It was not simply a man standing there on my porch, in the middle of a snowfall, with the plow going by behind him liberating the right of way and leaving defensive mounds at the fresh shoveled lip of each driveway.
It was not simply a man who offered his pamphlet and said something he had memorized.
But it *was* just some dude canvassing, and I answered the door mainly for my own enjoyment. I put on a show for the toiling beast.
Later in the week there was a ripe melon on my front porch. I took it in, cut it apart. There were pamphlets inside just like the one the creature had vomited into my lap earlier in the week. I started to have an idea.
The very next week several large and sturdy boxes, vented with bullet holes, in neat columns, like three strange men pretending to visit, stood suddenly in the very same spot on my porch. They were filled with Albino Broccoli.
The week after that, the man came back, or rather seemed to materialize right there on the porch, knocking and eager, dressed “To the Nines.”
It was not simply a man standing there on my porch though.
Again he wielded pamphlets, but rather than invite him further into my life, I cautiously demanded he provide me with a melon.
Taken aback, he made a question mark of a face, nearly by accident, and froze.
Gaining confidence, I demanded he bring me a melon after first spending one week locating the proper melon to bring. My demand had interrupted the reassembly of his sales-face, his face was stuck in an abominable half-baffled/half-glamorous, door-to-door-salesman expression, and an implied question mark throbbed boldly above his head. I gave no conditions, I answered no unasked questions, I merely assured him that if he did truly go browsing melons throughout the week, he would know what to do. If he failed, I threatened to harm the offending melon.
While I said all of this, I made sure to look very suspicious: slit-eyes, paranoid glances, and a subtle moon-walking of my feet, so that I gradually faded back into my door as I finished speaking.
I said something similar for the week after the requested melon, but I made it about cauliflower. I gave him fewer details, knowing he would not find me a proper melon anyway.
To save myself another week, I said he should bring the cauliflower and plan to visit with me, instead of waiting a whole week beyond that date to do so (I had originally planned to mess with this guy for three weeks).
I paused inside my door and focused on his catastrophic face, I whispered that he should scrap the whole plan if he found that harm had come to the melon, and I shifted my slit-eyes and glanced around paranoid-like while the door slammed.
I waited for a melon, one week. He left a melon, but it was clear that he really didn’t know, so I left it there…ish.
When he returned a week later with cauliflower, the melon was festering and rotting away, I had pounded a wooden stake through it, and encircled it with garlic.
He turned on his heel, did a bride-like bouquet toss of the cauliflower, crashing it into the steps with glory, its waxy bleached tasteless nodules splashed all over the mailbox and the welcome mat, and they probably wondered why they had even been born.. He frisbee’d his handful of pamphlets out to pollinate the street, got in his car, cranked heavy metal music, and didn’t ever come back.
Somewhere, people printed thousands of pamphlets, and other people brought them to people who had paid for them… and those people issued thousands of them to other people who had read previous pamphlets and been stirred to the bizarre servitude the pamphlets offered.
This man had been one of that last group… and this man liked my way better.
He drove home, and never again went back to the place that the pamphlets had come from.
He changed phone numbers, and he eventually moved to a new home.
Years later, he would step out on his porch with his newborn in one arm, and gently slide a wooden stake through a melon, sprinkle garlic in a ring around it, and whisper to the newborn in a cutesie tone, “Salesman are like Count Dracula!”