So a Mormon-looking guy dropped by the house last night who turned out to be not so much Mormon as harmless ADT guy working undercover as a Mormon. His name was Dana, and he had a deal for me.
ADT will install a security system (see above) in my place for free as long as I let them post a PROTECTED BY ADT sign in my yard, or perhaps attached to a blimp overhead, or perhaps help up by a homeless guy who'd sit on the curb. They were a little fuzzy on this point. I seem to recall that this would be a 36-month thing. In any case, several thoughts occur:
1) It's a scam. Now, I'm not the paranoid type--hey, fuck you!--but I've equated "free" with "we're going to screw you" since joining some music club thing when I was 12. Several threatening letters and 5 copies of Rush's 2112 later and I'd learned my lesson for upwards to a few months. But there's been a lot of reinforcement of this lesson over the years and now I'm as likely to say, "Let me think about it" as I am, "Ohmygod gimme gimme gimme!" It's about 50/50.
I don't think it's a scam, though. They're providing me the service and installation for free, and nothing more tangible than that. The kid, who had a depressing lack of slime or flop sweat, said they offer it to a few houses in areas where they plan to canvass. So whatever.
2) I really don't need it, knock on wood. I've left my garage door open all day several times and never lock the door on it, and nothing's ever gone missing. I don't worry about getting robbed except when the Homeowner's Fantasies kick in (usually around lunch, for some reason), and even then it's usually fire, not burglars, who are out to ruin my day. Oddly, in these fantasies it's the fire that's wearing a Hamburglar suit and not the actual burglars, but that's neither here nor there. [Paranoia fun fact: ADT, if I refuse their service, will totally clean my place out. "No one says 'no' to us, no one!" the boss will say.]
3) I'll probably set the damn thing off all the time, what with my late-night games of Ninja Infiltration. Although the challenge might be exciting!
4) On the other hand it's free--assuming there are no bad strings, in which case fergit it--and I'd have someone other than myself to blame if someone broke in and stole my precious collection of old paperbacks and soy sauce packets.
There are social aspecs of the whole thing which are kind of irritating, too, but I have a few things to do and the totally awesome Photoshop above wasted the best 10 minutes of my morning.
What say you guys? I have "a few weeks" to think it over.