Life of a Salesman

The first full day I was in Elgin, mom and I visited the Senior Services Center and met with a lovely woman named Siamphay (pronounced c-m-pie). Most of what Siamphay was saying flew over my head as if she were speaking another language. I’d avoided the whole concept of Medicare Part D because it didn’t apply to me and it seemed far too complicated. I’d already heard a little about it a few years ago when my mom and I visited her insurance salesman, John. He talked about which of the 5 plans would be best for my parents to be covered under based on the medications they took.

At the time of the meeting with Siamphay, however, I didn’t remember that John was my mom’s insurance salesman — just that we visited him in an office near the tollway and he had science fiction toys in his office. Also he looked like Richard Dreyfuss (but I couldn’t remember Richard Dreyfuss’ name — just that he was in Jaws and “that movie about the guy who saw a UFO and sculpted things with mashed potatoes”). I said to my mom, “Don’t you remember — just after Larry died we talked to someone who wanted you to choose a Medicare Part D plan?” She didn’t. I brought it up several times.

Back home, several hours later, I was in my bedroom, unpacking and organizing my things. I reached into one of my bags and located my Gillette Venus Razor©. By “located” I mean that I shaved several layers of skin off my thumb. (are you cringing yet? I am). It hurt and it bled. It bled a lot. I ran downstairs and shouted, “Mom! I need a band-aid! NOW!” I wrapped my thumb in paper towel, but it kept on bleeding. Mom tried to find a band-aid and Dad, who’d gone to bed several hours earlier, came out of his bedroom to see what the commotion was. About that time I heard Mom in the living room, saying “I forgot about the insurance guy” just as the doorbell rang.

I turned around from the sink where I’d been trying to wash my wound without actually looking at it and saw my dad standing in the doorway between the kitchen and living room wearing a blue button-down shirt and tighty-whities. He was in direct view of the insurance salesman who had just been let in the front door. I told Dad that he should go and put some pants on and that I was fine, my thumb was going to be OK. Then I looked in the living room and saw the very same man who I’d been trying to get mom to remember earlier that day. I pointed at him and said to my mom, “It’s him! He’s the one! That’s the guy I was talking about this morning.”

Luckily my mom’s insurance agent has a sense of humor. He ducked and said he didn’t do it. He also wasn’t bothered by Dad in his underwear and me in my blood-soaked, paper towel-wrapped thumb. We explained everything to him (except the Richard Dreyfuss part) and he completely understood, and was impressed that I remembered his science fiction toys. Then he tried to sell me some life insurance.

7 thoughts on “Life of a Salesman

  1. What a fire drill! I know what you mean about having a blogger’s block (several posts down), especially after a trip or a lot of “exciting” activity or whatever. Takes some time to process things sometimes.


  2. Wonderfully told. I have done the same thing with razors. I especially like “I turned around from the sink where I’d been trying to wash my wound without actually looking at it …” That sounds a lot likeme.


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