If you happen to run across one of these salesmen—particularly the funky-accented, lotion-selling ones—don't hesitate to scream and run the other way. You may want to accidentally knock something over on your way so that they'll be too distracted to call after you. This may even save a few of your fellow human beings. If either of these suggestions are too extravagant for you, then try pulling out your cell phone and fabricating an intense conversation, or put your hands in your pockets and avoid eye contact with everyone around you. Simply losing yourself in the crowd is not enough, because they WILL find you.
And last but not least, do NOT shake anyone's hand. The minute they have a hold of you they won't let go until you are sitting on the stool by their booth, sampling something that in any normal universe you wouldn't even consider trying out. And the more you try to fight them, the harder they push—they'll attack your looks, your social life, your one-syllable responses, and your mom. It doesn't matter if you tell them 5 billion times that you aren't interested in anything remotely similar to what they are selling. It doesn't matter if you tell them 50 times that you don't have a job and therefore no money to waste on frivolous, expensive gifts. And if you betray any annoyance or standoff-ishness, they will have the gall to reprimand you for your unfriendliness.
So after 15 or so minutes of this lovely treatment, you only have 2 choices: succumb to the stupid guy and buy his outrageously priced merchandise, or walk away midsentence, preferably when their backs are turned. And if you choose to walk away, don't let their calls or pathetic, long faces draw you back. Theirs is a trap that makes the best of people become rude and murderous.
And remember this: just because you have already talked to one of these annoyingly persistent, funky-accented bullies doesn't mean that you are safe. They will annoy the crap out of you until the day you die. And then they'll move on to your mom.
By the end of the holiday season, even the best of us will be murderously ornery. So for the greater good of all mankind, all salesmen must be banished from the earth. Forever.