Christmas come and goes. You’ve got some average presents, blown your diet out of the water and you’ve spent all your money. And the rent is due next week. And someone told you that you have hairy feet. And to cap off the festivities, family lunch with the uncles and aunties you haven’t seen since last year, making, forcing conversation and telling bad jokes. About you. What better time than right now for some retail therapy?
The Boxing Day sales, for the above mentioned reasons, are the closest most people will get to open war. Everyone is on edge, mentally pasting pictures of that one relative who really gets under their skin over other shoppers’ faces in their mind. For the right price, they will fight to the death. It is merciless, tough, a wave of people flowing straight at a bargain table. I mean, it is called Boxing Day, makes sense that there is a fight. The storm after the Christmas Day calm. The perfect chance for me to get some votes.
‘What I’ll do,’ The two young guys, shopping bags in hand, sunglasses on heads, they’re waiting for a reason. ‘What I will do is run to that near empty bargain table, take the last items on it, all of them, and run.’ The table is surrounded by people scrambling to find the right size. Birds picking at scraps. The two guys nod. I quickly run through, push my way through the shoppers and spread my arms out on either side, scooping up everything, snatching some straight out of the hands of people. Some look angry, their eyes turning black, others confused. And I run through the store, run for dear life, past the perfumes and sunglasses, up to the escalator, watch my pursuers fade away, slowly.
‘I’ll take this…’ I pick up the nearest thing to me, a package of aftershave, deodorant and some kind of small bottle of something. The young family looks over the product. ‘And what I’ll do is pretend to be a salesperson for the product, like one of the perfume girls over there’. The family turns to view the perfume girls, then back to me. They’re not sold yet. ‘I will say it is made from an ingredient of your choice, you decide.’ The family all look away in thought at the same time, the father laughs to himself.
‘Scent of Elephant’ He says.
‘I was gonna’ say that too,’ The woman says to him and they smile together.
‘Excuse me, hi, I as wondering if you may be interested in our new product here, we have a special deal today.’ Most people ignore my pitch, the young family stands nearby listening.
‘Yeas, hi, how are you, I’m here today to tell people about our new product on sale here today.’ The guy looks interested. ‘See we have this package deal, deodorant, cologne and (I sort of mumble here, hoping he doesn’t pick it up) and it’s at a super price today. Basically what we are looking to give people is a sense of escape with our new scent, a sense of being free’. The guy is nodding. ‘In the jungle.’ Nodding slightly slower. ‘Our research into the scent took us to a remote tribe in the African jungles where for years they themselves have been utilising the scent. The scent of the elephant. It has an allure, an animal magnetism, which somehow emits pheromones and attracts the female of the species.’ Not nodding anymore, staring at me. ‘No, you don’t want the Scent of Elephant. I’m telling you, it may seem a little funky to begin with but you get used to it…’ I’m losing him. ‘Then, my man, the ladies, they will come a stampeding.’ I’m flat lining. ‘So, no good?’ And he is gone, into he crowd. But the family put in heir votes, smiling, together.
I stand firm at the bottom of the escalator, reading over my map of he store. Behind me, people are banking up, blocking the escalator path. At any moment someone’s bound to shove me out of the way, hit me across the back of the had with a plastic shopping bag. Surely.
‘Outta’ tha’ way moron’ A guy yells from the top of the escalator. I tun, look down at my feet, as if I was unaware where I was standing, smile and walk back to the group of young girls who have watched me do this do win their votes. They sign enthusiastically (smiley faces next to their names).
‘The whole package’ I say, standing triumphantly. The young guys laugh and nod to me.
‘We will all definitely vote if you do that’.
I take what I need to the change room, dress accordingly, emerging a figure of sporting grace. Tennis skirt, a white tennis shirt, head band (all with tags still attached) and a racquet.
‘Service’ I wind up for an ace, belting the ball high over people’s heads. The young guys have their hands over their mouths laughing. The ball bounces into the crowd, rolls under feet. I smack another ball away (I must emphasize not in the direction of any people. Safety before stupidity), the store workers have seen me by now, coming through the crowd.
‘And that means t is time for me to retire.’ Back to the change rooms.
The mother looks a the jeans on sale, one of several hunched over the bargain rack.
‘They’re good.’ I tell her. ‘I tried them on before.’ The mother politely smiles to me. I notice the size on the pair she is studying. ‘Yeah, I wear a 32-34, they fit good. They got a lot of room in the upper bit, you know?’ She looks closer, reading the label through her glasses. ‘And I don’t wear underwear so it’s good to find pants that let you breathe.’ The woman looks shocked. ‘I tried on most of them too.’ She drops the pair in her hands and walks from the group. Another mother I looking at me, having heard what I said.
‘Tried them on too,’ I inform her.
So as I sit back and watch the shops empty out again, people flowing like rain drops out the doors, I reflect on how far The Quest has come. How far it must go. How I must represent my people, my true believers. I read over the list of names from the day. I will not let them down.
On to glory.
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