A few weeks ago, I was walking down a fancy suburban street when I was accosted by an eighth-grader pushing pies. She was a cute kid who was holding an order form and wearing an aggressive smile.
“I’m selling pies for a school fundraiser,” she said like a threat. “I need to sell one more to win a prize.”
“Where are they?” I asked, craning my neck. I saw no pie wagon in the near distance.
“We deliver them to you,” she said, as if this was a minor detail.
“Where? Here on the street?” I asked. “When? Now? Because I’d really like a pie right now.”
“I don’t have the details. Just know that we’ll get you your pie.” With that, she thrust the order form at me, and I was immediately transfixed with pictures of many delicious pies.
I love pies. Once, I planned an entire weekend in Osseo, Wisconsin just so I could have several meals at the Norske Nook, a little diner that has the best pies in the world. And this was during my dating years when I was very concerned about my shapeliness. I always considered it a testament to my character that I placed pies above my love life.
As I salivated over the order form, trying to intuit the best pie to select, the sales girl and I had a very confusing conversation—mainly about delivery logistics and whether the pies really would taste as delicious as they appeared in the pictures—but I’ll skip the details, because this kid clearly had no real answers to my demanding questions. She just wanted to sell her last pie, and then go home and tell her parents about the lunatic she met in the street who was obsessed with pies.
Anyway, I gave her $20 for a coconut cream pie that cost only $12, but she claimed she didn’t have any change—a claim I found suspect given the heft of the money envelope she was carrying. I weighed the consequences. Should I take the $20 back and suffer weeks of terrible regret over not getting a pie, or should I give this little con artist an extra $8 and get my pie…eventually…maybe.
“Are you sure the delivery guy will find me? I’m worried because you said that writing my address on the order form isn’t necessary.” I asked nervously as I gave her the $20 bill.
“Oh, they’ll find you!” she said, trying to tug the bill out of my hand. “These pie people are very professional. They’ll track you down, or you can stop by the school or something….”
“Are the pies actually at your school?” I asked, my eyes widening. The child looked frightened by the sudden darkening of my pupils. I tried to take a more casual tone, but it sounded shrill, like the voice of a distressed squirrel. “I could just swing by your school. And take a look at the selection. No big deal.”
“Umm, yeah,” she said, slowly backing away from me. “I don’t think the pies are there, but maybe you should go talk to an adult.”
It’s been over two weeks since I ordered that pie. Yesterday, I was standing at the window, gloomily staring out at the street where I met the pie girl.
“You’re in a pensive mood,” my girlfriend said. “What are you thinking about?”
“Oh, just about a girl that broke my heart,” I said.
“You’re thinking about that stupid pie, aren’t you?” she said. “Forget about it. It’s never going to come.”
Gang: you’re welcome to visit with me on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll find me under my true identity—jenniferparello—on both sites.