Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mighty Wind

February 22nd, Somewhere in FL

Me- (I blow some burnt food out of the demonstration pan to show the non-stick properties)
C- (A teen girl and her mother stand agast at my action. The teen speaks.) "Gross. It has your spit all over it."
Me- ( I smile big) "I'm not going to serve it to you! The surface allows for..."
C- (Interrupting loudly) "Why don't you just blow food out of your pans with a fart. Mom, is that not the dumbest thing you've ever witnessed?"

Friday, February 20, 2009


February 20th, Somewhere in FL

Me- (Answering this younger guy's question) "No. The handles are guaranteed not to break or come loose."
C- "I can break 'em!" (Grabs pot and bangs the handle hard on table. Nothing happens.) "Soft table." (He then drops the pot on the floor in front of the booth, then picks it up and examines it closely.)
Me- "Soft concrete floor too, huh jackass?"
C- (Proceeds to threaten me. His girlfriend comes over and apologizes for him, and they finally leave after about 10 more minutes of shit talking.)

Stand Up Routine

February 19th, Somewhere in FL

Me- (Feeling like the woman in front of me can handle a gross fabrication, I answer her question about the warranty with the following, with a dead-pan delivery) "So, when you get the set home, put a small pot aside. Plant it in your yard about 4 feet down in a spot that will get plenty of sun. Then MAGIC. In about 8-10 years your [brand] tree will yield you at least 2-3 sets of new cookware. That's a guarantee you can count on."
C- "I won't even dignify that with an answer."
Me- "Oh. Well, I thought it'd be funny. It wasn't even a little humorous?"
C- "Creative, but stupid." (Walks away)

Friday, February 13, 2009

I Missed Something

February 13th, Somewhere in FL

C1- (Five women approach) "What he selling?"
C2- "Lies, lies, and more lies. And some more lies on top of those. He selling." (She addresses me directly) "What's this?"
Me- (I give a brief presentation, and pretend to not be affected by three of the women making the most ridiculous 'I don't believe you' faces.)
C3- "Oh yeah, does it cure cancer?"
C1- "You know it doesn't [name]. Why ask him?"
C2- "Hmm. Lies... like I said!"
Me- "Did you just ask me if a pan cures cancer, lady? Were you attempting to ask another question?" (I try to not get pissed, because they're blocking people who want to see what I'm selling)
C3- "No, it's dangerous. I'm just preaching the truth."
C1- "Yes she is."
Me- "Please help me." (I turn my head and single out an older woman watching from afar and smile big. I try to lighten things up.) "They're picking on me."
C4- (The woman I shouted to folds her arms and yells back) "You lost. If it doesn't cure cancer, they have a point."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Wise Guy

February 7th, Somewhere in FL

C-(Yells as he walks past me) "These days everything'll kill ya. Don't need to see any of that [curdla? I think he said]. Everything's got lead and nuclear junk in it. You eat it- dead. You drink it- dead. Just like that Mr. Salesman. Don't care no more Nobody."
Me- "You're still here. You're not dead, from what I can tell." (I look around and some other passers by chuckle at our exchange.) "What's your secret?"
C- "I'm Italian. We're immortal. Maybe it's our diet. Cook me up some pasta in your fancy pan, [sounded like gadoo?]."

Health Food

February 7th, Somewhere in FL

C- (Concerned middle-aged woman approaches me, rhythmically chewing gum and wide-eyed)
"My mother asked me the other day if eating the coating that flakes off of the non-stick pans was good for you. Does it have minerals in it or something. Is it a metal? You're a chef, know that kinda thing...or don't you learn that kinda thing in cooking school?"
Me- "It's toxic."
C- "Are you some kinda doctor then? Is that a chef's jacket or a doctor's jacket?"

Friday, February 6, 2009

Talking It Up

February 6th, Somewhere in FL

C- (Young girl cautiously approaches my booth with her older brother and sister, and sees that I'm cooking onions. She stares at me for a minute, then skips over and points to the onions.) "Can I have some?"
Me- "Sorry, Miss, I don't hand out food. I show people how these pans work. How old are you? My daughter is 3. You look about 5."
C- "I know what happens. Mama makes onions, and peppers, and other things, and, and Daddy slaps her on the behind and they kiss. They usually tell me I have to go outside. How come?"
(Her siblings yell for their mother, and they tell her that [name] is talking it up again.)
Me- (Shocked at the honesty and a bit embarrassed) "Onions make your eyes water." (Her mother spots her, and comes over and picks her up.)
C2- "Leave the man alone. He just selling pots and pans. We don't need none. Come on."

The Uprising

February 6th, Somewhere in FL

Me- (I crack a egg in a glass and begin to whisk it for the demonstration.)
C- "Oh no." (Woman covers her mouth, leans over and makes some gutteral coughs.) "Please...don't. Oh God!"
Me- "What, the egg?"
C- "Oh, please no, NO!" (I stop and put the egg down behind the booth.)
Me- "Are you OK ma'am?"
C- (Making gagging sounds with her hand over her mouth) "Please stop. Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh. Ahhh. Oh." (Turns away)
C2- (Her husband comes over and puts his arms around her) "Honey?"
C- "He was making an egg and didn't tell me. Oh God. I almost threw up."
Me- "I'm so sorry, I didn't know..." (Now a small crowd has formed and several older women are whispering and shaking their heads at me. One walks away, apparently in disgust, and waves a diapproving hand through the air in my direction.)
C- "I'm sensitive, jerk!" (Nobody comes around for a few minutes, so I take a break.)

