Who Am I?

My photo
A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

06 February 2009

Manifesting Destiny

I know a guy who says he’s good at manifesting things…willing them into existence just by thinking about them. He brags constantly about seemingly random events that occurred simply because he conjured them up. Eh- I’m not a believer.

Or at least, I wasn’t…

My living room carpet just inside my front door had gotten dirty. I guess it was from me traipsing mud and dirt (and tools and parts and crap) in all winter. I had vacuumed on Wednesday and hadn't even made a dent in it. I was pretty bummed. And I was resigned to renting one of those carpet shampoo machines that you see in supermarkets and Home Depot and doing it myself. But then I thought, “Gee, I wish those guys would come around.”

"Those guys" are the ones who go door-to-door offering a free one-room carpet cleaning if you’ll just recommend their product to a friend. They’ve been here twice before, the latest time while I was in Honduras, and the guy taking care of my house let them do it. Worked out great!

Lo and behold the next day (Thursday afternoon) I was at home puttering around as usual when the doorbell rang. Big tall kid with a pamphlet in his hand, and a smaller kid with a 2-liter bottle of Mountain Dew in his hand. Nicely dressed – shirts and ties. I thought at first that they were thirsty religious missionaries (we get them a lot too). But then I spied what was behind them: A big box that said, “KIRBY” on the side.


”Hi, my name is C.J.,” the tall kid said. “Have you ever heard of the Kirby vacuum cleaner?” I said yes. “To demonstrate our product, we’d like to offer you a free carpet cleaning today if you’ll just recommend this vacuum to another person.”

I said, “Come on in, boys!”

The younger kid was Corey, and C.J. said it was his “first day on the job.” Uh-huh, whatever. After the usual pleasantries, C.J. set Corey up in the house and then split. Obviously they had a van-full of kids and vacuum cleaners in the neighborhood. As soon as he was gone, I gave Corey the bad news.

”Hey man, cut to the chase, how much is this machine?”

“Well, it retails for $2,400.”

I said, “I thought so. Corey, I’m not buying a vacuum cleaner from you today. All I want is for you to clean my carpet, and I *will* tell a friend about it. So you might as well relax and just go about your job.”

I figured I’d tell Matt. He and Alisha have two kids…and a messy, clumsy friend who often spills his drinks and doesn’t take his muddy shoes off before walking on their cream-colored carpet. (Hey, don’t look at me!)

Corey said, ”That’s cool, man. I appreciate you being honest.”

After about an hour, my carpet was looking pretty spiffy. That Kirby vacuum does a kick-ass job! I was genuinely impressed with it. Not impressed enough to actually buy one, but you know.

That’s when The Boss showed up. Doug. (They all use just their first names – no business cards, no documentation other than a dog-eared handout.) The pretense was that he had to “check on Corey’s work” but we all know that he was there to close the deal. Sure enough, the high-pressure sales pitch began. The old, “What would it take to get you into this vacuum cleaner today?” bullshit that we’ve heard a million times. (Do they think we’ve never been subjected to a sales pitch like that before? They should know better.)

Persistent to the end (I’ll give him that), Doug the Boss kept lowering and lowering the price, pushing and pushing until he’d gotten it waaaay down below his initial “discounted” price – agonizing as if he’d be losing money on the deal. (He asked me to not reveal the actual rock-bottom price offered, and I agreed. But it was very low.) I’ve got to admit he was good - he tried every sales trick in the book, all of which I was expecting. It’s such a game. I wished that some of my other friends could have been there to see a real pro in action. Doug that is, not me.

It was amusing and fun – up to a point, but I finally had to put a stop to things. I had been up-front with them from the beginning. All I wanted was the carpet cleaning. As long as that came with no strings, we were cool. I held up my hand. ”We’re done here, Doug.” Denied and dejected, he left quickly, leaving a chuckling Corey to pack up their vacuum which they fully intended to not have to do. I offered to give him back his bottle of Mountain Dew (hate the stuff) but he said to just keep it.

So my carpet looks great!

As I said, I hadn’t been sold on this “manifesting” hoo-hah, but now I’m kind of leaning towards believing it. Now I’m trying to think of something else I need. I’m kind of in the mood for a new adventure. If I can conjure up the carpet cleaning guys, who knows what else the human mind is capable of?

Kirby Vacuum Cleaners


Mike said...

I sure could use a decent plot for a sci-fi story I'm trying to write.

There, is that how it works?

Anonymous said...

Does a recommendation via blog satisfy your side of the bargain?

Bob Barbanes said...

Ah, the two Mikes!

Mike #1, I'm not sure exactly how it works. The guy I know swears he can't do it deliberately. He just consciously thinks of things he wants and they come true. Kinda bogus if you ask me. Then again, was it just a coincidence that the Kirby boys visited my neighborhood the very next day after I wished they'd appear? Makes you wonder.

MdeM, I actually did tell *two* friends: Matt and Jacob about the Kirby and what a good job it did. So the blog recommendation is even extra.

It's funny about Kirby. They've been in the "direct sales" business since the beginning. Although they say they're opening a "store" here in Pensacola, I wonder what the nature of it will be, since they have apparently not changed their business model.

All through the demonstration, I couldn't help but think back to an old "I Love Lucy" episode in which she bought a vacuum from a pursuasive door-to-door salesman (played by the great - and very young - Sheldon Leonard of all people). Figuring she could do exactly what he did and convince some poor sap to buy it, Lucy goes door-to-door. Hilarity ensued. ...If you found Lucy hilarious. And I did.

So who knows how this crazy universe works?

Redlefty said...

I just found out that someone I love and respect very much actually believes God makes green stoplights for them.

People. They come in all flavors, dude.

Debby said...

I wish people came in Kirby carpet cleaning flavors up my way.

Mike said...

"He just consciously thinks of things he wants..." OK, I'm out. The older I get the less accurate my grip on consciousness.

Bob Barbanes said...

You know Mike, I didn't like that phrase when I wrote it. But I was trying to make a distinction between the things...those little passing thoughts that are just under the surface in our subconscious, and the ones we stop and deliberately think about. The guy I know makes it sound like he does it intentionally. In my case, I think it was just a coincidence.