Melbourne, Australia, hosts as diverse a collection of people as any of the larger cities in the world. There are suburbs where its custom to wear a feather in your hat and turn up your nose as you swagger down the street, or bow your head to the pavement in squalor anticipation of your welfare cheque, or cruise the road in your family wagon bursting with boisterous out-of-tune nursery rhymes. Melbourne breeds them all.
My traveling suburban sales escapades took me into the dens of many of them.
$20 Golf Card: Two Rounds of Golf for the Price of One Round
I probably only made more sales than the golf card on one other campaign which means that I was in my second most happiest and rapturous state during this sales expedition – and I was beginning to hate the job at this stage. I think I quit a few months later.
The golf course that we were marketing is still one of Melbourne’s finest. Any avid golfer knew it. Any avid golfer wanted to be a member – if only they could afford the hefty green fees. We were offering 2 for 1 rounds, and discount meals at the club and no obligation to sign up as a full member. Add that to flogging this stuff off in a fairly well-to-do suburb and you’re bound to smile at people’s smiles.
It was late afternoon and I was in high tidal spirits after selling the majority of the cards in my possession. An hour left before knock-off and I would cash in my dredges. I entered a large house with an enormous porch via the tall front gate, however it looked a little neglected. I instantly experienced warning auras, a cloudy sourness clung to the yard. I walked up about ten steps to the porch landing and knocked on the door.
Well, no I didn’t, there was a bell – so I rang it. A burly man with a frizzy jaw of beard answered behind a security door and I noticed there was a greedy looking Rottweiler at his side. He welcomed me with an icy stare and waited for me to greet him. I knew this was a dead sale, possibly a dead moment where I was at risk of joining the moment.
“Hi there, my name is Ma -”
“I don’t care what your name is.”
“Ok, I’ll be ten seconds…..I’m just here on behalf of the ‘such and such’ golf course and flogging these cards that will give you – ”
“Golf?” His eyes burned menace. He looked down at his Rottweiler and declared, “Terence and I say golf is for faggots.”
I don’t know why I spurted out the reply I gave to confront his and Terence’s distaste for golf. Maybe it was because his insolently discriminative tone offended my juvenile maturity; even though it was I that was trespassing on his rights.
“So, should I put the card in your or Terence’s name?” I replied, with stupid smugness.
“Mate, you have ten seconds to get your skinny arse off my porch or Terence will……”
I didn’t catch the rest as I was already at the bottom of the porch steps and swimming through the air and gravel for that front gate. I didn’t look behind me until I got to the gate and just as I closed it Terence rocketed into it.
Had I been a couple of years wiser I would have turned around and humbly left. When I think of that occasion, that is my most compelling thought, but my secondary compelling thought is, who names their dog ‘Terence?’