Monday, October 6, 2008


Stop the presses!  Call the police!  Alert the Better Business Bureau!  

I've been bamboozled!  I've been hoodwinked and flim-flammed, duped, conned, and taken for a ride.  Chicanery has taken place.  

It happened just so:  on Saturday morning I headed to the mall, in search of a pair of work pants that don't make me look like I'm smuggling play-doh home with me at night.  The mall is never one of my favorite places to be, but on Saturday morning it becomes its own small circle of hell.  Families with screaming kids, bewildered elderly people, college students trying to bleed mom and dad dry before they head home from their weekend visit; these are your Saturday morning shoppers.  These people and me; still half asleep and fighting through the residual haze of a few too many vodka Redbulls.  

I got to the mall and began to wander aimlessly around, which is how I usually shop for pants.  I got a cup of coffee and sat on a bench near some fake palms.  I watched some kids run screaming by, and I smiled because they were not my responsibility.  I stared at my legs and cursed their length, a length I knew would cause me to reel from store to store, trying on pants that made me look as though I were unusually proud of my collection of socks.  I girded my loins and went to The Gap, where the assistant I spoke with told me that they only carried "normal" lengths in the store, but that other lengths could be ordered online.  I somehow managed to shuffle my gargantuan limbs out of the store, when it happened ...

I made eye contact with one of those kiosk salesmen.  You tell yourself it can't happen to you.  You tell yourself that you would do something different, something that wouldn't attract attention, something dismissive.  You practice kiosk safety by walking quickly and having your cell phone handy at all times.  You tell yourself these things, but the next thing you know some Italian man named Guillermo is strapping an herbal remedy pack to your back while he stares into your eyes and whispers "eet ees good for cir-coo-lation of the blued."

Since when do I have blood circulation problems?!?!  I let Guillermo wrap a hot, sweet smelling packet of herbs around my neck and all of a sudden I was standing in the middle of the East Towne Mall with this man rubbing my shoulders telling me that I looked "How do you say? No more of thee tension?  Ree-lax-ed?"  Then he told me that he would throw in the mint pillow for free and that it could be used to stop my "huzband" from "doing the snore."  Damn those sexy Italians with their mixed up words and adorable inability to grasp English idiom.  They get me every time.  

Guillermo's salsemanship didn't rely on sexiness alone.  He pulled out all of the stops, telling me that he would give me a discount because I was cute, and two free products because I work with kids.  My favorite part was when he told me that people in California bought his product in droves because people in California "know thee healing of thee flowers."

What?! People in California buy your little herb packets?  Then I'm sold.  I've always wanted to be like one of them ladies from Hollywood.

In the end I bought the Nature Creation Upper Body Reusable Hot/Moist/Cold Wrap both because I was hungover, and because Guillermo was sexy.  The man clearly took advantage of me; I demand a full refund!  And a pair of pants that reach my shoes.


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