Texas Salesman (G)
A keen Texas lad applied for a salesman's job at a city department store. The store was the biggest in the world and sold everything under the sun.
"Have you ever been a salesman before?" the boss asked during his interview.
"Yes, I was a salesman in Texas," the lad answered.
The boss took an immediate liking to him and told him he could start the next day. "I'll come and see how you made out after we close up," the boss said.
The day was long and hard for the young man, but finally it was 5 o'clock. The boss closed up the store and found the lad sitting, slumped and exhausted, in a chair. "How many sales did you make today?" the boss asked.
"One," said the lad.
"One?" said the boss, obviously displeased. "Most of the sales people on my staff make 20 or 30 sales a day. How much was the sale worth?"
"Exactly $101,334.53," said the young man.
"How did you manage that?" asked the boss, flabbergasted.
"Well," said the lad, "this man came in and I sold him a small fish hook, then a medium fish hook, and finally a really large hook. Then I sold him a small fishing line, a medium one, and huge one. I asked him where he was going fishing, and he said he was going down the coast. I said he'd probably need a boat, so I took him down to the boat department and sold him that fancy 22-foot Chris Craft with twin engines. Then he said his Honda Civic probably wouldn't be able to handle the load, so I took him to the vehicle department and sold him a new GMC 1-ton pickup truck."
"You sold all that to guy who came in for a fish hook?" the boss asked in astonishment.
"He didn't come in to buy a fish hook," the Texas boy explained. "He came in to buy a box of tampons for his wife, and I said to him, 'Your weekend's shot. You might as well go fishing.' "
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Mundane Journeys through an Amazing World
begins with Interstate 80. Not the most engaging topic, I know, but when you think about it, I-80 runs all the way across the North American continent linking San Francisco and New York. It's not just a ribbon of asphalt, it's a portal to far away, almost magical places.
My visits to major cities like Tokyo, London and Washington DC have been business affairs. I haven't rode a lot of roller coasters or ridden in open air buses, but I have visited with senators, bought yams from the back of a truck and barely escaped complete embarrassment when I was introduced to Matt Wiener in Vegas.
As I wrote the book I realized that over the years exotic, distant places have become more like the mundane places I've called home. But, as it turns out, there really aren't any mundane places, only mundane ways of looking at things.
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