied. Very bad – and loud.

    My eyes were boring through him the whole time.

    He and his fellow traveler backed away, and wished me good luck with my “tone.” They whisked away at almost a full run.

    Since then, this tactic has worked every time.

  26. MJR Says:

    The sign that I made some years ago in my little wood shop simply says…

    A SHIFT WORKER LIVES HERE! Please do not solicit on these premises. Note, should you disturb the resident there is the potential for violence. Thank you for your consideration.

    The sign appears to work but there is also the fact that my location is 8 miles from the nearest town.

    BTW Joel is absolutely right about having a big dog. A while ago at my in-laws place to folks came up the drive way. I’m not sure if they were JW or LDS. My father-in-law smiled at me and said watch this… His dog Blackie (big, big collie mix) bolted from the open garage right at them, busted his chain and took a bite out of the butt of the slower of the pair. That was over 30 years ago and they have never come back.

    Bear, I like the idea of a gun port but I suspect that my peace loving wife would have other ideas. :-)

  27. Rocketman Says:

    How about this one. Get a recording of a full grown mountain lion and just as they knock on the front door play it loudly like it’s in a back room. Then go to the door to greet them and announce that your “cat” is very hungry because he hasn’t gotten his twenty pounds of meat for today and then casually ask them how much that they weigh.

  28. just waiting Says:

    Living in Florida years ago it got so bad with solicitors, etc. that I adapted one I saw in an old biker mag. Made it almost as big as the door, impossible to miss

    The occupant of these premises is an antisocial biker who hates all bill collectors, con artists, salesmen and sermonizers.
    Unless you are blind and cannot read this sign, you can bet your dopey ass I will punch you lights out if you knock on this door.

    Never had anyone with the guts to try it.

  29. Paul Bonneau Says:

    [And then there are the politicians. Have I mentioned the politicians? Hereabouts they have little money to buy advertising, so they either march from house-to-house themselves or send their tottering, aged parents out in hopes of getting the sympathy vote]

    “Who are you? I want to know who to vote against.”

    The D’s often get the entire teacher’s union out pounding on doors. Pretty impressive machine I must say – if corruption can be admirable.

    I have virtually no people pounding on our door, but I think the Mormons would be interesting. Every religion has silly beliefs, but LDS brings that to a fever pitch. I’ve always wanted to interrogate one about the funny stuff.

  30. WolfSong Says:

    I don’t get door-to-door types, but I do get hunters during duck/goose season. They come in droves begging to hunt on my land…because there are, on average, a 1000 birds on my back pasture daily during hunting season. All are turned away with a “Nope. No hunting.” My land, Hubby and I will hunt it, but I didn’t buy to share with everyone else. If that makes me greedy or a bitch (been called that a few time at my back door), so be it.

    The other ones I get are even worse…I get these city folk who want to pet and feed the horses, and think nothing of trespassing to do it. I’ve had to put up security cameras to take pictures of them, and I always go out and give them the “You want to pay the vet bills when one of them colics or founders due to your stupidty?” lecture. Not to mention the trespassing charge.
    Worst ones are the folks with kids…I get it. Little kids-girls especially-love horses. So, instead of trespassing, and entering a pasture with unknown animals, come to the house!! Sheesh. There seems to be the thought that all horses are loving and wonderful and totally tame.
    They aren’t even like that with me. And I like to think they like me…but I think they just tolerate me because I’m the food source. ;)
    It’s because of these idiots that I’ve have to add $2 million liabilty coverage on the equines. In case some ass gets hurt trespassing-or worse, their kids!

  31. Eric Oppen Says:

    One thing I’ve seen a few times in my rural Iowa hometown is gaggles of big-city blacks claiming to be selling soap or something of that sort. Oddly enough, despite claiming to be legitimate sales people, they didn’t have any literature, samples or order blanks, and the one piece of paper that described their product, they wouldn’t let me keep. I called the p*lice about it, and the doughnut-gobblers said that they’d gone through the rigmarole of whatever registering they needed to do to be legitimate door-to-door sales types. However, I have dark suspicions.

    It occurs to me that “door-to-door sales” is a very good way to case a neighborhood, scouting out possible vulnerable targets for burglary, robbery or home invasion. And why would any sane company ask ghetto blacks from Baltimore to do this out here in Iowa, when there’s lots of people out here looking for work who’d be glad of employment and much less likely to get a negative reaction from householders?

    Have you ever run across this business yourself?

  32. Ragnar Says:

    I rarely get solicitors at my house other than neighborhood kids doing fundraisers… and I’m just 2 blocks down from an LDS Church but have yet to have them visit.

    The funniest ones are here at my office at the edge of town. Other than the typical local fundraising folks, it’s mainly 3 types of scammers.

    1.) The meat salesmen… I point them to large herd of Black Angus across the road in our pasture and tell them we stay pretty well stocked up.

    2.) The guy who just happens to have some extra blacktop from a local job that he will lay for a super great deal so it won’t go to waste. That must be quite the industry as we have had those “extra asphalt” guys stopping in here for over 20 years.

    3.) The pick up bed load of “Honda” power equipment that he has to discount and get off the truck. That one is the most fun as we are a Honda Equipment dealer. Their awesome deal is on un-branded Chinese generators, usually one gas and one diesel, and a power washer or 2. These items wholesale for total of $850 or so… The sellers tend to start around $6000.

    The funny thing about the bad delivery equipment scam is that our local school superintendent actually fell for it a few years ago. To the heavily negotiated tune of $3500. They cry that they don’t have enough funding, and take over 60 days to pay legitimate local vendors… But a too good to be true scammer was given a check on the spot. I’m sure the check was cashed immediately and technically, it’s not a crime.

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