Thursday, August 19, 2004

I've discovered a new sport.

After a refreshing dinner and foray through the CD section of Barnes and Noble with the Abbot of the Westernmost Chester, Msr. Christophe Marshalle, I ambled to the coffee spigot- but not before perusing various and sundry books on real estate and starting your own business, a section I had to walk through on my way.

In the four minutes and 67 seconds it took me to secure my diversions, order my coffee drink and sit down, I was approached by not one....not two- but THREE dress-casually-attired young business-looking characters horribly pregnant with a sales pitch waiting to burst forth like an adolescent pimple. (These were not store employees, mind you).

With "How To Make Millions In Real Estate" in my hands, I hear, "SOOOOOO, you're into investing huh? Me too." Taken aback by the invasion, I assess what sort of greeting this was, visually qualify the perp and politely correct him while burying my nose in my book. There are a couple more attempts to hook me with casual conversation, but I politely keep reading and mumble, "Yeah....rmellsll."

Sauntering to the next aisle, I thumb through "101 Top Businesses To Start" and immediately hear, "Ya got yer own business? That's the best thing to do." Incredulously surmising my lot, I am keen to the come on and answer with the most astoundingly boring response I can muster. "Nah." Some more attempts and I just nod with a half smile and break for coffee as he departs, books in hand.

As soon as I sit down with my books and coffee, hoping for further relaxation, enter clean-cut-dress-casual-guy-preying-on-unsuspecting-potential-client-in-the-bookstore number three.

"Ya know, with today's economy, starting your own business is the way to go."

I could not escape immediately- he plopped right down beside me and asked me what I did for a living. Was he going to love this......

Well, really, I spared him. Those are the hardest questions to answer sometimes. There was nothing about my appearance tonight that suggested that I had any business savvy about me. I glanced at my grease-caked fingers and nails recalling my stint this afternoon as grease monkey to my ill-begotten alternator. I saw my kneecap through the tear in my shorts as my right foot suddenly and simultaneously cramped up in a ball of pain. Through my grimace and foot massaging with pseudo-mechanic's hands, I triumphantly inform him of my church planting habit and the three jobs that support it.

He apparently feigned interest for as long as possible, talking about how it was good how "evangelical" Southern Baptists are, n'shiznit (my editorial redaction on that last part). As I sucked on my frappucino, he upped and got himself thither, bidding me luck.

Apparently, the salesmen stalk the bookshelves. That's the first time I can ever remember being hustled in the bookstore. Prally won't be the last and I prally ain't the first. I've been Barnobled.