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Magazine sellers and Bible studiers—-especially those who are well-dressed and African-American—-beware. The people of Cleveland Park are onto you. For months they’ve been posting suspicious interactions with you and your efforts this week? They are well-documented on the all-knowing Listserv.

To wit:

* Joe on Ross Place: “I had a well dressed black male stop by my house yesterday at around 10am and say he was with a bible study group and wanted to know if I wanted to pray with him. I declined. He came back at around 6pm and asked if I’d like to buy magazines from him.”

* Val on Norton Place: “About 5 p.m. Monday, a well-dressed black male knocked on my door. I was at home sick and did not answer, but he had stepped back far enough from the door for me to see him through the window”

* Sally on Quebec Street: “I was out walking and passed this man on mid to upper Porter Street Monday afternoon at approximately 3:30 pm. He was going door to door and was clean-shaven, wearing slacks, a white shirt, and tie.” No mention of his race, but it’s implied, don’t you think?

* Ralph on 30th Street: “A similar young man came by our house yesterday. He said he was ‘selling magazines and newspapers,’ but he had no paperwork with him and looked like he made it up. When he left, I saw him to the next house and knock on the door.”

* The infamous George Idelson: “I observed two African-American men engaged in conversation on my doorstep this morning. They ignored me, jotted something into a clipboard, finished their conversation and retreated down the steps. As they did I noticed the younger man was carrying a magazine labeled ‘The Advocate.'”

* Ann With the Older French Husband: Last week, in the evening around 7:00, a not-so-young well dressed african american man (white shirt, crisply ironed trousers) came to our door.  I spoke to him through our storm door. He asked to come in for a moment to speak to me. I thought it was a religious or charity call. I asked the reason for his call. He smiled and tried to joke about he was wondering when dinner was. I asked again and he said he was a salesman. I told him that we were not interested in being approached door to door to be sold anything, and added that usually people who are selling say what it is up front and present a vendors license or organization  identification.  He looked very annoyed and went back down the steps, looking back angrily as I closed the door.  Our son, who is visiting, saw him continue down Idaho towards Macomb St. I again told my older French husband once again to never, ever open the door to strangers. Sigh.”