(Pittsburgh, PA) Your day was going perfectly fine. Now a great day, but definitely not a bad one either. You had been stressed out about that meeting at work, but everything went smoother than expected and now the idea of a promotion has become prominent in your mind. Only a few more years to partner. You are almost there, kid. Then, you glance down at your phone and see a text from That Guy from High School and you freeze. Is it my birthday? No. My parents never told me what is was. Why in the world could this guy possibly be texting me?
“Hey Patty man, how ya been?” Oh god. This guy doesn’t even know. He still thinks that I go by Patrick. Hmm, should I tell him about my life or delete his number and never respond? I flip a coin. Tails. I take the plunge.
“Hey dude, it’s been forever. I actually go by Jessica now and my preferred pronouns are she/her. But things are good. How about you?”
“Oh wow, I had no idea du- I mean, girl? Yeah. Well the reason I texted you is I have this new job and I would love to tell you about it. Think we could get coffee sometime?”
“Yeah man, I don’t know. I’m kind of busy right now. Can you tell me more about it before we set something up?”
“Yeah well, basically what we do is we sell knives.”
I didn’t know what I was expecting from this guy, but this was definitely not it. I also had been trying to remember this guy’s face the entire time I had been texting him and for the life of me I couldn’t think of it. It’s as if all white men are the exact same. Huh.
I tentatively sent my response, “Knives? Like for the kitchen or something else?”
“The something else is up to you, I mean, they can cut through a shoe. But yeah, mainly kitchen stuff. Want to see what kind of equipment we are talking about?”
Ugh. He said equipment. It’s like I can feel his bad male energy on me. “I guess so. I’m always down for a knife demo.”
“Perfect,” he texted back. “Bring ten of your friends.”
I texted him back a few times asking for a clarification, bit I received no reply.
* * THE MEETING * *
Tuesday evening. Nine of my friends (because Laura is a flake) and I gathered in my small apartment to hear what That Guy from High School had to say about knives. Life makes no sense.
“Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for joining me tonight. My name, is not important. What is important, is knives. Knives. That’s a pretty good word, huh? Knives. Fun to say.”
That Guy from High School stood there for almost a minute, contemplating the word knives. Wow. After about 50 seconds he seemed to snap out of his daze and jump right back into his pitch.
“So yeah, these knives are great for just about anything you can think of. Chopping fruits, dicing vegetables, unleashing a Blood Druid, you know, your everyday stuff. But, what the manufacturers don’t want me to tell you is that you can buy these stellar knives cheap and sell them for almost three times the original price!”
“Wow,” I replied, not at all sold on this whole “Cut Chop Corporation” and their whole “multi-level marketing company” thing they were doing. “How do we sign up?”
“Thank you Jessica,” That Guy from High School said. “That’s the best part… the knives are free!”
Before I could stop them, That Guy from High School had the credit card information of every single one of my friends except for me.
“Come on Jess, join the Cut Chop family.”
I am not sure whether it was the condescension in his tone or the way he thought he could just call me Jess, but before I knew what I was doing I had grabbed his briefcase full of knives and was swinging the largest one, more of a scabbard than a knife, as I yelled “Get out of my home! I hate you all and capitalism is ruining the planet!”
Before I knew it, I was standing alone in my apartment with no-one but That Guy from High School. It was funny but, even as I stared him directly in the face I knew that I would forget what he looked like as soon as he was out of my field of vision.
“You’ll regret this,” he said as he walked off with his tail between his legs. I don’t remember seeing that he had a tail earlier. Seems like I would have picked up on that.
You know what I have to say about all that? Good riddance. That Guy from High School left my life almost the same way he found it, although maybe slightly stickier. I hope he works for Cut Chop forever.
This article was written by Nathan Ellwood, who always preferred selling protein shakes to knives. Follow him for more on Twitter @NPEllwood.