I see dead people. OK, not actually dead people, but I do see serial killers, which makes me “this” close to seeing dead people.
You now may be beyond curious as to how I’m seeing serial killers and perhaps thinking to yourself, “Is she visiting maximum security prisons?” The answer to that is a firm no.
But if you’re a stranger that knocks on my door, chances are I’m getting a serial killer vibe.
In fact, last week I’m almost certain a serial killer was stalking my neighborhood and I was all over it like a SWAT team on a “I just ate two sleeves of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies in under three minutes” sugar high. (If you’re doubting if the whole two sleeves of cookies in under 180 seconds can be done. Don’t. I know on good authority it’s very, very doable.)
It all started on a brutally sunny morning where the humidity was so thick that the mere act of stepping outside made you feel like a deep-fried mozzarella stick dunked in expired chunky marinara sauce.
This is why, when my doorbell rang, I knew something was off.
The heat mandated that no one would voluntarily be outdoors and more importantly, the doorbell ring was suspect. It wasn’t the rapid ding-dong of the Fedex or UPS guys who are always in such a hurry.
No, this ring was impatient, yet leisurely, like the person on the other side of the door wants to make sure you hear the ding dongs and that they’re not leaving no matter how long it takes you to get to the door. It was an overture of evil.
So, of course, I sprinted into action and approached my front door armed with a Swiffer Wet Jet and a beagle. I felt invincible.
I had a cleaning tool that not only could whack someone in the head, but spray cleaning solution in their eyes at the same time. Add in a barking beagle who enjoys the sound of his voice, more than any Chamber of Commerce president I’ve ever met, and I was well armed and ready to rumble. My strategy was to have my dog’s barking act as a distraction while I clubbed the doorbell ringer on the head.
I slowly opened my door and was greeted by a young man who with a cursory glance of someone lacking in serial killer profiling seemed harmless. He was handsome, semi-muscular, well-dressed in pressed shorts and a polo shirt, was exceedingly clean and he wasn’t sweating, at all.
Two words for you — red flag. For those of you who haven’t spent the best years of your life watching crime procedurals, let me break it down for you why the guy at my door was a killer.
First, Mr. Doorbell was almost hairless.
He did have hair on his head and eyebrows, but the rest of his body looked like it had been bathed in Nair. This can only mean one thing. He’s shaved his extremities to cut down on leaving behind any DNA evidence.
Second, he was too clean, like you just knew there was some OCD grooming issues which is No. 4 on the serial killer checklist.
Third, his fingernails were super short, which speaks to not wanting to have a nail pierce the surgical glove you’re wearing as your dismember a middle-aged woman in XL Target capri pants.
Not being a fool, I didn’t let the man in my home, but being curious and adamant about public safety I walked him off my front porch and into the yard. Still holding my Swiffer I began to interrogate him. Mr. Doorbell was selling (wait for it) “concierge level home extermination.”
“Oh, I bet you’re mighty good at that,” I said clutching my Swiffer a little tighter. He enthusiastically shared that for the low price of $99 he could spray my home for bugs right this very minute starting in the (again wait for it) basement. To make things Ted Bundy meets Steve Jobs, Mr. Doorbell had an iPad that showed a map of my street and he was fast-talking and pointing on his iPad about which neighbors he had “already done.”
When has said “already done” the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and then I thought good God, he’s planning to literally exterminate the whole neighborhood.
So, I sprung into action. I asked to see a photo ID, pesticide license and an environmental impact study. This confused him so much he bolted from my yard. Then when I followed him down the street, while still wielding the mighty Swiffer, he hauled out of the neighborhood. I’m not ashamed to admit I high-fived myself, my dog and the Swiffer. How could I not? I had saved my hood.