Next year, I’m asking Santa for Ruby Slippers

Dorothy's Ruby Slippers I inspire confidence in vendors.

Whether it’s food hawkers or pushcart vendors, they seem to believe I will buy buy buy. Perhaps my stature makes me easy to pick out among the crowd, or perhaps it’s the perpetual look of inquisitiveness on my face that they mistake as interest for their ware.

I quite understand the saleswoman who ambushed me outside the supermarket was trying to bulk up her figures, and had thus enthusiastically thrust a hand cream sample my way — almost punching me in the stomach, FYI. But I wonder if the need to force a demo was necessary when both my hands were occupied with shopping bags.

Dazzled by the golden foil that she was swaying — much like a pendulum — in front of me and her hypnotic chants, “Just try, gimme your hands, very fast.” I complied.

Heaving the bags onto my forearm, l offered my right hand, but instead of a hand massage — that would provide some relief from the plastic that was biting into my palms — she plonked a generous amount of salt scrub on my hands. “Need to add water,” she led me to a makeshift sink in the middle of the mall.

The plastic has now bitten into my arm and she’s suggesting that I rub both hands together — yes, including the left that’s carrying a bunch of groceries.

Very important to buy environmentally friendly products

Part of my haul, which I transformed into a lentil salad.

I pointed to the bags with my chin. Apologising profusely, she motioned to an accomplice to bring up a chair so I could put the bags down.

By now, I’m really irritated, but I’m reminded of my own initial greed — for that teensy weensy golden foil, which caused the whole farce — so I moderated what would otherwise have been a tirade about how I had to battle another irate kitchen goddess wielding a pointy umbrella for the last bundle of celery with a simple it’s-after-12-I-need-to-get-lunch-started.

I should have went for the tirade. For she made a grasping-scrunching gesture with her right hand and asked that I do the same.


I know a losing battle when I see it, so I said, “Tell you what. Gimme your brochure.” “No, we have no brochures, only a book to show customers.”

How is it such infectious enthusiasm for her job doesn’t translate into a desire to educate her consumer? Or herself, for that matter?

A note here to all salespeople: Some shoppers prefer to know more about your product — does it contain paraben? Does it contain nuts, or gluten, or other allergens? Am I allowed to operate heavy machinery after use? — before buying. So, really, not allowing them this choice is not only offensive, you could end up with a lawsuit on your hands.

Can I drive the Audi R8 V10 Plus after using your hand cream?

Can I drive the Audi R8 V10 Plus after using your hand cream?

I shook the offending salt scrub off, asked for a tissue, and said, “If I like your stuff, I know where you are,” before practically breaking into a run. It’s times like this I wish I had Dorothy’s ruby slippers — so I could whizz home with three clicks of my heels.

I know! I’ll ask Santa for a pair next Christmas.


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