I Sold Vaccuum Cleaners for Two Days Part III
by Michele Christopher
He then submitted the conclusion to "I Sold Vaccuum Cleaners for Two Days."
I Sold Vaccuum Cleaners for Two Days Part III
At ten PM, we pulled up to what I considered a nice-looking house in a decent neighborhood. By nice-looking, I mean there was a minimal amount of animal feces on the front lawn, and by decent neighborhood I mean there weren't cops sucking off drag queens for cigarettes in back alleys (at least, that I could see).
"Now look, I know your first day is tough," said my boss, "so I've decided to bring you here. I have a friend here--good guy--who has bought from us before. That was about ten years ago though, so I think it's time he bought something new. I want you to get in there and give the presentation of a lifetime, you got it? Let him know you're there to sell, and won't take no for an answer."
"But it's ten at night," I protested. "Won't he be a little bit bothered by me showing up?"
My boss just smiled. "I'm not paying you to talk to me boy. I'm paying you to talk to him. Now go."
Before I could remind my boss that he wasn't paying me anything until I actually sold a vaccuum cleaner, he pushed me out the door of the car. I walked up to the house and knocked. Minutes later, a skinny black man half opened the door.
"You're here about the vaccuum cleaner, aren't you?" he asked. His breath smelled like a drink I used to make called the "Eye Opener," and though I can't remember the recipe exactly, I know the main ingredients were cough syrup, tequila, and cod liver oil. It was a nice drink to start the day with, if you didn't have anywhere to go and your toilet wasn't backed up.
"As a matter of fact, I am..."
"Did 'they' send you?" he asked, looking around frantically.
"If by 'they' you mean the Wei Raleigh Sook Corporation, then yes, they..."
He grabbed me by my shirt and pulled me into the house. In the time it took him to activate all twelve of the locks on the door, I was able to take in my surroundings.
In one corner, there were at least twenty guitars. Of all the instruments in the world, the guitar disgusts me the most, primarily because of an unforunate incident in a Mexican prison involving a mariachi band and two large jars of mayonnaise. So I was confused, and more than a little frightened, about why this man might have two, let alone twenty, guitars at his disposal. But, since I saw no mayonnaise laying about, I was able to calm down about it.
I would say the rest of the house was normal, except for the flags. There were flags everywhere. Only three were anything of notice. There was one with a map of the world and a big, spraypainted "X" through it, right next to the Confederate flag, right next to the flag of the Nazi party.
"Ah," he said after he had set the final lock (with careful precision, I might add), "I see you're admiring my flags. Yes--the flag. One of the most important pieces of fabric ever to come through a sewing machine. You like sewing machines?" he asked.
"Not as much as I like vaccuums."
"Yes, well, vaccuums are fine and good, but do they make anything?"
Initially, I thought that was a rhetorical question, but he kept waiting for me to answer, so I finally said, "They make your house a clean and pleasant place to live."
"WRONG!" he yelled, throwing his hands up in the air. "They make money for the bureaucrats! They make money for the bigwigs! They make money you and I will never see, brother! How's that for a deal?"
"Doesn't sound like a deal at all to me," I said.
"Exactly." He sighed and walked up to the three flags I had noticed. He pointed to the Confederate flag first. "My great-great grandfather lived in the confederate states. He was lynched for having sex with a white woman. You ever have sex with a white woman?"
"I have," I answered.
"And there wasn't anything criminal about it, was there?"
"Well, I was in Alabama, and the laws are a little lax there..."
"Of course there isn't," he said, not listening. "But he got lynched anyway. So you probably want to know why I have this flag. Same reason I got the Nazi flag--to remind me of the injustice done to people in this world for things they never asked for. And I bet you want to know why I spray-painted on this other beautfully stiched flag. You know who's flag this is? It's the flag of the United Nations. And you know what the United Nations is?"
I stood there befuddled.
"The United Nations is the devil." He was in my face, breath so potent I thought I probably shouldn't drive anytime soon. Then I remembered that my licence had been revoked after I ran over a puppy (which turned out to be the mayor's puupy) after a night of drinking, and didn't have to worry about that. And then, from the depths of my brain, I thought of something--something ingenious--a way I could bring this guy back from his paraniod fantasies into my world--the world of unwanted particulate matter.
"SO, would you say that the United Nations sucks?"
"Oh, you bet!" he yelled.
"Well, they certainly don't suck as much as the Sook 2000x!" I said as I began pulling the vaccuum out of it's box.
"Listen my friend," he laughed as he witnessed my labor. "You are falling victim to what so many before you have tried to overcome. You're working for the man! You don't want to be here any more than I do. But here we are! We're here, not in some fairy tale make-believe land where good folks like you and me can contribute what we wish to society, where all we need is provided to us, even if what we feel like we need includes getting sodomized by a unicorn with a tennis ball on the end of his horn!"
I couldn't argue with that.
"So why don't you and me just relax--just sit here, and talk until your boss comes back. Let me tell you about society--about the society you don't know about--and you'll leave here a little more informated than you were when you walked through that door."
"I don't think 'informated' is a word," I said.
"That's what the man wants you to think!" he cried. "You know that Webster's Dictionary is written by the Illuminati, right? They censor that shit! There are words for things you and I couldn't even imagine. You ever heard the word 'lemtrappist'?"
I had to admit I had not.
"That's a person that makes his living popping the anal glands of dogs and using the results to make gourmet sherbert. And you and I would be using that word on a daily basis if the goddam Illuminati weren't editing the shit out of Webster's."
"What about the Oxford English Dictionary?"
"Written by out of work aliens from another galaxy. And what's really fucked up is how well they grasp the English language. But the Illuminati pays for their welfare checks and colostomy bags, so they do pretty much whatever they're told."
Several hours passed, in which I learned that Rod Roddy from The Price is Right was a KGB operative, and he only died when Bob Barker (who was NSA) learned his true identity. I also learned that tomato soup can talk to you when exposed to radiation from nuclear plants, and that if you buy a copy of The Peanuts Collection Vol. 3 by Charles Shultz, the FBI will track you as a terrorist because of the section where Snoopy (as the Red Baron) crashes his plane into Snoopy's (just regular old Snoopy) doghouse in a kamikaze attempt.
Needless to say, by the time I was done, I had enough. It was fifteen past midnight when I walked out of the crazy man's house and into the van parked outside. I told my boss I just couldn't do this anymore. He shrugged, and said something unforgettable.
"Well son, sometimes the man sells the vaccuum. But sometimes, the vaccuum sells the
He didn't say anything else as we drove back to the office, which gave me time to think about what he said, and decide I didn't understand what the fuck he was talking about. We shook hands, said goodbye, and he assured me that if I ever wanted another chance at the job, the van door was open.
I was thrilled to get back to my apartment that night. It was 1:30. I had been at work 17 hours spanning over two days. My dog Francis wagged his little tail as I walked in the door. Poor guy had been inside for hours. I was pretty tired, but the little guy needed a walk, so I took two hits of acid to wake up, grabbed a bottle of Mescal I stole from a hooker the last time I was in Laredo, and put Francis on his leash.
"Come on bud," I said joyfully, "we both need a nice walk."
I was so busy I didn't notice that someone had been in my apartment. And by the time I got back, the acid had kicked in, and I was too busy staring at the bottom of the dirty bathtub and listening to it sing to pay attention to anything else. So, the next morning, I was shocked to find Francis sniffing around a small bundle wrapped in a blanket, with a note pinned to the front.
Uber's Corner - weekly stories about dysentery, Jesus, drunk boll weevils and other stuff that defies description is written by Uberchief and appears Mondays on FTTW.