Monday, July 9, 2007

Beef. It's NOT What's For Dinner

The other day, a salesman rang my doorbell. I should have known it was a salesman, because who else ever rings my doorbell, but the neighborhood kids and a bunch of miscellaneous salesmen? I looked out the little window by our door and saw no one - so I opened the door.

I know. I'm an idiot.

So the guy is standing about 15 feet down the sidewalk like they all do now. (I used to think it was a courtesy for them to stand a ways back from the door - you know, not so intimidating? Ha. Now I realize it's part of their evil plan to remain unseen until you have already opened the door and can no longer pretend you are not home.)
Hello! My name is Jim, and I was just in the neighborhood making a delivery to your neighbor Mrs. Polson, you know?
Like an idiot, I nod. I've never actually heard of Mrs. Polson, nor any other name they usually reference.
She was so pleased with the price we gave her, that she asked me to stop by here and offer the same deal to you. You like beef?
Ummm. Yeah... (Where was my brain??? Where was Nancy Reagan when I needed her?)
I knew it! Our trucks are overloaded and we are trying to get rid of some of our extra stock tonight. Let me show you what I have on the truck.
At which point he disappeared around the corner of the house toward the driveway. Which I cannot see from my front door. Was I supposed to follow him? At this point, a BIT of my sense kicked in, and it occurred to me that I could just close the door and go back inside. Directly following THAT thought, was the next thought of WHY did I tell Mimi that she could sit in the car in the driveway and read her book? ( I know, right ??????)

But anyway she was sitting in the car reading and obliviously bopping to the beat of the car radio, so I didn't really feel like I could just leave her out there.

As I rounded the corner, Jimbo was practically skipping back up the driveway from his giant refrigerator truck. (The kind of truck that might house, say the bodies of neighbors who didn't follow Mrs. Polson's good example and just buy the beef.)

He was enthusiastically reciting all the beefy-delicious items that came in this large case of beef, and he began to remove smaller boxes from the large case in order to SHOW me the beef. I asked him to please NOT show me, but he just kept on talkin' and openin' boxes and laying all this frozen, shrink-wrapped beef out on the hot driveway.

At this point, I should probably break in to my own story and say that I never had any intention of purchasing anything from him. The Brain and I made a deal many years ago about never ever buying things from door to door salespeople. Let's face it - life in suburbia is full of salespeople - I think we get at least one per week, mostly dropped off by large vans to canvas the neighborhood in record time. Never EVER do I buy from them. I DO always buy one item from kids that I know, which generally results in a large number of boxes of Girl Scout Cookies, and Boy Scout Popcorn, and High School sports team's various discount cards. Hey- I'm a substitute teacher. I know a LOT of kids.

I told him several times that I was not really interested. Which was followed each time by another box being opened and displayed prominently on my driveway.
What about Shish-k-bobs? Wouldn't these be easy for a quick dinner? And let me show you our bacon-wrapped fillet Mignon, center cut blah, blah, blah, something percent ground beef, blah blah blah.
See I wasn't really listening, because I was horrified that he just kept opening these boxes and laying them out with a little flourish like they were magic carpets, and Ali Ababwa was on his way.

I'm not kidding when I say that a crowd was beginning to gather. The little kids who had been running their wagon in endless circles in the middle of our street came over to see what in the world was going on that we were carpeting our driveway in meat. More kids showed up, then even the neighbor across the street started to head over.

And all the while I'm trying to spare this guy's dignity, because really, who wants to be out selling meat door to door, you know? But I do have my limits.
So what if I made you a crazy deal on this case of meat? Just a seriously insane offer? What would you say?
I was just waiting for him to say, "What would it take to get you into this meat today?" (Yes, the car dealership was the last time I felt that pressured.... )

And I finally uttered the one word my brain had been screaming. Standing there, ankle deep in meat, neighbors gathering around, I finally Just Said NO. Nancy would have been proud.

And as he began packing up his slightly thawing wares, I FINALLY made eye contact with Mimi who had apparently just come out of her trance. I motioned YOU (jab with my pointer finger at her) IN THE HOUSE (one thumb jab pointing behind me) NOW (Pointer finger going straight down). Of course she gave me her "I'm totally clueless" look, but quickly realized that it wasn't going to fly and came immediately.

I really really did not want to spend another minute with the neighborhood watching the dejected and slightly miffed JimBob pack it up and put it all away.

And when I came in the house, just to show I was still in charge, I almost slammed the door.

That's right. Who's bad now?


Scuttle said...

I just had those same guys stop by. he was nice enough to just leave when I said no but what is funny is the look on the Tel Aviv artist guy that showed up a couple of Sundays ago. "Would you like to buy student art" "Sure I would love to look another day but I am sorry i don't purchase things on Sunday."
You should have seen his jaw drop it was classic I have never stopped a sales man that fast.


PS I love the new Paint Job

"Q" said...

The last time the "Meat" guy stopped by,I open the door and said "NO" with such a commanding voice that I scared him. It must have been retaliation for all the other sales people who have caught me like a deer-in-the- headlights. And you know, I don't regret it at all:)

Hope4Hannah said...

LOL!! where was I for all of this?!!? DANG IT!! stupid work...and sleep... I always miss the good stuff!!

Stephanette said...

If you want beef....I've got beef!

Morning Glory said...

Those guys are everywhere. When I told one of them no, he said, "Don't you like good meat?" He really annoyed me. Fortunately I can see who's at the door now and I avoid a lot of random doorbell ringers.

You are so funny - I love your writing.

JustRandi said...

Steph- I'll buy my meat from either you or Costco, and that's IT.
Thanks everyone for the support. I'm so glad its not just me!