Saturday, January 31, 2009


January 31st, Somewhere in FL

Me- (I'm sitting down behind the booth, reading something, and a man dressed in a suit approaches. He wears a camo ballcap that kind of floats on the top of his bald head. I do not know him, though he thinks he knows me. And, apparently, my father) "Hi, there."
C- "Was over on Cedar Ridge, man. Right by that pull-off. Whew! And I was parked, you know. Parked up on [name] road about halfway up after you get off the highway, right. A deer, probably an 8 pointer, comes running out of nowhere. Nowhere, I'll tell you. Rammed the back of my truck bed on the passenger's side, and then that damned animal took off again. If I had that gun, you know, the one that your daddy gave me before he up and left for Austin I would of taken him down. I need to bang that dent out, but Gill's got the hammers over at his shop. Hell if I got gas for that trip, especially after my scare today. Didn't know where I was driving, and didn't get that phonecall. (Goes on about a dog and how he couldn't find her, but that was a 3 minute conversation that I don't recall most of. I was hoping that someone else would see us talking, and might come over to look at the pans.) "So, gotta go buy some food." (He adjusts his hat, shakes my hand, and walks away.)

Friday, January 30, 2009


January 30th, Somewhere in FL

C- "I'm looking for something that will work on induction stovetops. Will this work on those?"
Me- "Sorry, this won't work. What you need has to react to a magnet."
C- "Looks like it might." (She picks up the pan and scrtaches the bottom, and knocks on it.)
Me- "Can I borrow a pan and try it out? Do you have a sign-out sheet?" (Stares at me.)

Thursday, January 29, 2009


January 29th, Somewhere in FL

Me- "Would you like to take home a set today?"
C- "The price is pretty good." (Pauses and speaks in Spanish to his wife. I understand the gist of what he's saying, but pretend not to.) "I'll buy it if you can give me another 20% off. Deal, my friend?"
Me- "Can't. I don't make those decisions on pricing, sir"
C- "Fine, give me 30% off, and I'll buy two sets!"
Me- "I have no control over the price. You are already getting a big discount."
C- "How much?" (I point at a sign and he reads)
Me- "60%. Buy two, and that's 120% off!" (At this point I had given up, and was joking with him, not expecting what came next.)
C- "Wow. OK, sounds great, friend." (Buys two.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Storage Space

January 23rd, Somewhere in FL

C- "Can I put them into the oven?"
Me- "Yes you can. Just like this."
C- "What about if I'm actually baking?"
Me- (I laugh a little) "You put pots into the oven... and don't turn the oven on?"
C- "What? No. Well, sometimes."
Me- (I give him an inquisitive look.)
C- "I store leftovers in my other stoves that I keep outside. Works well around here when it gets chilly."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


January 14th, Somewhere in GA

C-"Got any brats here? They used to sell 'em right here. Where are they?"
Me- "I don't work here, sir. I'm the cookware guy."
C- "You look like you'd know."
Me- "You mean, like I'm German?"
C- "No, like you eat plenty of 'em."
Me- "Oh. I can point you to the vinegar."
C- "Excuse me?" (He's got his sunglasses on inside the store, and makes a point to lower them on the bridge of his nose so he's looking straight at me.)
Me- "Probably making sauerkraut, right?"
C- "For a second I thought you were talking some shit, chef. What are you gettin' at?"
Me- "Might want to ask those folks over there." (I point, and he walks away, confused.)
C- (Comes back to my booth about 5 minutes later...) "You think I'm a douchebag, huh? I got that reference. I ain't dumb. I'll be lookin' for you when you leave tonight."
Me- "It's OK, don't bother. I'm feeling fresh."

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Daytime Emmy

January 10th, Somewhere in GA

C-"They're too heavy." (Feebly tries to lift a small saucepan)
Me- "Compared to what?"
C- "I'm too old to cook. Too heavy for me, you know. What if I drop the pan on the floor with boiling soup or something, huh?"
Me- "Wouldn't want that. Who cooks your meals for you, ma'am?"
C- "My son, praise the Lord. He's a true blessing. You must be for your family, too. Such a nice young man. He used to be (leans forward and whispers at me) one of them gay boys. Not any more. Loved our neighbor. Neighbor was a bastard, though. Oh, I'm sorry, I shouldn't be tellin' you this. Anyway, I lost everything when he robbed us and brought shame to [name]. It's true."
Me- (I nod, and have nothing to say, so I keep nodding. I can tell she needs to talk, so I listen.)
C- "He'd love these. Maybe keep him from going back."
Me- "OK."
C- "Can't lift nothin', and it's only me. How am I going to get this in the house? I can keep these in the car until he comes back from the hospital."
Me- "He's in the hospital?"
C- "Yes, in a coma. Almost died before, twice."
Me- (At this point, I have no idea how I'm supposed to respond.)
C- "Thank you so much." (She blankly smiles then walks away. Later, when talking to a store employee, I come to find that the lady is another employee's mother, who's been gossiping some soap opera drama on her visits.)