UPDATE! Comments are closed and JanetS won the book! Well done being the second commenter, Janet, and having random.org choose your number. Thanks for all the tales of sales gone wrong, people. My stomach churns for all of you.
Several days a week we carpool to Jackson’s school with another family, and this morning one of the girls we drive with gave me the two boxes of Girl Scout cookies I’d ordered from her last month. I don’t even eat cookies but I bought a box of Tagalongs and a box of Thin Mints because I remember how hard it was to sell cookies when I was a kid and I wanted to help her out.
Well! We were driving along and I was all, “How many boxes of cookies did you sell?” and do you know what she said to me? “Almost 300.” I almost drove off the road. The thought of so many cookie sales is like science fiction to me. The only way that I, as an adult, could hit the same benchmark would be to make 10 people buy 30 boxes of cookies each, all of which I’d then offer to pay for myself, and then I’d have to go lie down in a dark room with a cold compress on my head. 300 boxes. Jesus.
After expressing my amazement and hearty congratulations, she said, “My goal is to sell 500,” and I fainted dead away. When I came to I asked her to guess how many boxes of cookies I sold when I was a Girl Scout. Go on, guess. Actually, don’t, because I told her the wrong number. I told her nine boxes, but I mixed up the fact that I was actually nine years old that year. I really sold only three. Three. However, nine still got a big reaction.
“What?!” she and her sister said in unison. Clearly they had never beheld a creature so incapable of selling the easiest thing to sell in the history of everything.
I explained that when I was a Scout I was so shy that to knock on strangers’ doors to sell cookies was certainly the most cruel task ever devised to make a little girl earn a badge. My father was a salesman — he was the type, as they used say, who could sell snow to Eskimos — but I didn’t get that gene. I wanted nothing to do with grownups or their money, especially ones I didn’t know. AND that was also the 70s for you, my mother just sent me out into the street to sell cookies, there was none of this “I’ll go with you and wait on the sidewalk so you don’t get abducted” business, or “let’s set up a table outside of the grocery store with two of your friends and we’ll just sit back and let the cookies sell themselves.” No, I just wandered off into the neighborhood with a clipboard and a sad wish to get back to the couch before I Dream of Jeannie started.
I guess there were badges that rewarded the introverts, too — I seem to remember getting one for “sewing” a vinyl “cushion” filled with yesterday’s newspaper, and one for learning CPR WHICH REMINDS ME, I got certified for CPR on Wednesday, unwillingly. It was required by my workplace, but as someone who works at a place where a lot of old people hang out I have to concede that it feels kind of great to be up on the latest heart-starting technologies. This is one of the videos they showed us, it’s got a reassuringly angry Ken Jeong in it:
I want to note that when the girls rush in to save the guy they don’t even check to see if he has a pulse before the one starts banging on his chest. You only do the heart compression thing if the person has no pulse. And you don’t have to breathe into the person’s mouth anymore! Studies found that compressing the chest was more than enough to fill and expel the oxygen from people’s lungs and keep their brain oxygenated until their heart picked up again, and that stopping to clear the airway and pinch the nose and share in a stranger’s blood- and saliva-borne diseases was an almost total waste of time. So get that pulseless person down on the floor and pump away! Whee!
We also saw some really gross pictures of burns, and one of a person who had a ring ripped off his finger by some machinery. Glaaaah.
Before I entirely lose track of what I meant to talk about, I want to tell you that I have a paperback copy of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking to give away. All you need to do is leave a comment and I’ll use random.org to pick a person to send it to. In your comment I need you to share with us the best, worst, or most interesting thing you’ve ever tried to sell.
ALMOST LASTLY, I have two more drawings to show you.
This was for a request for “a big, dumb (black, rottweilerish) dog that is scared of palm trees.” My inspiration came from two places. One is the bike path near the beach in Santa Barbara that is lined with palm trees, and the other was this dog that I saw on dogshaming.com. I’m not sure what the story is here: was she so scared of trees that she broke one? Did one fall over and scare her and now she’s afraid that palm trees are trying to kill her? Yes. All of that.
This next drawing was for the person who runs dandelionbaby.com, she asked for a drawing of something from her website, or else just anything I felt like. Since I’m still bravely facing my fear of drawing people, I was happy to try drawing this happy pair:
Can you see that? It’s a woman and a baby and they both have expressions of genuine happiness on their faces. I decided to try and capture that.
I didn’t succeed, so I made the baby into a bug. ARTISTIC LICENSE.
Last thing, I promise, I did a post over at the Popcorn Whisperer where I invent Salted Caramel Popcorn and explain how to make it and it’s MAGNIFICENT. It is truly a revelation. Go over there and make some, then come back and leave a comment so you can possibly win a book, or just come back and read the other comments, I don’t care, I’m not going to make you do anything. We all have free will. That’s the crazy part of all this.