Skip to main content


I find salesmen fascinating. I've had a couple of posts about them. There's something about the 'seat of your pants' living that I just find so frontiersman-like; minus the dodgey hygeine and proficiency with pistols, of course. 

But the grafters, the people who sell things via a quick show on the side of the road are something else. I quite enjoy watching those red-faced (invariably) British ex-pats sweatily trying to sell me 'the last cleaning solution I'll ever need', their hands in a blur, their headset slipping off an almost bald, and completely sweaty, head.

I like the idea of someone making due with just a gift of the gab and well-crafted one liners. "Death of a Salesman" in reverse comes to mind. I imagine them to be real 'people persons', the sort who actually do like people, in general. A dastardly and foolhardy approach to life, but better a happy fool than a cripplingly depressed wise man, I suppose. All bluster, all flash, and very little else. 

Exciting, in it's own way.

It's also raw showmanship. Trying to convince a crowd that, every year, becomes more calcitrant against sales pitches; that, every year, layers irony on top of skepticism and finishes with a thick glaze of apathy. Enthusiasm, well-practiced, against a tide of urban ennui. 

Sure, it's for profit, they aren't doing it to raise our spirits or enoble society. There is no 'art' form they are trying to further. But that's what makes it even more fascinating. Raw commerce with no smoke and mirrors. "This is me, I'm going to try and sell you this questionable kitchen sponge, try, just try to fend off my pitch". 

Maybe I like grafters too much.  Mrs. Owl and I went to a night market a few years back. Almost every single person leaving had this ridiculous looking rubber broom thing. We both turned to each other and said "We are NOT getting that." I assume you all can guess what's in our broom closet, gathering dust, quite unexepectedly not being the last broom we'd ever buy.

EDIT: Oh hey, here's a video of the grafter featured in the article, doing his schtick:


Chris B. said…
Funny how there's essentially no difference between the guy on the street and the CEO that makes a "special visit" to a client to seal a multi-million dollar deal. It's a song and dance meant to entice. There's a reason for the sex metaphors. (" bed with them" or "consummate the deal", for example.)

Popular posts from this blog

Insults From A Senile Victorian Gentleman

You SIR, have the hygeine of an overly ripe avocado and the speaking habits of a vaguely deranged chess set. I find your manner to be unctuous and possibly libelous, and whatever standard you set for orthodontal care, it's not one I care for. Your choice in news programs is semi-literate at best and I do believe your favourite news anchor writes erotic literature for university mascots. While I'm not one to point out so obvious a failing, there has been rumour that the brunches you host every other Sunday are made with too much lard and cilantro. If you get my meaning. There is something to be said about your choice of motor-car fuel, but it is not urbane and if I were to repeat it, mothers would cover their children's ears and perhaps not a few longshoremen within earshot would blush. How you maintain that rather obscene crease in your trousers and your socks is beyond me, perhaps its also during this time that you cultivate a skin regime that I'm sure requires the dea

Learn A New Thing...

Man, you really do learn a new thing everyday. There have been a few shocking realizations I've had over the past month or so: -bizaare is spelled bizarre (how bizaare) -scythe is pronounced "sithe", not the phonetic way. Which is the way I've been pronouncing it in my head for my whole life. My entire youth spent reading Advanced Thresher Sci-Fi and Buckwheat Fantasy novels, for naught! -George Eliot was a woman, real name Mary Ann Evans. -Terry Gilliam is American. -Robocop is a Criterion Film. I shit you not . -Uhm, oh damn, just after I post this, I find that, this movie is a Criterion film as well . Maybe I don't know what being a Criterion film really entails.. Alright all (three) readers of my blog, post and lemme know some earth shattering facts you've learned recently.

Europe : London Maritime Museum - March 15th

I've never, well I suppose most people don't either, thought of myself as a flat. Despite the fact I rarely go anywhere. Despite the fact that, given my shut in lifestyle I have about as much street smarts as, well, a middle aged programmer who rarely goes out.  But I am a flat, entirely. First step is admitting I have a problem.  On our way to the bus station, and at NO time did I sense any of this, or even have a sense of anyone being very close to me, both the zippers in my bag were opened, and my rather nice down jacket was nicked. Shameful, I know. But, I suppose, bravo on the thiefs, I didn't feel a thing. And well, I suppose we are going to Italy, so, less to pack? It was a certain jet of anger, I suppose, and befuddlement. But I also was so very thankful I had not lost my wallet and/or phone, both which would require hours and hours of hassle and phone calls to set me to rights.  It might be my stoic optimism is a source of my lack of street smarts. But I'm also