The Pot Called the Kettle What?

Last Thursday night, Karen and I attended a dinner party at a friend of ours house with a few other couples. The host couple told us that there would be free food as well as a presentation about the cookware being used to cook said food; no prices discussed, just free food and presentation. That was all it took for me to be interested....because I like food, especially of the free variety...and an innocent little dinner party presentation never hurt anybody right?!?!Well the dinner party was a lot of fun. Great food, good conversation, good company, and some really interesting pots, pans, and methods used to cook.

It was a lot of fun.....that is until we got done eating, and the guy doing the presentation asked each of us as couples when he would come to our house to sell us this cookware. Notice he asked when, not if! Now, one would think that a person with even my limited amount of life experience would have seen this coming....but NO.....I was completely blindside, and frankly unhappy about this demand. While I was adequately impressed by this cookware, it has not ever, nor will it anytime soon, be in my priorities or budget to buy some pots. In fact, I can honestly say that I've never used the term cookware until I was introduced to this..............cookware.

So why didn't I just say no to this guy coming to my house. Well first of all he asked us right in front of the host couple...and in some weird way, for me to say no to this guy seemed like it would be rude to them (oh the leads for proper etiquette we make). Not to mention that no reason, excuse, reservation, medical emergency, or flailing tantrum would have kept this guy from making a "follow-up" appointment (to be read as "forceful thrusting of sale down our proverbial throats"). And not only was he coming, but he was coming tomorrow. I got the feeling he wanted to be at my house to greet me when I got home from work (perhaps had he offered to have another free meal I would have considered it). When that didn't work, and a series of other times were not doable, he asked if he could come just before bedtime----JUST BEFORE BEDTIME.....I wouldn't even ask to be at my closest friends house just before bedtime. And this was a guy who wasn't even a close friend.....and steadily easing his way further into "NOT A FRIEND AT ALL" status! So we finally agreed (begrudgingly) that he could come Saturday morning for his "brief" presentation.

Now to really understand the deep emotion that this sales call brought upon Karen and I, you'd have to understand our personal little history of these type things. It all started about a year ago when someone called and offered to test our water for free. As a reward for allowing this free water test, and brief 30 minute presentation, we would be given a complimentary vacation of our choice. FREE VACATION....almost as good as free food. Well, we had no idea what we were in for.....and after 3 agonizing hours of this guy testing our water, cleaning half of our house, including our cookware, exploring the depth of our tap and bottled water, pushing the sale and NOT taking no for an answer, we got a little pamphlet for our free vacation that turned out to cost us $50 (which by the way, does anybody else realize that $50 is not free!??!?!). We never even took the stinking trip (that would be my fault ). The hardest part was not the presentation, it was figuring out how many different ways we can say the words "no", "we're not interested", "not at this time", "no thank you", "no", "you're crazy", or "get out of my house please it is 9:30 pm and you are just a shade past 2 and 1/2 hours over your time limit and while I am sure your product will give us a longer life and a more clean feeling shower as well as give us a warm tingly feeling inside, all we really, really want is our free vacation if you could just hand that over now and show us the amount of smoke you can generate as your tires squeal out of our driveway we would greatly, greatly appreciate it." I mean it is like pulling teeth....and I mean yanking all of the permanent ones with a set of rusty pliers.

So you can imagine that this experience did not leave a good taste in our mouth's about these little house calls. And you can probably imagine our.......what to call no....utter and violent opposition...yes that is this little visit. Karen and I prepared well in advance for the battle that would soon ensue. We practiced our "no's", "no thank you's" and "your crazy's" in the best and most Christ-like possible tone. The one redeeming part of the visit, we would indeed get to see just how much this "cookware" would cost. To spruce it up, we even made a friendly bet on how much one little 1/2 quart cooking pot would cost. I bet $85. She bet $125.

Well it finally came. Go-time. We invited the guy in and had him sit out our table, and after obliging about 2 questions, I politely interrupted our salesmen with a "we're not going to be buying anything today, we don't believe in credit, and we're not interested in throwing a party, we would however love for you to show us the prices of your pots and pans as you head out." Well, after the usual reprehensible sales tactics (which included some doosies like "What would you pay for a riding lawn mower" which I am still trying to see the relation and "what about the health of your kids" that we don't have??) we finally got to the punchline...I mean the bottom line. I'll take our highest bet of $125 and just tell you that it got crushed by a Godzilla-like price of $460 + for a 1/2 quart pot. Even as I type I cannot contain the laughter. And for a whole set (and by a whole set I mean a total of about 5-6 a regular box set from Wal-Mart) a whopping $1889. Notice that there is no decimal point...that's right ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND EIGHTY NINE DOLLARS FOR SOME POTS AND PANS. Somewhere I missed in the presentation where these post and pans would actually grow the food themselves, cut and clean it, cook it, serve it, ask if I enjoyed it, then clean itself up all the while whistling the most delightful of tunes. I mean that is ridiculous. I know I know there was a lifetime warranty, and it cooks like no other...but come on you people.

To all those who have bought and love this type of pot and pan, I would like to say I mean no offense. It is just not something I would be willing to "invest" in. However, many probably wouldn't pay the amount of money I would for a good guitar I realize it is all relative!

Our friendly pot saler did say one most thought-provoking sentence at sometime during the presentation. That statement --- "We're all selling something" Food for thought!


Ha! That couldn't be funnier b/c we recently went to that sort of party. The guy came the next day and while we didn't purchase anything, we did host our own party!

the people we invited did buy something so we ended up getting this vegetable chopper for free!

Just count your lucky stars that you and karen don't live in GA...cause we would have invited you!

October 8, 2007 at 4:09 PM  

This is really funny - it's just because of that pressure (and our inability to say no to pushy salespeople) that I did not go when Josh and some of our other friends went to a couple of those cookware parties! I understand this guy wasn't pushy, but the nice guy inside has no interest in going somewhere where I'll just say, "No thanks" anyway. And you're right - you've either gotta be a sucker or extremely comfortable financially (neither of which are Renee and I) to pay $1,889 for pots and pans!

So, man, how are you doing these days?!

October 8, 2007 at 6:42 PM  

you almost bought some pot...

October 9, 2007 at 4:04 PM  

Matt, I think I met you once at Steak and Shake after a Courage concert. Anyway, glad Josh referred me over here. You've offered some really excellent food for thought (and not just the on the cookware post).

We narrowly missed having one of these parties when the salesman's best friend's wife died. We had already tried to get out of it, citing exhaustion, the impending arrival of my nephew, the realization that we had no moneyed friends--to no avail. I hate the lady died, but the timing was something else.

October 10, 2007 at 8:51 PM  

That's so funny, man. Those "parties" are everywhere...

October 11, 2007 at 6:17 AM  

Next time someone asks if you want to have one of these "parties", just ask "Will there be a keg?"

October 14, 2007 at 7:42 PM  

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