Sunday, December 06, 2009
pot on the streets
The old man was walking down the main street of my little village. Repeating his nasal call.
It was not loud, but it was the tone. I am certain it pierced every concrete and adobe wall.
Of course, he was not saying "Pots." It was something in Spanish.
But the word didn't matter. His was a call, as the psalmist would (and did) say: "as deep calls to deep." Penetration trumps comprehension.
I did not need my Spanish dictionary. It would have done me no good because I could not understand what he was saying.
But I knew by the ceramic pots strung over his shoulders what he was selling. Just like The Streets of Laredo, I could tell by his outfit that he was a salesman, too.
That got me to thinking, who is his target market?
I understand the vegetable truck, the enchilada man, the water guy, the boy selling dulce pan, the knife sharpener. They are all selling products that when the señora de la casa hears the honk, cry, horn, or Tarzan yell, she knows she has an immediate need for the product. Most often, it will be off of the truck and on the dinner table that day -- often within the hour.
But a ceramic pot? Who sits around the house thinking: "Gee. I wish someone would wander through my neighborhood selling ceramic pots."
Maybe there is a high incidence of people transplanting house plants without first thinking: I need to buy a pot. Thank heaven that man is coming down the street.
But it is not just ceramic pots. Trucks cruise our street selling mattresses, couches, chairs, and dressers. And not once have I seen anyone run into the street to stop one of these travelling Wal-Marts with a look of relief that a mattress crisis has been resolved.
I love the convenience of being able to buy so many necessities right in front of my house. But it appears that a good idea has gone just a bit astray.
I am not certain which category I would place the drugs and sex that are for sale on the next block. With a little imagination, someone could add rock and roll and market it as The Boomer Trifecta.
I don't even want to think what that wall-piercing call would sound like.