"No, thank you." I say politely.
This is a completely deviation from script. She stutters in her gracious acceptance of my willingness to help, and says, "But I've never heard anyone say no before! You don't understand. They come with stamps!" She's starting to recompose herself to a hard sell, when I interrupt.
"I said no, thank you. I am not interested." in a frosty tone and hung up.
And I prompty added the Arthritis Foundation to the list of charites who will not be receiving any support from my wallet. I do give money to charity and I enjoy doing it, but I do NOT spam my friends and neighbors. I don't forward stupid jokes to everyone in my address book. I don't ask people to buy penis reducing cream, or breast enhancers, or timeshares in swamps, or try to matchmake unwilling couples (alright, well, I do that, but not on the internet!). Is it so hard to believe that just because it comes at no cost to me AND it gets a telemarketer off the phone without a long conversation, and if I were a person who were bent on pleasing others, it might give me a cheap, momentary thrill to think I helped this woman out, I'd be willing look virtuous to my neighbors by appearing to be affiliated with a charity?
Here's a clue both to AF and to my neighbor who sent me spam from the American Heart Association (to whom I do give money, but not following this particular solicitation), I don't think any better of you. I think my neighbor is a spineless jellyfish who can't say no to offer to create more clutter in the home of neighbor for whom she should have more respect (And by way, my name isn't Laura. She was the woman who lived one floor down in our old apartment. Common mistake. One the AHA, to whom I used to give money (oh and probably will again...), shouldn't have made.)) And I think the AF is a bunch of bastards who not being able to figure out how to email spam has decided to clutter mailboxes instead. Luddites. Bad enough I get the solicitations. I don't have to send them.
And I'm done.