I am sitting on the sofa deep in thought, working on the finishing touches of my monthly column, when I hear an insistent knocking at my front door. My three dogs are instantly on alert and run at the door barking in terrifying harmony. I tip toe over to glance out of the peephole. I never open the door until I have confirmed who is standing there.
As I gaze out of the tiny bubble lens, I spy a distorted cowboy hat above a distorted grizzled face. In the distance is a distorted panel van with, from what I can tell, one word stenciled on its side. “MEAT.”
Wow, those meat people are persistent. I think back to the last time a meat man knocked on my door and how it prompted us to finally install that peephole.
It was mid morning on a weekday, apparently a popular time for door to door sales calls. A knock at the front door prompted the typical barrage of barks as our dogs ran to the door. I opened the door to find a handsome young man standing there. He immediately launched into his sales-pitch. “I was in the area delivering meat to your neighbor and had extra steaks in my truck. I thought you might be interested in purchasing them at a discount.” I looked down the hill at the street to see his plain white panel van void of graphics. I was suspicious. He continued, “Your neighbor just got out of the hospital. This prepackaged meat is really great for people wanting a quick and easy-to-prepare meal.”
“Which neighbor?” I feigned concern.
He pointed in a general and vague direction.
Overreacting then, “Oh my goodness. I didn’t even know (I said the first name that popped into my head.) June was in the hospital! I am going to make her a casserole.” I softly closed then locked the door. The last thing I saw before the door was firmly shut was a bewildered expression on his face. I can only imagine him wondering how his sales-pitch went so wrong so fast. I walked slowly around to my kitchen window only to see him shuffling down the hill to his meat van. He looked so dejected that I felt a little sorry for him.
They changed up their routine this time around. They added “MEAT” to the van apparently to deter any suspicion related to buying curbside meat. I guess the past unnamed van made it sketchy. They also appear to have sent out a savvier salesman. At least, thanks to the peephole, I avoided the irritation and never opened the door.
I try to imagine any scenario that would entice me to purchase meat from an unknown source out of the back of a windowless panel van. Not picturing any, I tiptoe back to the sofa and continue to write while the dogs with their ferocious barks eventually scare him away...until the next time.
Later on, when I headed out the front door to check the mail, I found a little flyer stuck into the door handle. Just one word “MEAT” followed by “Sorry we missed you.”
Lisa Owens writes a monthly column for the Empire-Tribune and Glen Rose Reporter. Her columns are inspired by true events. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.