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Don't be fooled during a snowstorm

I had a very scary experience last week, during a snowstorm that I'll tell you about in the hope that nothing like it will ever happen to you.

It was during the worst of the storm. I was home alone and the doorbell rang. A very attractive young woman was at the door, all bundled up, and over her shoulder I saw falling sleet and a car that was in our driveway with the emergency parking lights blinking.

"May I step in for just a minute to use your phone?" she asked.

Thinking this was an emergency, I invited her in.

She looked to be about 20. The first thing she did was unbutton her coat and drop it to the floor. I could see that she had been carrying a portfolio under the coat.

She had big blue eyes and she looked straight into mine and announced her mission. "I'm working my way through college and I'm selling encyclopedias."

That should have been the end of the conversation, but to be polite, I asked, "What encyclopedia are you selling?"

"Worldbook," she answered earnestly, "it's the most reasonable and the most popular encyclopedia on the market."

"I didn't mean to encourage you with my question," I said. "We already have a Worldbook in our home."

"When was it last updated?"

"Long ago -- mid '70s I suppose."

"Then it's totally obsolete and you should get rid of it. It's practically junk. We will take it on a trade in, give you a discount and dump it for you."

"Well, we're really not interested in a new set, because now we have the Internet and we use Wikipedia for updated information."

"Well Wikipedia, the encyclopedia of the Internet, as you should already know, is a collection of information submitted by volunteers, not paid professional scholars, and is not considered scholarly or totally reliable."

"I understand that, but, I'm sorry, we're just not in the market for a new set of encyclopedias."

"We have an easy payment plan."

"I'm sorry, we are not interested. I guess it's time for you to go."

"Well, I'm not going. You are going to buy from me or else."

This sounded scary. I tensed up. "Or else what?"

"Or else I'm going to report that you attempted to molest me."

Gulp. I spoke very slowly at that threat. "In the middle of the day, in my own house, who would believe that nonsense?"

She grabbed the front of her crisp, white blouse and ripped it far enough down to pop a few buttons. Then she stared me down. "Your word against mine Pops. We read about dirty old men every day and you could be next. Now, are you going to buy my books or not?"

For a minute I hesitated, thinking it might be the lesser of evils if I just ordered the books and bought my way out of this trap. Then I decided no way, I don't intend to be a victim. "No," I said, "not a chance."

"All right then, I'm calling 911 right now." She started for the phone, which was only a few feet away.

"Stay away from that phone," I shouted and started to grab her.

"Don't you touch me again you pervert. I'm going to report every detail of this."

I backed away, I could only make things worse for myself with a struggle for the phone.

She stepped up and dialed 911. My heart stopped and I held my breath. I was close enough to hear several rings at the other end. Then the answer "911, how can I help you?" The young lady said only two words: "April Fool."

P.S. to readers: I gave you at least two clues right off the bat. I said, "Don't be fooled," then I told you the 20-year-old asked to use my phone. There is no 20-year-old in the world who doesn't have a cell phone. Sorry, I couldn't resist teasing you.