Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 23

‘Yes. Thank you, sir,’ the salesman said, still clasping his knees.

‘Can I get you some water?’ Jimmy offered.

‘No, no, no. I don’t want to trouble you,’ the salesman said, finally regaining his breath. ‘I’m here to show you Mr. Sucks’ revolutionary new product. It is bound to change your life . . . forever.’

The pitiful salesman proceeded to open the faux-velvet-lined case, revealing five pieces made of cheap-looking plastic neatly nestled inside. Somehow, these pieces were designed to form a working, functional vacuum cleaner. Jimmy had his doubts, but decided to give the salesman the benefit of the doubt.

‘With five easy snaps, you will be ready to clean up any mess. Dry, wet, and everything in between!’ the salesman eagerly proclaimed.

Jimmy feigned interest, wishing he just initially turned the salesman away to avoid this awkward intrusion. On one hand, the salesman’s presence was a welcome distraction from his wife. On the other, he was too riled up to have the patience to deal with an increasingly incompetent solicitor.

As the salesman slowly pulled out each piece of his vacuum puzzle, Jimmy was surprised to feel slightly guilty, as though he misled this man into having hope. The last thing he wanted was to give the salesman false hope. Yet, he wondered if hope (of any kind) was what the salesman needed more than anything. So he let him do his job. At the very least, he hoped the salesman didn’t work strictly on commission; that he still got paid, whether he sold his product or not. But deep down, he knew otherwise.

Slowly, the salesman laid out each piece in front of him.

‘Now, we assemble,’ he said with a prideful glint in his eye, as