Note: this is one of a series of posts to help you deal with that most annoying of household pests: the solicitor.
Sign My Petition Guy: The people who show up on my doorstep wanting me to sign petitions are my favorite. They aren't trekking though my neighborhood trying to make a few bucks. They're true believers. They have a cause, dammit. They want to tell you about the rain forest or the whales or global warming or illiteracy among the sasquatch population. Their devotion to the cause is so pure as to overwhelm any bourgeoise hangups about personal hygeine or wearing laundered clothes.
They can't fathom that every person on earth doesn't share their belief that we need national healthcare now, or harbor the same level of outrage over the slow extinction of the velvet-winged oat warbler. Saying "I'm not interested" seems to enrage them, and they seek your reassurance that you did indeed not just say you don't care that Wal-Mart wants to open a superstore fifteen miles away.
How To Deal: These people don't always want to take 'no' for an answer. They don't even like to take 'here's $5, go take a bath and buy some deodorant' for an answer. The best thing to do is let your pit bull, who by now is clawing a small hole though the front door, out. But if you don't have a pit bull, or your morals won't let you turn a hippie into a beggin' strip, try this:
Take whatever the dreadlocked intruder is pitching and voice your utter disdain for it. Millions of people are uninsured? Great! Shorter lines for me. The velvet-winged oat warbler is dying out? It's probably because they make the best hot wings. Our drinking water contains lead? That should take care of those pesky velvet-winged oat warblers that live in my back yard. The Earth is dying because of man's inhumanity? I hate this planet. What's it ever done for me?
While they stand there, too stunned to move, close the door. After a few hours they'll snap to and realize they haven't smoked a joint in a while.
Next in the series: Jesus Is Your Friend Guy