2.22.2008

You could call us celebrities.
Years ago, Nick and I regularly volunteered for a local daycare serving underprivileged children. We adored playing blocks and animals with our little class of kiddos and felt quite passionate about the mission of the center. We tried to help them out as much as possible, which was a difficult job when their open hours were only during our working hours. Therefore, whenever weekend opportunities came up, we almost always stepped in.

One of these weekend opportunities was what I now fondly refer to as "hawking wieners." On one day only, the Kansas City Chiefs and a bratwurst company teamed up to donate a portion of the proceeds of all brats sold around the Kansas City area to our charity. To increase sales, volunteers donned their favorite Chiefs gear and went to each participating grocery store to talk about the center and try to guilt people into buying more brats, because eating bratwurst is the right thing to do.

Nick and I arrived bright and early at our assigned grocery store and met our very own sample lady, a charming grandmother-type wearing a festive apron and hair net. She brought a large bottle of water and a granola bar, so you could tell this wasn't her first rodeo. She was actually employed by a company who sends out expert sample people to grocery stores all over the area whenever called upon. You could say sampling was her mission in life.

The three of us awkwardly stood in the refrigerated meat products aisle together, talking about all the things we had in common, which I'm sure you can imagine was pretty much nothing. (I don't even think our sample lady liked bratwurst.) It was pure relief when we'd get a passerby because we could then spring into action and avoid the uncomfortable conversation.

Surprising as it may be, in addition to being a poor conversationalist with the elderly, I'm also not very good at hawking wieners because it's way out of my comfort zone. Instead, I preferred to assist Nick in holding brochures and coupons so that his hands were free to wheel and deal, which is what he does best. It was like watching a used car salesman in action, only instead of getting the customers to happily drive off in a rusty Geo Metro, he was loading shoppers up with multiple varieties of bratwurst. I wouldn't doubt it if he even sold a group of vegans a few packs.

It was several cases of brats and hours of awkwardness later when our sample lady suddenly collapsed on the floor. Somehow Nick had managed to catch her and ease her to the ground while I found the closest store employee and called 911. She eventually opened her eyes and was alert and talking to us. If you thought it was strange and uncomfortable before, then sitting with a sample lady's head in your lap while trying to keep her talking was off the charts.

A fire truck full of buff young men were the first responders. They ran all of the necessary tests on our poor little old sample lady and determined that she had just fainted. She called her daughter who took her home as it was time for her lunch break anyway, and I'm pretty sure Nick sent the firemen off with a few packs of bratwurst.

We slaved away, continuing to hawk wieners through lunchtime, subsisting entirely on bite-sized brat samples (and not fainting), when who do we see casually strolling down the aisle but our sample lady, back for her afternoon shift. This is one determined sample lady, I'll tell you that. We tried to convince her to go back home and rest. It was as though she didn’t even notice that an hour earlier, ten firemen were swarming around her getting her vitals while she laid sprawled out on the tile floor. Anyway, she stayed, we stayed, we bonded, we sold brats.

In case you were wondering why nearly two years later I'm just now telling you this story, it's because the other day Nick and I were at the grocery store, and the manager walked by while we were in line and said to our pimply teenage checker, "Take care of these guys. They're good customers." As we left, Nick and I both asked each other if we knew that guy. We didn't, and so to be funny, we concluded that it must be because we saved the sample lady's life that one day two years ago. We're clearly a pretty big deal around the grocery store now.

9 Comments:


Blogger HollowSquirrel said...

mmmmmmmmmmmm bratwurst. Tell me more. Gosh, first Starbucks fame, now this? You're rising stars.


Blogger L Sass said...

Of all places to receive VIP treatment, I'd say the grocery store is a pretty good choice!


Anonymous heidikins said...

Mmmmm, bratwurst... and any grocery store samples, for that matter.

Look at you; celebrity central. the store, starbux, the internet. can i have your autograph?

xox


Blogger Vanessa said...

You both have such good hearts! Sample lady didn't realize how lucky she was to be working with you!


Blogger Katelin said...

You guys really are celebs, first Starbucks and now the grocery store :)

I love it.


Blogger Nick said...

We have the pop following us around all the time. It really gets c to the razy.

That's the way celebs talk, get use to it.

:P


Blogger Noreen said...

Wow, Starbucks and the grocery store...it's good to be known. Obviously, you guys get perks. :)


Blogger rudecactus said...

Now, what does "taking care" of you mean? Like, free toilet paper or eggs? 'Cos that would be cool.


Blogger Aimee said...

um, I'm starting to sense a theme here. What with the starbucksing and the weiner hawking. You guys obviously drink, eat, and shop TOO MUCH.

Good for you!

Post a Comment

<< Home