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Spadina Literary Review  —  edition 19 page 08


tangled metallic junk
photo art by brian michael barbeito


by Roger Pridmore

George had a terrible sinking feeling. He thought back to his very first day of training in the art of door-to-door sales. He was younger then, more resilient, more hopeful. Happier.

“Now put on a brave face, George. Make the best out of every single situation, always try your hardest — and never, ever, give up. Even in heavy rain. Hell! Try to sell even more merchandise in heavy rain! Attaboy.”

George sighed.

He was standing in front of the last house on the street which, as fate — or irony — would have it, was near the freeway where the giant transport would collect him tomorrow morning at seven o’clock sharp. He winced at the prospect of the long drive to head office along with all his fellow sales reps from the neighbouring districts boasting and whooping and shouting and laughing. There would be drinking and smoking of course, and other pointless demonstrations of glee. It was the boasting that George dreaded the most.

“Hey, there was this guy in Ohio, he bought the whole goddamn tray offa me!”

“Wow, you never seen nothing like it! This dame in Chicago — you know what, I think she kinda liked me! Know what I mean? Whooop-de-whoooop-a-tootle poop.”

“Hey George! Howdya do old buddy?”

“I am $275 short of my targets and the remaining stock is weather-damaged.”

This bleak announcement would be followed by a stunned silence then perhaps a few embarrassed wheezing sounds which was as near as any of them got to embarrassed coughing. All the reps would be swaying to and fro as the vehicle travelled inexorably towards its destination. The only sounds would be the hum of the engine and that hot summer sound of tyres moving fast on the road.

They all knew what this would mean for George. Called into the office. Reassignment. Dismissal. Perhaps worse. Poor old George.

George expelled a huge amount of air and realised he had been absent-mindedly walking up the driveway of the last house and had stopped in the middle of its massive front garden, complete with statues, miniature waterfalls and an expensive lighting system.

Rich household for sure.