Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Birth of a salesman

To my great surprise and delight, my wife finally relented and agreed that we should purge some stuff from our house. Of course, this backfired immediately, and rather than being able to get rid of one of the thousand awkward-shaped and space-eating children’s toys we have somehow acquired which our children never actually use, I was instead asked to purge something of my own: my beloved Pro Form Fusion 1.5 “Power Tower.”

The Power Tower—God bless it—was the best. I had used it frequently (approximately .001 percent of its standing existence) to do pushups, pull-ups and ab-thingees. The rest of the time (99.99 percent) it was also useful, as I was able to hang things from it, namely, my mom’s “Arizona pocketbooks,” which she keeps here and which hold things like golf balls (?), loose change, and her Advil for when she gets migraines. I had hung the pocketbooks from the top pull-up bar of the Power Tower to keep them out of reach from our children because I am a great and resourceful parent.

Although I was sad to part with the Power Tower, I was happy to purge; however, I was still left with the dilemma of what to actually do with it. You can’t just make a seven-foot tall Power Tower disappear, as the saying goes.

Now, it is always my preference to give something away rather than try and sell it. This is not because I am nice; it is because I am lazy.

I mean, really—who has the time? What am I supposed to do, use Craigslist? Oh, redneckChuck231 from Goodyear is interested in my Pro Form Fusion Power Tower? Sure, why don’t you come to my house where I live and have a look, redneckChuck231. Come on inside … would you like to meet my daughters? Or maybe we should meet at Jack N’ the Box or something? How does this work? Also, do you have a pickup truck to get this dang thing out of here? Because I do not. You want to give me half the money now and the other half when you get paid next Friday? Is that normal? Is this a traveler’s check?

No thank you. I had planned to just give it away. I was going to do what I always do—call St. Vincent de Paul and have their truck come pick it up. Besides, it’d be going to a good cause, and it would be comforting to know that someone who is less fortunate would finally get the six pack abs they have always dreamed of.

But then a thought occurred to me—our community has a “garage sale”-type Facebook page where residents can post things to gauge interest. I would feel better selling to a pseudo neighbor than a complete stranger, I thought. I had actually been a member of the Facebook group for like a week, until I could no longer take my news feed blowing up with pictures of Hello Kitty play tables and baby name books. I would shamefully submit to rejoin the group for the sole purpose of selling my Power Tower.

I began disassembling it, intrigued by the idea of becoming an actual salesman. My wife walked in after I had removed several parts already and condescendingly said, “Did you take a picture of it first?” She totally thought I had not, and under normal circumstances I definitely would have forgotten to do that. But I had taken a picture because I had thought ahead. Like a salesman.

I rejoined the Facebook group. I posted the picture. WHO WANTS MY POWER TOWER? Guess what? Several people were interested. Bidding war! One of them had a pickup truck. They won.

I helped load the Power Tower into the truck, then waved goodbye as it pulled away while a tear rolled down my cheek. Then I looked down at the cold, hard cash in my hand and I felt better. I haven’t left the Facebook group yet because I have more stuff to sell, namely a couple pocketbooks and some expired, over-the-counter drugs.

See you at the crossroads, Power Tower

Note: It should be mentioned that the Power Tower was originally given to me by my buddy Rashad, who won it for some reason when he used to work for Neilsen Ratings but needed to get rid of it when he had to move. I texted him about splitting the profits, and he responded, referring to Neilsen, a company he hates, "still making money off those b*tches."

Note2: This column appears in the 9/19 issue of The Glendale Star and the 9/20 issue of the Peoria Times.

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