Let This Be a Lesson

A few years ago some friends and I would go to our bar and play a drinking game version of spoons. Somehow, the person who lost first ended up losing more and more as the night went on...

Anyway, one night while playing an odd looking individual came up behind one of the ladies. Picture a guy in an Hawaiian shirt with full-moon sweat stains, wrinkled khaki pants, and loafers with no socks. Oh, and the coup de grace, enough cologne to choke a pig covered in its own filth. By his stagger, I could tell that he'd been having a bit of fun inside before approaching us. We were in between games and he swooped in and grabbed the deck of cards from the table. We all eyed the guy for the brashness of his behavior, and catching wind of this he launched into his spiel. He was a salesman. Strike one, sir.

I don't remember what he sold, but none of us were buying it. It was obvious he was trying to make an impression on the ladies, because if any of them ever said a word to him he zoned in on her like a mosquito to a bug-zapper. As he was regaling us with stories of his sales he clumsily shuffled the deck in his hands. It was one of those half-assed shuffles where you take half the deck and then mash the two back together. Effective to a degree, but very awkward looking in the hands of a drunkard. Then mid sentence, he fanned out the deck and thrust the cards toward the direction of one of my female friends who was closest too him. While not breaking the stride of his one-sided conversation he told her to pick a card. Oh boy! A salesman that does magic. Strike two.

Continuing on with his boring tales, he interspersed it all with directions for my friend to play along with his impromptu magic show. I will give him credit for keeping his story coherent as well as being able to give the directions for the trick. My friend was then asked to place the card, let's say it was a ten of clubs, back in the deck. He then reshuffled, this time in a slightly-more deliberate fashion. Then as he was finishing his story of his latest sale, he produced a card and asked, "Is this the one?" Nope. Sorry boy-o. Strike Thr-"This one?"

No. Stri-"How about now?"


He knew he had failed, but he still gave us one of his cards. Only one, as if to say, "Hey ladies, I may not have impressed you with my magic, but I have a feeling you'll all be fighting over this number come night's end." With a wave of his hand he bid us farewell and walked off into the night. Then I made a paper airplane out of his card and sent it sailing after him. It was the only humane thing to do. Salesmen that do magic are sad individuals. Or more appropriately, those who don't do magic.

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