The Traveling Salesman

A traveling salesman has thrown a handful of dirt on your floor.


Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Hello ma’am. May I come in for a second? My name is — whoops! I’ve spilled a handful of dirt on your carpet, and now I’m rubbing it deep into the fibers with my foot!

Luckily, I have with me a product that will forever change the way you tackle your most noisome domestic duty. Tell me, are you dissatisfied with your current kitchen cutlery? What’s that?

Oh, the dirt, yes. Just a little “trick of the trade” that one of my salesman buddies taught me. His name is J. Gregory Stanton. He’s what we in the trade call “a veteran of the trade.”

Allow me to demonstrate the durability of these knives. You could use these babies to cut a soup can in half — with the soup still in it! Ha, ha.

Yes, ma’am, I did throw dirt on your floor. It’s an old salesman’s trick, all part of the show. Trust me — you’re going to love that dirt pile by the time I’m done. Did you hear my soup joke?

Why, my knives are so strong that they’ll cut through an actual penny! I happen to have one here, and could you take your eyes off the dirt for just one second?

Please, have faith. Everything I’ve done is straight out of the Salesman’s Handbook. Have a look. See? Just like it says: I’m wearing a suit. I called you ma’am. I threw a lot of dirt on your carpet. I took that dirt from under the sod on your front lawn so you wouldn’t be spooked by strange dirt. I joked about soup, since you are a housewife and spend most of your time in the company of soups.

But if you mean to question sales techniques developed by Mr. J. Gregory Stanton himself, the top grossing vacuum cleaner salesman in the northeast, well, I’ve got news for you, lady: I just realized why I shouldn’t have put that dirt on your floor.

I’d be happy to run out to my car and see if I have a vacuum stowed away somewhere. No, I don’t know why I would, either. My whole back seat is full of knives and tin can fractions. Who’d keep a vacuum under a pile of knives? Not J. Gregory Stanton, that’s for sure. Say, do you have a vacuum?

Maybe I could use your phone, then? I could place a call to J. Gregory and ask him what I should do now. No? That’s alright. I suppose he’d just suggest I vacuum it up with my vacuum.

Let’s see… what else… Oh! Hello, young lady, is your mother home? I’m joking, of course. I know full well that you’re an adult. I just forgot to say that when I came in.

I think I have an idea. If my knives are sharp enough to cut a penny, surely it would be no trouble for me to cut a measly few feet of filthy carpet out of a lovely young lady’s living room floor? That would be no problem for my knives. Here, please observe. See? Would you like to take a stab at it?

Say, did you catch that? “Take a stab.” I wasn’t even trying to do that. I should have been a stand-up comedian instead of a traveling knife salesman.

Oh, sure, when I want to call my mentor J. Gregory Stanton, it’s all, “I’d rather you didn’t use my phone” this, and “Why are you like this” that. But as soon as you decide to call the police? “Well, hello operator! Get me my best friend, the police!”

Why, my knives are so strong that they’ll cut through an actual penny! I don’t know. I thought maybe I could slip back into the pitch and you wouldn’t notice.

Maybe I’m just not salesman material. Maybe I should call it quits. What will I say to my wife when I go home? “Hi, honey?” “How was your day?” I’m sure I will. I love talking to my wife.

Listen, if I don’t make a sale today, I’ll be forever disbarred from the Salesman’s Federation Of America. They’ll take away my fedora. They’ll take my cans. The dream will be dead. I’ll have to go back to my day job performing bone marrow transplants. The monotony of it! Day in and day out, sick kid after sick kid. It’s enough to make you want to kill yourself.

Ah, officer, hello! Tell me: are you dissatisfied with your current kitchen cutlery?

Dan Gagliardi is a writer and comedian from New Jersey. He is currently a contributor at the Onion News Network and a very good boy.