“Hey Bernie… I’m not trying to sell you anything,” the man coming in my shop door stated while using my name like he knew me. I was turned away from him so I know he couldn’t have seen my name tag.
“That’s good because I’m not buying anything,” I reply, sure I’ve never seen this guy before in my life.
Mr. Friendly laughed. It was a phony laugh – one of those tinny sounds originating in the throat and propelled outward by hot air.
“Do you use diagnostic scanners, Bernie?”
“Yes.” At least I know what he’s pretending not to be selling.
“Do you get the most out of your scanner, Bernie?”
“My scanner and I have a professional relationship. It scans and I read. It refuses to do anything else.”
Again the tinny laugh.
“I’ve acquired a number of WhizBang (name changed to protect the innocent) scanning devices, Bernie. I’d like to show…”
“Bernie, there’s nothing…”
“Would you please stop using my name like you know me? I’m not interested in anything you’re not selling or selling.” I said this in a calm manner, but I did interrupt because I was getting annoyed at the too familiar name drop. This guy had already used my first name more than my Dad did when he was alive (my Dad referred to me as the Terror of Beal Street). Anyway, Friendly doesn’t like my interruption.
“You are very rude, Sir.”
“And your time is up. I have to get back to work.”
“What are you afraid of in hearing about the scanners I have?”
I turn around reluctantly. “You started your pitch with a lie and you used my first name like a long lost relative. Lastly, I don’t want another scanner.”
“Would it have been better if I’d referred to you as Shithead?”
I laughed. Okay, that was funny. Although I’m entertained, I get serious because I really do have to get back to work. “Can you find your way out or do you need an escort?”
Mr. Friendly wanted to say a few more things but he wisely left without further ado. Who says Friday the 13th can’t be fun? :)