By Tonya Pike
Last night about 8:50 p.m., I heard two men's voices floating up the stairs. I was up reading in bed and A. was watching TV. The voices sounded at first like they were coming from the front porch. I heard A's laughter, so I wasn't too worried. It continued for a few minutes and the voices sounded closer. Sammy, our dog, was barking a bit wildly so I thought I should go down and investigate. Since I was wearing my pajamas, I put on a sweatshirt and headed downstairs.
When I got to the landing I was horrified.
There was a man unpacking a vacuum cleaner in our living room.
I shot A. a look that could kill and didn't smile at Mr. Salesman. He didn't bother introducing himself as he launched into his presentation.
"I'm not here to sell you anything tonight. I'm new at this gig and all I want to do is demonstrate this amazing machine. I just got married and I'm selling these so I can take my new wife on a honeymoon. She's never been on an airplane." Blah. Blah. Blah.
Every time he bent down to unpack another part of the machine I wildly mouthed things at A. like, "What the hell were you thinking?" "Why did you unlock the door?" "I'm going to kill you later!" She was trying not to laugh and when he would straighten back up we would pretend to be interested in his presentation.
I think I was restrained and polite in my distain until about 9:40 p.m. I answered his questions and tried to play along as he continually vacuumed the same 5 foot by 7 foot area rug over and over and over again. Every time he vacuumed it he would take out the little circle of paper to demonstrate the filth he pulled out of our carpet.
As I got more and more testy I pointed out to Mr. Salesman the ONLY carpet in the entire house was the area rug he was standing on.
"That's OK!" he said excitedly, "Don't you know if you disassemble this machine it becomes a compressor that you can use to paint your house or blow the leaves out of your gutters? It can also be used as a snow blower for your driveway!"
Very nice. But we're still not buying a $2,355 compressor.
He just kept vacuuming. And laying out those little circles with no more dirt on them all over the living room floor.
A. was more tolerant at this point than I was. He asked her if the County Music Awards were on TV. It took all her restraint not to say, "How in the hell would I know? You're standing in front of the TV with the vacuum cleaner running!"
After he laid out the 16th small circle I said, "It's 9:55 p.m. I get up at 5 in the morning so I'm going to have to ask you pack up now."
What he said next was the line of the night. He looked at A. and asked, "Is she always like this?"
I thought I might come unglued.
Pouting, he took his sweeper into the front room to pack it up. Not real loudly we heard him say, "I don't want to make anyone uncomfortable. I'm a Christian."
The van that dropped him off on our front porch was nowhere to be seen. He took his vacuum sweeper to the curb and waited. We locked the front door and nearly choked from laughter.
How can you tell a vacuum salesman is lying? His lips are moving.