Monday, December 22, 2008

How Much

December 22nd, Somewhere in VA

C- "How much?" (The small woman is clearly not a native english speaker)
Me- " How much is what, ma'am?"
C- "How much?" (Points at the demonstration pan with vegetables in it)
Me- "The vegetables?"
C- "How much?" (Raises voice to a near scream and points to, from where I'm standing, is the same pan)
Me- "I don't understand what you are asking about?"
C- "How... much?" (Brings her finger close to the burner plate under the pan)
Me- "I don't sell these heating units."
C- (Throws hands up into the air and yells) "What you sell? Food!?"
Me- "Cookware." (I point to the display in front of me. I speak softly in the hopes that she'll lower her voice)
C- "No good."

Santa's Elves

December 22nd, Somewhere in VA

Me- (Presenting to two women in their 40's, dressed up, and they both appear drunk. I've just finished the part about the quality handles)
C1- "Handles are silicone?"
Me- "Yup."
C2- "Slide 'em off [name]!" (Makes a slow rubbing motion and they both giggle.)
C1- "'Bout the right size, the one on the large pan." (Waves the grip at her friend)
C2- "Shake it girl!"
C1- "Many uses for these parts...hmmm."
C2- "Maybe I'll go try this one out!" (They both erupt with laughter. Turns attention to me) "Please? It's Christmas, man!"
C1- "She ain't too proud to beg!" (They start to sing that 90's song in unison, very off-key)
Note: They end up buying multiple sets.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Match Point

December 8th, Somewhere in VA

C- (Very large young woman approaches my booth with what looks to be her family [sisters & mother?]) "Businesses these days."
Me- "Excuse me?"
C- "No excuses, chef-man. Can't guarantee nothin'. Nothin'. Probably go bankrupt soon. Then where ya gunna cook, chef?"
Me- (I stare, silent, watching her gnaw at a tiny shrimp on a toothpick.)
C2- (Woman who looks to be mother of [C] speaks) "Don't worry, [name], he's just a pee-on."
C- "Keep cookin' it up with your crap promises, chef." (Looks at the banner hanging behind me)
"Weight loss friendly? What if I like being fat? Can this (pauses to swallow) business here guarantee I won't lose weight? Don't think so."
Me- (I watch silently as the group leaves.)

Full of Bleach

December 8th, Somewhere in VA

C- (Woman is very animated and seems to want to buy, but keeps on making me show her more and more...) "I hate scrubbing pans. How do you clean them without water? Show me."
Me- (I wipe the pan clean with a paper towel)
C- "I don't use paper towels. They're full of bleach and very wasteful. I use a washable rag. Do you use a rag at home? Does it work? I need to know. Do you have one behind there? I need to see that."
Me- (I wipe it out with a new rag, and it begins to burn the microfiber rag. I panic and toss it on the ground behind the booth.) "Maybe not microfiber on a 400 degree pan." (I grab a piece of paper.) "You can use just about anything though." (I attempt to clean the rest of burnt food out with the paper, and succeed.)
C- "That's wasteful too. Paper's full of bleach. Did you know that? I guess you just don't get it." (Takes off her scarf and hands it to me.) "OK. Burn more milk. I need to see if this works, I need to see. You understand, right?"

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Lesson Learned

December 5th, Somewhere in VA

Me- (I have just finished my pitch about not having to use oil or butter)
C- "So I can use oil if I want, right?"
Me- "Yes, of course."
C- "What about blubber?"
Me- (I deliver with a bit of sarcasm) "Are you a nineteeth century whaler?"
C- (Silent at first, and then increasingly stern) "Whales aren't hunted legally in the United States, son. There are serious fines involved."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fried Chicken

November 29th, Somewhere in VA

C- "So, tell me guy, honestly. Will this pan thing explode if I, say, fry chicken in this shit, huh?"
Me- (Trying to be as straight faced and genuine as I can) "Explode, no. You can fry in this cookware, sir."
C- "Seriously, 'cause other shit I have is like, exploding grease in my face. Exploding, guy!" (Makes a gesture with his arms and laughs, eyes wide.)
Me- "Unless you're stuffing the chicken with ice...I don't think so. Why don't you take a set home and try it out?"
C- "Guy, that's HILARIOUS...shit, shit, I may have been frying frozen chickens...shit! Wait I think I was!"
(Laughs so hard a crowd forms, and they wait as if I'm about to say another joke.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008


November 6th, Somewhere in MD

C- (Woman in wheelchair, rolling by and not stopping) "Got anything for me?"
Me- "Sure. Come on over." (I motion her to come back in front of the booth)
C- "Free? I don't wanna buy nothin'."
Me- "Yeah, of, it's a kitchen gadget, and I'll show you how to make these neat decorations with it." (I point to some fruit I demonstrated earlier)
C- "Yippee." (Unenthusiastically) "I'm so excited I can feel my legs again."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Technical Question

November 2nd, Somewhere in MD

C- (The woman in front of me seems frazled, but willing to buy.) "OK, this may sound completely crazy, but, like, what if a pan gets dropped out of a 10 story window?"
Me-(Smiling) "Seriously? Wow, I've never..."
C- (Interupts me) "Don't laugh. My son drops my kitchen and bathroom stuff out of the window. I just bought a set of [Cookware] from [Store] last year and he drops the small ones out to try and hit the birds and squirrels."
Me- (Still smiling) "They're not designed for that."
C- "If something like that happens, will the company honor the warranty?"

Saturday, November 1, 2008


October 31st, Somewhere in MD

C-(Listens to my presentation, nods when I discuss the pricing, and pauses for about 30 seconds with his hand on the back of his neck) "Question. Do they make any of these that fold in half?"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Family Planning

October 30th, Somewhere in MD

(Older man, 70ish, walks around the booth a few times, then stops and speaks the following softly when no one else is around)
C-"Do you know where the raincoats are, sir?" (Has hand over mouth)
Me- "Well, I'm here in the Meat Department, so I don't think those would be around here. Clothing is in back of us." (I know what he's referring to, though I can't help but to play dumb.)
C- (Laughs nervously) "I know they don't keep the condoms with the pork."
Me- "Oh, sorry, probably over near the pharmacy."
C- "Shit. My wife is over there, and they all know us. Guess I'm famous for refills of a certain drug."
Me- (I make a puzzled look at him like I need more info to compute his explanation.)
C- "Her sister's more shapely."
Me- (I nod my head like I understand as he thanks me.)

Ball & Chain

October 30th, Somewhere in MD

C- "Looks good, but I don't purchase anything without talkin' to my wife first."
Me- "Really." (I stare at him with a slightly furrowed brow, hoping he'll elaborate.)
C- "You got a fat wife who's strong? ( He doesn't wait for my reply.) I do, so I'll either be back, or not."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

As Seen On TV

October 23rd- Somewhere in MD

(Guy approaches me, then stares at me saying nothing.)
Me- "Hi. Have you seen this stuff on TV yet?"
C- "I don't own a TV, so NO." (Stops in front of my booth, looks at his watch, then down at the cookware on the table.)
Me- "Oh, you must cook though, right?"
C- "Go fuck yourself." (Walks away shaking head.)