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Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 17, 2011 SHORT SALESMEN

by Melody Scott

We were visited recently by some very short people—saleschildren extraordinaire.  All the way from across the street.  The salesman extraordinaire and his sister, who is wearing a bicycle helmet.
A ring of the doorbell, a barking burst from my dog.  Little kids selling cookie dough to raise money for their school.
Cookie dough?
“You mean I have to cook it myself?”
“Yes.  And it’s very good,” he and his earnest brown eyes assure me.
I peruse the order form.
The sister pets the dog, who is hiding behind me.
“You choose the one you want and put the number in the box, then you put the amount of money for it right here,” he says, and points to the row of boxes on the order form.
“Hmm, I see.”
“The delivery time is this date,” he says, and points to the date.
“Oh.  We’re not going to be home that week, though.  What can we do?”  I ask.
“That’s okay.  My mom has three freezers.  One is in the kitchen, one is in the garage, and we can freeze anything.”  The eyes again.  “You just choose which one you want and put the number in the box.”
“Right.”  I peruse some more.
“You just choose the one you want and put the number right here.”  He points at the now upside down appropriate number, recites it backwards since he’s looking at it upside down.
“I see you have cheesecakes also.”
“Yes, and they’re very good.”
“I think one of those might freeze better and I don’t have to cook it.”
“Yes, and my mom can freeze it.”
“Okay, one frozen cheesecake, and I’ll put the number in the box.”  I notice the form has ten other customers from our neighborhood who will be receiving cookie dough.
The salespeople hurry to the door, one with order forms clenched in his hand.

I settle into my couch, begin to read my book again.

A ring of the doorbell, a barking burst from my dog.  A larger little kid with blue eyes—all the way from next door, accompanied by older brother of previous salesman from across the street.  Selling cookie dough.
“Don’t tell me, you turncoats…you’re selling cookie dough!  I believe a relative of yours was recently here,” I say to the brother who looks remarkably like his sibling.
“Yes.”  They look around outside for other lurking salesmen, undaunted.  Hand me an order form.
“I see.  Well, let me shop a little here.”  I peruse the same order form as before.
This salesman doesn’t have a lot to say.  Neither does the brother.
“I understand you have a freezer,” I say to the brother.
“Yes, I do,” he says.
“I have one too,” salesman #1 says.
“Three of them,” the brother says.
“Well, I’m not going to be home on the delivery date, and you’d have to keep my cookie dough fresh,” I say, looking over my spectacles at salesman #1 of the second group of two.
“My mom will keep it in the freezer,” he nods his head.
“Ah. Well, then, I probably need the pecan-coconut supreme cookie dough, in case I get really hungry next month.”
This salesman doesn’t have a lot to say.  Neither does the brother of the previous salesman  who is busy petting my dog.
“I put the number in the box, right?”  I notice there are only two customers who have ordered cookie dough on this form.
“Yes.”  They both nod.
“Okay, but you’ll be sure that you can freeze it for me until I get home, right?”
“Yes.”  They both nod expressively.
The salesmen hurry out my front door, jump off the porch and run toward the next in our row of houses.

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