|Cool phone, bro.|
Often times there isn’t just one moral to a story.
Take today: as M and I were walking by a bus stop a shirtless dude who looked like he’d be right at home at Hemp Fest jogged up to me holding a smart phone. “Hey, lady! How’s it going?”
I gave him a nod-smile, the kind that says, “Look, buddy. I don’t want to be a dick. But I’m not really into having conversations with random half naked people who accost me at bus stops.”
“I lost my wallet and I’m so hungry.”
“That’s a bummer,” I said as I made a beeline towards the crosswalk.
“I know. But luckily I still have my phone! I’ll sell it to you for $100 so I can get some food in MAH BELLEH!” he said as he rubbed his heavily tattooed stomach Fat Bastard style.
“I’m good,” I said. Also? Not a complete idiot.
“Mama, why’s that man selling his phone?” asked M.
“Are you sure? It’s a good deal on a good phone!” said the definitely not shady at all freelance phone salesman.
“Wait, what are you selling?” piped up an elderly man sitting on the bus stop bench who looked like his hobby was hanging out in rocking chairs on porches affably dispensing wisdom.
“Oh hey, man!” said the phone guy, turning his attention to the man at the bus stop, “See, I lost my wallet and I’m really hungry but I’ve got my phone here…”
“Wow, really?” chortled the elderly man. “That’s fucked up. I mean your pitch isn’t even credible…”
“Mama, what does “fucked up” mean?” asked M.
“Why does this crosswalk always take so long?” I said.
The phone salesman started to look indignant. “What?! Hey, man. Relax. I’m just offering you an opportunity. No one’s forcing you to buy the phone.”
“I know, but see. I’ve worked in sales for decades so this insults my sense of professionalism.”
“Okay, man. Okay. I don’t think this is the bus I need after all.” And the phone guy high tailed it in the opposite direction.
“MAMA,” repeated M, rivaling the phone salesman’s indignation, “Why is that man selling his phone? Why is that man going away now?”
“Welllll…” I said, playing for time, “The man said he was selling his phone to get money for lunch. But if I lost my wallet I’d use my phone to call the bank so I think that’s a pretty fishy account of the situation especially because when the man over there offered to mentor him on his retail technique he ran away. The moral of the story is don’t buy phones from random dudes at bus stops because the phone in question might be stolen.”
“Okaaay…” M said mimicking my tone and scrunching up her face in exasperation, “I think the moral of the story is always pack a lunch because if the man had just packed a lunch none of this would have happened.”
An alternate moral to the story might be that if you have to sell stolen phones to buy food for your starving children or something try to put yourself in a potential customer’s shoes: is there anything about your sales pitch that might prompt the buyer to ask something along the lines of, “Is the blood on that phone yours?” If so, rethink your pitch.