The absolute fastest way to have my blood pressure reach national debt-like figures; to make me see every shade of red imaginable, and to ensure I never darken your doorstep with my physical, mental or emotional self is to intrude, encroach, interlope or infringe, and any other synonym you care to mention.

I refer to marketing exercises.

Believe me, if I want to look into buying anything, I’m eminently capable of finding it. I can research down to the last atom, I can compare prices and quality, and I can order at will without anyone’s help, least of all a company that gets in my face and shrieks “buy me, buy me.”

No wonder humankind has turned so suspicious of late.

Take, for example, innocently bringing up the weather on my phone’s internet. There I was, just trying to see what the day’s offering would be, when up pops a shriek telling me I’d won an Amazon gift card to the tune of a thousand smackers.

Naturally, the first time this happened, I innocently thought “wow, lucky old me,” but when I clicked and delved a little further I thought – suspiciously – this is all a piece of marketing horse feathers at best, or a scam at worst, and so no, I was not going enter any personal information for this offer which looked too good to be true.

We all know how much fun – what a thing of beauty and a joy forever – it is to try to communicate with a communications company. Invariably there is a veritable maze of automated phone prompts through which one must navigate only to end up, after an apparent ice age, with someone who then has to transfer you to someone in some department which was never mentioned in the first place.

I had cause to call ours the other day, for the third time in two days I might add – so my blood pressure was not helped in the least – to find I was not greeted with the usual happy sing-song of ‘boop, boop, bee, dee boop boop’ and the usual robotic voice assuring me I was so horribly important to the company I could possibly be crowned queen for contacting it.

No, I was confronted with a verbal ‘popup’ excitedly telling me I had won a Caribbean cruise. Well, how lovely for me. I was offered no alternative but to press 1 for English, or ocho for Spanish and to press 1 for a family vacation, or 2 for a romantic getaway. Romantically getting away in English was the only way to wade through the menu it seemed.

And who do I get to speak to? Not boop, boop, bee, dee boop boop, but Royal Caribbean Cruises. No, no, nay, nay I say.

I’m already cranky having to deal with what I’m setting out to deal with, I don’t need some perky young lady telling me I only have to pay airfare and port fees.

“Put me through to boop boop bee dee etc. etc.,” I ground out through gritted teeth. “Infringe, impose and encroach upon me no more.”

-- Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc@hotmail.com