Here's the Scoop: Sept. 2, 2009
Used chicken salesman
It took awhile, but I think I may have found my true calling: chicken sales. I honestly had no idea.
Stranger things have happened, I guess. It all started out very innocently. I was asked by “my people” to assist with the “chicken booth” at the Margaretville Street Fair. Those of you who attended this event know that it was “fowl” weather — you’d think it would be perfect for selling some chickens.
Not really. That’s because many humans are a bit funny and, well, they feel uncomfortable when they get wet. Therefore, they stay away from outdoor events that are threatened by rain. In retail speak, this translates into poor chicken sales.
Thus, the Middletown Democratic Committee had a tough task at hand. With sparse crowds strolling the Street Fair, it looked like there would be more than one chicken for every pot. Assuming those in attendance were very hungry.
As the clock ticked, the chicken began taking on a life of its own — even though sales were pretty dead. Instead of being a white meat treat, the chicken became more of a symbolic vulture — ready to snatch profits from the committee due to lack of sales.
Possessed by chicken
It was time for action. I’m not sure what came over me. Usually shy and reserved, my inner Chicken Hawker began to burst forth. Only in this case, the term was not a political insult — it literally meant that I was engaging in a strong effort to make visitors aware that we had chicken for sale. And that no one else at the fair was offering this delicacy. And they might like it.
Even the vegetarians weren’t spared from my spiel. “Haven’t you heard that tofu is an endangered species?” I asked one passerby who tried the vegetarian excuse on me.
It got worse. As one fellow attempted to ignore my chicken-selling outburst, I noticed he was having a soda and a cigarette. “These go great with Cokes and smokes,” I pointed out. He wasn’t buying my line. Or any chicken.
But others did. Because we had preordered a certain amount of chicken to be cooked, we’d have to sell it — or our goose was cooked, too.
Fortunately, we had several committee members utilizing different sales pitches. One was obnoxious (see above), while others were more soft-spoken, preferring to politely announce that we had chicken for sale and perhaps passersby would like to indulge in a piece or two. Oddly enough, this soft-sell had its own appeal to many folks. Weird.
The chickens started moving so quickly we had to make sure they were really dead. They were.
What had seemed an impossible task — selling all the chicken — actually appeared to be within our barbecue sauce-covered grasp.
Sales went into overdrive when one of the committee members started telling Street Fair visitors that we were seeking “Cash for Cluckers.” Why didn’t I think of that?
But this was no time for petty jealousy. We had a sales goal. And, by my calculations, we had sold about 75 more chickens than we had to begin with. How did that happen?
“Are these Biblical chickens?” I asked innocently.
Maybe they were…there had been a lot of praying going on. And then, we were done. The chickens were all gone. There was no need to beg and coax visitors — they were no longer Fair game.