Monday, March 27, 2006

Bookfield, Pervert

I started with a small white house under some pretty white pines. An old man opened the door and I was let in. The house looked shabby, and his clothes were worn. I decided to pitch the Bible Dictionary. He listened intently to my demo, and asked me to look up some things from his favorite scriptures. Other folks who heard the Bible Dictionary demonstration had asked me to look up words before. I took this to mean that the old man was interested in the book. Indeed a bit later he said that wanted to buy the book, and offered to give me the total price in cash as a down payment. Then he whispered something that I didn’t catch, and I asked him to repeat it.

He said, “Would you like to come sit on my lap now? Come on sweetie, no one will know, and I surely won’t tell...”

“No, thank you sir...” I offered respectfully, as I wondered to myself just what kind of weirdo this was.

“Don’t worry. Just sit right here on my lap. I won’t hurt you.” He was persistent, but there was no way I was leaving. I smelled a sale! I managed to write the order and get his money even though he came and sat next to me and put his hand on my thigh. I moved to another chair, and continued to close him out. By the time my job was done and his money was in my pocket, he was literally chasing me around the furniture. I ran out of the house, and a good way further, in case he was still chasing. I continued to knock on the doors Gregg had counted out for me. I did one other demo and that was all.

Soon enough, Gregg’s car came down the road, and I got in.

“Hey! You were right about this territory. I sold a Bible Dictionary at that little white house under the pines.” By coincidence we were driving right past the house as I told him. “But you wouldn’t believe how perverted this old guy was. He was trying to get me to sit on his lap, and by the time I got his cash he was chasing me around the house.”

“What are, nuts? As soon as anything weird happened you should have run out of there! God only knows what he could have done to you.” he said in a suddenly protective manner. He shook his head and lectured, “First of all Sue, you must never, ever, go into a house if a man is there alone in it. You can try to get him to come outside, or ask to speak to the lady of the house, but don’t go in there!” Gregg continued, “You were crazy to stay in there with that guy giving you a hard time like that. I won’t make you go back there to deliver the book, just give me the slip, I’ll deliver this order, and you keep the money. I can’t believe you did that.” He shook his head to emphasize the point. “I think we’ll drive to your territory now.”

I was touched by the way Gregg was looking out for me, but perplexed that he did not see his own behavior as similar to the old man’s. I was glad that he was willing to make the delivery and I did not to have to return to the house at the end of the summer.

I told Gregg about the Cedar Shoals neighborhood, and he was eager to see it. Once there, the first door we knocked on was answered by an Asian woman. Gregg made his approach while I watched, but the lady looked spooked by the two of us. She responded to the ‘local church’ part though and muttered she attended on Prince Avenue.

“Oh yes, Prince Baptist Church? I was at their prayer meeting last Thursday. You must know Mrs. Franklin.” I piped up. Gregg looked stunned, but the lady smiled and opened the door for us immediately. Gregg gave a good demo but could not sell a book there. The Asian lady kept flying squirrels as pets and I had never seen one. Who knew they were kept as pets? They were interesting and cute. She said that sometimes she would let them out of their cages to swoop around the house.

Once outside, Gregg said, “It’s great that you knew about that church. If it wasn’t for that she never would have let us in. Actually she looked pretty suspicious of us at the beginning. You’ve learned a lot about ‘getting in the door”. You’re a pushy bitch too. You’ll get in a lot of doors that way. You’ll do fine on your own now.”

I smiled at the ‘pushy bitch’ remark and thanked him for the complement. Had he said it in kind of a joking manner? He didn’t seem to mean anything by it. We got back in the car and left Cedar Shoals. Gregg dropped me where I had left off selling on Friday. I was glad to be on my own again.