I was nearly finished with my Friday, two-mile mall-walk at Fashion Square this evening and tiring prematurely, I ducked into a department store to slow down and look for bargains that I might be able to talk about on my Monday radio presentation as Retail Man. Once a week I talk about the bargains around town on the Retail Store Ads radio show which is a community service to those whose vision has failed them and can no longer entertain themselves by reading about and pursuing the bargains at the malls. It is a production of SunSounds of Arizona. I try to keep it fun and upbeat. Actually what I wanted most was a five-minute break. And right then a salesperson who appeared to be either encouraged by the thought of a sales bonus or was vying for the prospect of an upcoming management vacancy had me in his headlights. All I had to do was stand there with him for a few minutes while I rested.
Sales clerk Randy: Hi there sir, my name is Randy. Would you like a cup of coffee?
Lee; That’d be dandy Randy. Call me Lee if you’d like.
Randy: Great, Lee. Latte?
Lee; Dark Roast. I like my coffee strong.
Randy: Alright, I’m betting you’ll love this. When is the last time you shopped for a coffee maker?
Lee; Years ago
Randy: I’ll bet I can show you some features and benefits that have not caught your eye yet. May I try?
Lee; Go ahead Randy.
Randy: This one weighs and grinds the beans, pours the water, times the delivery and announces the readiness of your freshly poured cup of delicious, fragrant dark roast Columbian or whatever your choices of the many selections available.
Lee; Does it bake bread?
Randy: Sorry Lee.
Lee; How much does it cost, Randy?
Randy:$400.00 and I’ll include a month’s supply of home-made sour dough bread. How’s that sound?
Lee; Sounds good, what else ya got? Try something under forty dollars this time, why dontcha?
Randy: Oh, you’re gonna love this, Mr. Lee.
Lee; Randy, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be encouraging you. I need to get back to my walk. And I love the coffeemaker that I use now.
Randy: What kind is it, Lee?
Lee; It’s a Lee Broom glass canister, slow drip coffee maker, every one made to order. I have a waiting list.
Randy: Wow, how much are they?
Lee: They are $499.99, they come with a pound of my own Special Blend and another pound of homemade peanut butter.
Randy: Would you like me to sell them for you? I can move those in a hurry and I’ll only charge you 20%. You do the shipping.
I told Randy I’d think about it and returned to the mall. As I ran around, weaving in and out of the evening foot traffic, I congratulated myself on my new idea and replayed the events of breakfast. This morning I broke my Mr. Coffee and quickly invented a new coffeemaker, using a twelve-inch high vase, a perfect cylinder, its width and circumference identical to that of the clear blue glass mugs I drink from. All the parts that I needed had been there; the vase, the filter salvaged from another old coffee maker and I was the final component, standing there pouring steamy, boiling water over the dark brown aromatic grounds. It had been so much fun. I even found a red lid to fit over the glass cylinder after the brewing experience had been completed. It came from a jar of “homemade” peanut butter. I look forward to breakfast again tomorrow morning.
Oops! Sorry Lady. Didn’t mean to bump you.
By Lee Broom.