December 12th, 2009

A passion for narrative can make you a jerk

Well, me, anyway.

I saw an ad for Kraft Dinner Szechuan a few months back and, as appalling is that sounded, I wanted to try it so as to verify the appallingness for myself.

Then I forgot all about it–it’s not like I’m going to spend money on this stuff or anything–and then today I saw they were giving away free samples of KDS at Metro. Yes! The girl at the little sample-table was talking to someone else when I approached. I waited patiently, but when she turned to me she looked aghast.

“May I try some too, please?”

She tried to thrust the whole container at me, realized her error, forked a tiny bit into a bowl, could not free the fork from the noodles because her hands were shaking violently, and finally handed it over, eyes wide and wet.

“Thank you.”

“Oh, you’re very welcome,” she said, only a slight quaver.

I went off with my sample, but she called me back to offer, and explain, a coupon booklet. Except she couldn’t turn the pages easily, her hands were shaking so badly. When I thanked her, again she seemed incredibly touched.

I’ve been thinking about her ever since, wondering what tragedy or incident prompted all this, and how she would do for the rest of the day and after. Bad news? A near-miss car accident? An irate or violent sampler? Surely, it would have to be something big; the story wouldn’t be as good if she were simply wildly nervous about giving out samples at Metro.

Clearly, I’m an asshole, because I was sort of hoping for the worst-case scenarios in the name of a good story!! Why wasn’t I hoping from the beginning that she was just a very edgy kid, and she’d grow into her role and in time get a better one? I’m hoping that *now*, but I had to roll through all these other fun catastrophes first. I suck. And, come to think of it, why *wouldn’t* the coming-into-her-own of a Metro sample-distributor be a good story? A story is only as weak as its writer.

And the KDS is more abominable than you could ever imagine–you have to try this!!


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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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