Worlds Greatest Popcorn Salesman

Many years ago, when my grandson was with his grandmother and me for several extended visits, became very close. We were in fact, “kindred spirits” and between the tow of us, we could do no wrong. This was especially true if his mother and grandmother did not know what we were up to. I think several times I told him, “Don’t let you grandmother know about this, otherwise she would get madder then “hell.”

We never did anything bad, but as kindred spirits, we realized that we would not receive a full nod of approval his grandmother of his mother concerning some of the things we were doing.

Critter and I were great friends, compatriots, and we had an almost perfect understanding with one another. He was great for me and I feel that I was beneficial for him. We were a great team.

One of the deeds he signed up for was to become a member of a Pee Wee League baseball team. His grandmother and I went to some of his practice sessions and to all of his games. In one memorable game, their catcher managed to pick up a ball that the batter in the box hit. The ball had a reverse spin to it and therefore came back to the catcher.

The pitcher, the first baseman, the short stop, the third baseman who wanted to take the runner from second: everyone was telling the catcher, “Throw me the ball!” The poor fellow was greatly confused as to where to throw the ball. He knew he needed to throw it – but where?

After turning in the direction to the teammates who were asking him for the ball and making partial attempts; in disgust, he slammed the ball down in the dirt right in front of him. The people in the stands had a great time, whooped, hollered, and applauded him. He was so proud of himself with all the recognition he was receiving.

Critter was having a great time with everything. What a wonderful experience for him and for me. Once on second base he really had some difficulty. His bladder was about the size of a peanut [so his mother said] and while on second base, two batters were to follow him. However, he was really dancing a jig out on second base. As a concerned grandfather, I interfered and went to his coach and had him observe the “goings on” of Critter on second.

The coach called time out and went to second base, Matthew, alias for Critter, took off like a shot to the bull pin latrine. If he could ran as fast around the bases as he did to the dug out, he could have made a home run every time he came to bat.

One of the agreements we had, concerned taking a bath – not one of his favorite things to do. The agreement was that if his team one a game, he would not have to take a bath that evening. Unfortunately, his team last every game but the last game of the season. He had forgotten the agreement but his grandmother reminded him. He certainly had a very big smile on his face when he took great pleasure of telling me that since his team won, he did not have to do the bath process.

He always took great pleasure when he got the best of me. What a wonderful grandson.

Another time when he really got the best of me concerned a fund raising project selling popcorn. I asked him if he knew how to sell popcorn and he said he did.

Let’s try you out. You go outside on the front porch, ring the bell and I will open it and you sell me some popcorn.

He did go out on the porch; I closed the door and waited. After a long wait, I heard the bell, I opened the door and asked, “May I help you?” He responded with, “You want to buy some popcorn?” I said “No” and closed the door.

Another long wait. The doorbell rang again; I opened the door and said, “Hi! May I help you?” He then said,”How do I sell pop corn?” I said, “Let’s go sit down and I will tell you how to do it.”

He sat the swing and I sat in a chair facing him when through the procedure.

First of all, introduce yourself with your name and explain that you are with a Pee Wee team and were given the responsibility to sell popcorn. Also, tell them that you really don’t want to do it but you want to support your team. Be honest! Then tell them that you probably have the best popcorn ever and that every kernel is guaranteed to pop.

He smiled somewhat and said, “I can’t tell them that.” My response was the he certainly tell them what I had suggested. You should then tell them, “All you have to do is keep the kernels that do not pop and give me a phone call. I will come back and give you two kernels for each one you have that didn’t pop.”

He was convinced what I told him was the thing to do, so off he went with his order forms to sell popcorn. My god, did he sell popcorn! He had all his lists filled and some buyers had more than one box purchased. I was so proud of him. It was great for him, but his job made a lot of trouble for me.

Sometime later, I was notified that the popcorn orders were in and I needed to pick them up. Between the time, he turned his orders in and the time they arrived for delivery, my grandson returned to his mother in California. I went to the pick up delivery point and there were five cases of popcorn for him [me], to load and deliver. I had to go back home and get my station wagon to load up his cases.

It took me three days to deliver his orders. At one home, the woman of the house said, “I had four boxes of popcorn on my shelf. However, the smile he had on his face and the story he told me, I had to order some more corn from him.