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Cosmetic Saleswomen ... They're Out There
I used to think I knew a thing or two about predators. After all, I’ve seen Shark Week. I’ve seen Nature. I’ve even seen the episodes of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom where Jim Fowler wrestled the crocodiles while Marlin Perkins stood safely on the shore, mixing martinis with the native girls.
Oh, please. Crocs are just big lizards compared to what I recently encountered in the jungle known as a shopping mall: Cosmetics saleswomen.
These are steely-eyed predators, my friends. Predators. And their prey is the unsuspecting middle-American goober or, more precisely, the contents of his wallet.
One such yokel - me - was wandering through the mall recently looking for a pair of shoe trees. I was but a few steps into the journey when a young woman leapt from behind a kiosk, grabbed my hand, and began buffing a fingernail, which is a weird way to say hello, even in my world.
"You have a wife? A girlfriend?" she asked, not waiting for an answer. "She’ll love this. She won’t have to spend money at the nail salon. Look, after just a few seconds of buffing, look at your nail, how shiny it is." She began buffing another nail while continuing the sales pitch. "You buy this, she uses it once a week, applies this special mineral, the nails stay nice and don’t chip, she doesn’t have to pay for the nail salon, and you save money."
She turned to grab a box of products. I saw this as my opportunity and bolted ...
Straight into another kiosk where a dark-haired young woman with extremely big -- well, let’s just she was healthy, and her good health was being displayed rather prominently -- jumped in front of me and began dabbing my face with some sort of cream. She began saying something about how it would remove wrinkles, I think. I mean, her blouse was cut so that her good health was right in my field of vision, and I was having a difficult time concentrating. "You have a wife? A girlfriend?" she asked, also not waiting for the answer. "Any woman would love this."
"Not if she saw me talking to you," I said. She turned to pull on a barely-adequate wrap and I skedaddled, this time keeping my eyes open for danger.
Down the hall I went, past the hair-care kiosk, past the bath salts kiosk, past the OTHER wrinkle-cream kiosk, until I got to the sanctuary of a department store where the clerks pretty much ignore you. Ordinarily that would have ticked me off, but on this day, being ignored was blessed relief.
Then I remembered that I had to go past the kiosks again to get to my truck. I resolved to keep my head down and my sales resistance up as I charged back down the hallway.
I needn’t have worried. All the salesladies had snagged new victims. I thought I heard one wail piteously as a salt scrub was applied to his elbow by the extremely healthy young woman who, I noticed, had the bait on display again.
"Poor devil," I thought. "Lured to his doom by bounteous vitality."
And with that, I shifted the bag of nail products and face creams to my other hand, and went off in search of native girls with martini shakers.
© 2009 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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