Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Death Of A Salesmom

I recently came to the decision, possibly after inhaling too many Desitin fumes, that it would be a great idea to sign up for Rollie's school fund-raiser.

I don't know what made me think I would actually be good at selling things door-to-door. The last time I attempted this was selling citrus senior year of high school to raise money to go on the class ski trip. It was such a disaster. To this day I can't even look at a grapefruit without braking out in hives. Why my school chose citrus--something that literally grows on trees in Florida--and not a rarer commodity, like decent pizza, or a pro football team that doesn't suck, is beyond me. Although it would have been difficult to cram a bunch of linebackers into the back of my 1985 Chrysler Town and Country Station Wagon come delivery time.
I could have fit a few kickers, though.

And then there was the failed magazine subscription sale I attempted in sixth grade. I went out, made a whopping two sales, then lost the envelope with the collected checks until the next school year, when I was rearranging my room and found the envelope behind my bed, covered in dust bunnies and Halloween candy wrappers. For the next five years I had to put a lot of effort into avoiding eye contact with those two neighbors so I wouldn't have to explain to them why their copies of Family Circle and Dog Fancy never arrived.

So I think perhaps this wild hair of mine is derived from previous failures. Perhaps I felt like this was my chance to redeem myself, to approach the doors in my neighborhood with confidence, a winning smile, an enticing sales pitch, and perhaps even earn Rollie's class a pizza party (even if the pizza will be mediocre at best).

Chocolate. That's what we are supposed to sell. I have a cardboard box full of chocolate bars sitting on my kitchen counter, mocking me. So far I've sold two. One to Rollie and one to Elsa. I'm very seriously contemplating just forking over the remaining 48 bucks myself. I'm sure I could come up with some creative uses for the candy bars. I could use them in recipes, give them out as birthday presents, for Halloween, Christmas. I could construct Lincoln Log-esque barns with the kids, decorate the mantel in festive gold foil wrappers, leave the bars floating in the neighborhood pool as a prank. The possibilities are endless.

I think my main problem with selling things door-to-door is the fear of rejection. I mean, no one likes being rejected, right? Remember those painful middle school dances? Finally summoning the courage to ask the love of your life to dance, only to hear the awful excuse (like, I'm kinda tired....Really? Tired? You're a thirteen-year-old-boy on a Friday night, you just downed like, three cans of Sprite, suddenly Patience comes on and you're TIRED??), and then you have to trudge off to a dark corner by the water fountain and watch him and an older girl with bigger boobs sway together in the dimly lit cafeteria to Axel Rose's gritty voice. Sigh.

Wait, what were we talking about? Oh right....chocolate. It would be different if I were selling something people actually wanted. Like Girl Scout cookies. Who doesn't get excited over Thin Mints?  I get disappointed when I don't get visited by any girl scouts in the early spring. I can't figure out if it's the cookies that make the sale, or the girl scouts themselves and their adorably dorky little outfits. It's genius, really. Girl Scouts are the only medium through which you can purchase their cookies, so of course people won't turn them away. People will seek them out. People will demand their Somoas. Their Tagalongs. Their Trefoils--oh wait...no one really eats those things.

What I need is to have Rollie do all the grunt work. I need to teach him a good pitch line. Give him an inside angle. Put him in a shirt that's free from boogers and shove him into the world, box of chocolate in hand, and dare any of our neighbors to tell his angelic, earnest face that no, they wouldn't like to support his education and satisfy their sweet tooth at the same time.

You'd better buy that kid's candy,
or I'm gonna tackle you!
And if they don't want any chocolate, I will have Clay Matthews and Brian Urlacher in the back of my car, just in case.


  1. Loved it. I guess you get your lack of salesmanship from your DNA pool. We bought our son's entire inventory of Kutko. How much for your chocolates? Loved it. Especially the 1985 Woodie Wagon.

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