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Nutty professor sends door-to-door salesmen running with gun shots

Mike Wilcox

Mike Wilcox

We all have a degree of dislike for the door-to-door salespeople that come around once in a while. Just like the telemarketers that populate our home phones (google, this means you- probably get 10 calls a week from these guys), we are uncomfortable and on edge when a slick vacuum salesman shows up at our front door.

One guy, Dr. Robert Lee, took the “on edge” a little bit too far last week. The CMU professor allegedly shot at two young door-to-door salespeople who had knocked on his door with a vacuum cleaner in tow. I’m not making this up. The 61-year-old prof who teaches nutrition in the Human Environmental Studies program (what the heck is human environmental studies) decided he didn’t need to be bothered.

Rather than not answer the doorbell at his Mt. Pleasant home, he gestured to the two young adults, asking them to wait a minute. Standing patiently on the front porch the two noticed Dr. Lee going to his pole barn then returning, allegedly brandishing a rifle. They high-tailed it to their vehicle as a couple of shots allegedly whizzed past them.

The two young adults were probably CMU students. They might even have had Lee for a class. Here’s a guy who makes a lot of money to patiently teach young adults the value of good eating habits.

Apparently his patience for young people had grown thin last Thursday. He simply wasn’t going to sit through a vacuum demonstration from two young adults. Not only was he not going to sit through a demonstration, he was going to send them down the road with bullets rattling their eardrums.

Too funny, you might say. I view it differently. I was once what those two young adults are. Down the road in Alma I attempted to sell Kirby vacuums, one year while attending Alma College. I went through the Kirby orientation, went out on a few cold calls, and decided the gig was not for me.

I also was a pet census taker for the City of Alma. That meant I had to go to every home in the City, knock on the door and ask the homeowner how many pets they owned, and were they legally licensed.

Talk about a job where you might encounter some animosity. I was a 19-year-old essentially ordinance enforcement officer. I had to write down the addresses that had unlicensed pets and turn them in to the City. Yet, I never once encountered  a homeowner who threatened me with a gun.. I will admit, a couple said leave the premises or this pitbull will be unleashed.

I was a poor college kid looking to make a little bit of spending cash, just like the two who knocked on Dr. Lee’s door.

Vacuums aren’t the only item sold door-to-door. In my neighborhood, students hawk candy, magazines and calendars. Jehovah’s Witness representatives offer free Watchtower magazines and other items. It’s always been an acceptable form of soliciting sales.  I suppose we will now think twice, when we send our 10-year-old through the neighborhood to sell popcorn for a school fundraiser.

In this day and age anything can happen. What once was safe, is now dangerous. Thanks to the nut jobs, that parade around as university professors, or politicians, or law enforcement officers, our world is getting crazier by the day.

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