Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Handing me the confectionery with a toothy grin, the storekeeper wisecracked: "while you savour this cake with jam filling, sir, its sticky bits get jammed between your teeth and give your molars free filling, necessitating a versatile toothbrush. I've got just the right brush!"

He was manipulating me for additional business by linking the cake to the toothbrush. Bristling with defiance at his ploy and yet unwilling to brush him off, I bit the bait not so much for the brand's promise at removing the 'jammed bits of cake', as for my failure to replace my worn-out toothbrush that was beginning to resemble a chrysanthemum.

Honestly, I have been charitable towards sales persons resorting to legitimate sales drive provided they didn't go into over-drive. Something akin to that happened at a departmental store where, as I asked for a box of candles(blast the power-cuts!), the sales clerk tried to smooth-talk me into acquiring a power inverter. He was the kind who, if you purchase a padlock, would try to ram down your throat a flashlight, a crowbar and a nylon cord - all to tackle the burglar in case of a break-in!

At an out-of-the-town drug store recently, as I paid for a few strips of anti-diabetic tablets, the chemist asked, "Wouldn't you need some co-enzymes as an adjunct?" Pleading ignorance, I begged for enlightenment.

"You see, the co-enzymes," said the chemist flaunting his erudition, "stimulate carbohydrate metabolism at the cellular level."

"But aren't you referring to thiamine and pyridoxine, commonly called B-complex factors?" I queried, seeing through his little game.

"Well...... that really is the case," said the chemist a bit rattled, "but where did you get this dope?"

"From my professor of therapeutics at the college where I studied medicine," I replied truthfully, watching his face turn red, then purple and finally ashen. I had just encountered a hard-boiled yet half-baked charlatan of a chemist who, without batting an eyelid, would endeavour to 'dispense' foam mattresses, feeding bottles and nappies to the buyers of fertility pills.

At this rate, it wouldn't be long before the agents for long-distance night coaches plying dacoit infested routes put together a package deal consisting of, besides the tickets, helmets, knives and first-aid kits. Or, if you could afford, a revolver - Smith & Wesson, perhaps?
Sales Pitch:

Video Courtesy: http://www.youtube.com/
Image Courtesy: http://www.4to40.com

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