I like stuff.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Fieldtrip and a flashback

So I went out for a drive today...

It's been almost half a year since all of the Diedrich's on this side of the county shut down. Been missing it.

I've also been busy working on another project that I hope to have done in the next day or two, so until then, here's a repost from the forgotten blog archives, from roughly three years ago.

It's another spin off an old favorite, Erik vs. Newspaper Peddlers.

Out having a cigarette, some guy walks by and asks if I'd seen a kid selling newspapers. Told him "Not recently." (accurate. a year or so ago I got one of the "Hi, I'm from a low class neighborhood and I'm selling newspapers to go to college" types.) So here's the usual handler. Wonder where all the kids are.

Go back inside. A little while later, I hear a muffled knock as a kid knocks on my neighbor's door. Looked through the peephole to see some nondescript kid trying to hand the chinese lady next door her "free paper." Wander off to tell Amanda that the newspaper kids are back.

Look through the peephole again. The woman is now holding the paper, clearly trying to give it back to the kid. Looking upset. Resolve not to answer my door when the kid tries, even though the lights are clearly on.

minutes pass.

Look again. Still trying to get rid of the paper. Still upset. Kid still repeating the same lines.

minutes pass. (Ain't TV time grand?)

Look again. Kid is still there. Woman getting really frazzled now. I think that I shouldn't do this, but I go out.

Erik: Hey, she doesn't want the paper. I've heard you out here for a while now, and she clearly isn't interested. So just take your free sample and go try somebody else's door.
Kid: But she's about to say yes!
Erik (to neighbor lady): Do you want the paper?
Neighbor: No.
Erik (takes the paper): Then close your door and have a good night. (hands paper to kid) Here's your paper back, go try someone else.
Kid: Man, why'd you have to interrupt like that, she was about to say yes!
Erik: It's after nine already. Too late for this. Just go.
Kid: Man, that's fucked up.

So I'm having a hard time judging how pissed off the kid was. Clearly enough not to offer me the special subscription rate. Probably not enough to throw a rock through a window or come back.

I'm a little paranoid about that latter situation, but I'm currently rationalizing it that I've seen these types before. There's always a guy with a van who brings in a few strapping lads to canvas the complex with their high-pressure tactics. Eventually he rounds them all back up and I presume drives off to the next apartment cluster. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. So these kids have probably seen all sorts of doors lately, and I'd be surprised if the worst they had was some would-be samaritan blow a sale for them. Probably don't even pick out one complex from another anymore.

If I was an educated man, I'd say these kids are probably runaways that do this for room and board. School fundraisers don't drive kids around in vans, right?

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