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Mind Over Matter


We've just moved into a nice older neighborhood, replete with yard work and Aunt Bea types bringing over hand-canned goodies and us jawing with the neighbors over the fence about ... well, neighborly stuff really. In sum, it's a throwback to the 50's sans hula hoops and poodle skirts, and I for one am fine with it.

But every Andrew Wyeth painting has its detractors, and we have 'em here as salesmen. The door-to-door type. You've seen them, I know: toothy denizens with wide flappy clothes and dodgy products and a "tell-ya-what-I'm-gonna-do" line of blather dripping from their livery lips in volume enough to fill the stakebed of a '72 Chevy pickup.

Having been trained in the frontal attack, these guys are usually as hard to get rid of as the last of the summer zucchini, but I think I've found the way. Whenever one of those cornfed yahoos shows up at my door, unannounced and with cheapjack gizmo in sweaty hand, I grin hugely and tell them "I'd love to hear what you have to say, but first let me tell you something!"

Then I grab the nearest hardcover book I have handy, flip it open to any page, and begin regaling the hawkshaw big stories about Elder Kragon, a large-domed, gray-skinned creature who hails from the planet Abraxas, and who also has a wonderful plan for we Earthlings soon-to-be-vacated corporeal bodies.

I give it to him loud, long, and with plenty of outlandish facial expressions. At the end of each sentence I bug my eyes really big and bellow the words "in accordance with the prophecy!!" Within ninety seconds--sometimes less--the fellow is a streak of fading dust.

Failing that, of course, I just shoot him where he stands. Read More 
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