Thursday, August 09, 2007

Sandwiches, naps, one autograph and, oh yeah, some pretty expensive books

This post could prove to be a little long winded, but hang in there it's pretty funny.

Earlier in the summer, I was at home on a regular day with the kids screaming in the living room and Elliott looking, hopelessly, for some peace and quiet in his office in the bedroom. I was sitting at my computer, goofing off, when I heard a loud knock at the door. I jumped, of course, and turned around to see someone I didn't recognize standing on the porch. When I opened the door, I found a cute little college girl with her hair pulled back and a really sweet smile. She introduced herself as Jenny and started to make conversation with my kids. I felt a little weird at this point because I didn't know who she was or why she was on my porch. She asked if she could sit down and talk with me for a bit about books and children's education. Things like that. I thought maybe she was an overachieving college student from Abilene who maybe had a student teaching job at one of the schools or something and she was out getting acquainted with everyone. How sweet. Well, turns out she's straight up a sales person for a book company. And a pretty good one at that, judging by the books I can see on my shelf right now. Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself.

She starts doing the sales person thing where they show you everything they have and everything it does and asking you questions like, "Don't you think you could use something like this?" and "I bet this could come in pretty handy with four kids around." She kept asking me random school questions about science and history. I didn't know all of the answers, but I knew enough for her to call me a super mom more than once and attempt to give me no less than 14 high fives. Here's how it would go:

Jenny: I bet you don't know what photosynthesis is, do you?
Me: Well, I believe it's the process that's plants use to turn sunlight into energy.
Jenny: Wow, you're a supermom. High five!
Me: (embarrassed)

Just about that time, Elliott comes out onto the porch wondering what we're all doing out there on such an uncomfortable afternoon. I said, "Honey, this is Jenny. She wants to show us some books." Coming to my rescue like he does, Elliott says, "Well why don't we go inside where it's cooler." Sure. We want her to be completely comfortable so she can finish this thing. Elliott starts trying to get to the point and find out how much everything is, but she's staying firmly on track. Finally, Elliott tells her that he's not interested in anything but the reference books and would you please tell me how much they are. She starts going into quiz mode again asking, "Do you know how much college text books are now days? How much do you think one of these books is worth? How much do you think all of them are worth?" We eventually got a price out of her and I looked at Elliott and said, "This is your call. Whatever." So we bought them.

You have to know Elliott, though. As most of you do. He is very old fashioned. If someone came by selling big, clunky, black, rotary dial phones door to door, Elliott would buy two of them. Even though he's in a business that's smack dab in the middle of technology, he hates progress. He loves knowing that in the event of a four day power outage, if he wants to know the capital of Tunisia, he can physically look it up.

So she says we can put half down now and we can pay the rest when the books arrive in August. (Don't even ask!)

Well, over the past weeks I've been hearing about this girl and all her weird supermom high-five behavior from all my friends. I will admit I was a little embarrassed that we had bought books from her. Anyway, fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. I got a little post card in the mail saying our books had arrived and Jenny would be by sometime on the 4th to deliver them and collect the balance. I totally forgot about the 4th on the 4th until I was in the middle of Lowe's with Elliott. I said, "Oh my gosh, what's today?" Elliott said, "Today is the 4th. Why?" I told him I had forgotten about the books and I wondered what she would do when we weren't there. Would she camp out on our porch? Would she go hang out at the in-laws house across the street? When we got home there was a message on the answering machine. It was Jenny and she was talking so fast I really couldn't hardly understand a thing she said. Did I mention she hails from North Carolina? I couldn't hear the phone number clearly and I couldn't find that stupid little yellow post card with her number on it so I just figured she'd come back the next day or something.

Well, she almost technically did come back the next day because as I was again sitting at my computer I heard a knock at the door at 10:54 PM!!! This time I jumped out of my seat, manually restarted my heart and turned around to see who in the world could be knocking at my door at that time of night. Honestly, the last person in the world I expected to see was Jenny the book girl. Who does that? So I open the door because I still couldn't see who was there and lo and behold, there's Jenny the book girl. She had the same big smile on her face and she was lugging a big plastic box with books in it. She said, "Hi. I have been delivering books all day. I have yours and I wanted to real quick show you how to use them." Use them? You mean, the books? I know how to use books. If you want to teach me about html or something like that, maybe another time. Books I can handle.

I invite her in and run around the house looking for Elliott's check book. Back and forth from the house to his truck because he says it's in there and I can't find it. Finally, I get her the check and she proceeds to show me how to use these books. Then she tries to sell some "extra books that the company shipped that if she doesn't sell them she'll be stuck with them so she's slashing the pricing and eating the extra tax and shipping costs." "I think I'll just stick with what I got" I told her.

This next part is a little surreal for me, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. After I thought we were done, she gets this sheepish look on her face and asks if she can ask a favor. I couldn't imagine what she was going to ask for. She said that some of the other people she talked to around town asked her if she knew who Elliott Park was. She said she just loved the song and she felt like a highschooler asking this, but could she maybe have Elliott's autograph. I wasn't even sure the superstar was awake. I went back to our room and he was at his computer, doing some kind of work. I told him Jenny the book girl was in the kitchen with our books and she wanted his autograph. I just left it at that. I was laughing so hard on the inside. Elliott came out, signed an extra Heartland cd we had in a drawer, she blushed, thanked him then went on her way.

I thought that would be the last I'd hear about Jenny the book girl. UNTIL...I was at my mother-in-laws house and I asked her if the book girl had come looking for us that day while we were out. She said, "No. She didn't come over here, but I was talking to some ladies at my church and a couple of the ladies said she did some strange things."

I asked her what they said and she proceeded to tell me the following conversation:

Nunie - Did a girl come by any of ya'lls houses selling books?
Woman #1 - Why, yes. And after she got done with her sales pitch she told me that she hadn't eaten all day and would it be possible for me to make her a sandwich. So I made her a sandwich.
Nanie (Nunie's sister) - She asked for a sandwich at my house, too. And I gave her one.
Woman #2 - She did the very same thing at my house, only after I made her the sandwich and she ate it, she asked if there was a place she might be able to lie down. I told her I had a guest room she could use and she took a really long nap in there.

The story was starting to sound vaguely familiar. Only she didn't have blonde hair and she wasn't poking around a cabin owned by bears who were out on a nature walk all afternoon. I thought maybe I was being punk'd, but come on, this is Clyde, Texas. I'm thankful that all she asked from us was an autograph because I don't have a guest room and I was not about to make a midnight snack for her!


ericaprosser said...

Thanks for writing this Pam. It's really important (especially for single moms) to be aware of strange young girls looking for late-nite autographs, naps & sandwiches. Lock your doors Clyde! If you see any college-age cuties with a box of books- RUN! Ha ha ha! Great story!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that Cole had to handle her all by himself. I'm a sucker for sales people-just don't know how to say no!

Amanda said...

Wow! I love a good high five but this was a little weird! And asking for food and a place to take a nap!?!? What the heck? That's way crazy. I'm with Cherith though, I have a really hard time saying no, especially once they get the kids wanting something.

Cherryberry said...

I can easily see this picture.
Strange, though.
I am sure it would be very hard for me to turn down someone like that.
But really, that takes some nerve to ask for food and a nap.

Aaron & Rachel said...

I had a young college-looking guy come by last week and he had a "Company ID" that he flashed in front of my face. He was selling magazines, though. He said he was seriously diabetic and he was trying to start his own restaurant by selling magazines door to door. I thought he should get a real job. Then he started telling me how my neighbors had bought magazines from him using names, which were not my neighbors' names. He asked me if I knew my "good neighbors" and I said yes. He said they bought some, but they weren't even home at the time. I did send them to the "not-so-nice-neighbors" house and told him their last name. I closed my door afterwards. I hate door-to-door salespeople and fundraiser people! And that's why I hate fundraisers!!! (sorry for the long comment!) I'll be on the look out for Jenny!

High in Demand said...

Oh my gosh Pam! That was so appreciated! I loved every minute of the story! I was sitting at my computer savoring every second and every detail! It’s almost too good to be true! Thank you for typing all that out. I LOVED IT!!!!!!!

I really was laughing so hard toward the end that my chair was shaking! I don’t think that’s ever happened before!!!

High in Demand said...

Okay, I just read it to the kids and I was still laughing so hard that it was hard to understand me!

Joey said that was the funniest story ever!

High in Demand said...

I thought the story was so funny that I printed it out so Christy could read it. I thought she would get a kick out of it.

She began to read it and said, "NO WAY! This same girl has been to my house! I'm a supermom too!" She even knew Jenny's last name. She has the same yellow card that you did because she also bought the books. Reading the story was actually a relief to her because she was afraid that she wouldn't ever see the books. Christy lives in Lawn and Jenny went to see her. Christy says that she only lives two blocks away from me at her "Host Home" for the summer. Christy didn't give her any food, but she did say that Jenny told her that she would call her before she came over to deliver the books so Christy could make sure and have her cookies ready. Jenny did get a Dr.Pepper from Christy's mom who lives next door to her.
How funny is that?

mccobbey said...

That is freaky.

Next thing you know, after allowing the girl to take a nap in your guest bedroom after partaking a delectable banana and Nutella sammich, you hear a weird high pitched sound from the bedroom. As you approach the door, you have second thoughts about opening it because you see a bright greenish light emanating from the hinges and the door that hadn't been properly shut. It's especially freaky since it's 10:54 pm. and you've been reading in your new books all about photosynthensis, the possibilities of alien life forms and the side effects of x-rays. You shake away your silly suspicions and blame the unusual light on the old college TV you've had since the 80's. When you shyly peek in the door, you inadvertently see the "girl" who is facing away from you zipping up the leathery flaps of pale skin around her skull effectively covering up her true greenish martian head. She then lifts the obviously synthetic yellow wig and adjusts is so that you are unable to see the zipper lining her back neck and head. Your overactive mind can already imagine her whole body is "zippered" but you are unable to see since her cropped summer shirt only allows a few glances at the small of her back and her neck. You try not to move but your leg starts to tremble and you curse at your inability to keep your body from shaking in the face of danger. You try to stop the shaking but the dang floor board that your husband supposedly "fixed" last week suddenly creaks loudly. Her head zips around unnaturally flipping the strands of her Barbie-like hair and her arm stretches out in clawlike fashion. You stumble back in fear and you see when she turns that her eyes are glowing and your minds starts to race as you try to figure out what in tarnation you're gonna do now with the Book Girl when you slam the door shut right in her face. Right then at that moment you distintly hear the opening theme song to the TWILIGHT ZONE and.....

Who is willing to take a bat at the second part of the story?

Kevin said...

Pam what a great story!Very funny! I loved the comment about the superstar being awake!

JesusFreak said...

Wow, I really want her to come to my house. I mean, I can't make her a sandwich (no bread) and I can't buy books (regular school supplies) and I'm not sure she would want to sleep on my kids' bunk beds, but dang I can give high-fives like nobody's business (lots of practice with Amanda). See you later supermom!