Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Tale of Two Cities: Part 1 or "Haki's Pores"

City One: Christchurch

While on our working holiday in Christchurch earlier this year, something rather unusual happened.

We ate out for breakfast as a family of three. This was not that unusual. When we were done licking our chops, we crossed the road and entered the mall proper to post our freshly-completed competition entry form in an official box. This was also quite was Haki's suggestion he have a quick look in Foot Locker, while we were in the neighbourhood, and my counter-suggestion I browse Cotton On in the meantime. Perhaps Haki's hearing was already impaired by the virtual heavenly choir singing, "Shoooooooes!" from the store he approached, because I later learned he failed to catch where I was headed with Esky. This occurence = still usual.

After scouring my store of choice, I spun about in search of Haki - he should have joined me by now - he was always finished window shopping first. Always (/cough "usual").

It is what happened next that was highly unusual; where I found Haki.

Hand in hand with the little one, I made a bee-line for Foot Locker to regroup. En route, I spotted Haki. Talking to an island salesperson. This was highly unusual. (To clarify: this salesperson was not selling islands - although this would most definitely fit the bill of all I've promised...but rather the salesperson worked at a store island - you know the ones - permanent stalls, without walls, smack dab in the centre of the mall walking lane?) I was perplexed. What was Haki doing? We don't talk to island people. Ever. (To clarify, again: you are detecting prejudice, and rightly so - but not for people from the actual islands...say...of Polynesia, but rather this specific breed of retail staff who work at such mall islands - their environment has forced certain behavioural adaptations; they're an aggressive bunch, akin to Carny folk. We don't talk to island people.) Well, we'll talk to them...but only to smile saying, "No thanks" whilst walking by rather quickly. Which brings me back to the unusual thing; Haki was engaged in conversation with one of these salespeople. And the island was stacked with some type of cosmetic. /head scratch. I immediately concluded Haki must know this person from school...or somewhere.

As we stepped into the realm of island earshot, my conclusion was swiped; "How does that feel on your face?" The salesclerk was animated as he asked Haki - stroking his own face with his fingers.
Me = baffled. Haki doesn't know this male selling cosmetics. How did this happen? I thought he was better at evasion than this. We're decline-and-walk-on types. Haki is a no-thanks- to-cosmetics-of-all-kinds-type. But here he was, talking to a cold-solicitation dude. Selling cosmetics.

Conclusion two: Christchurch is the twilight zone.

My second conclusion was negated by Haki's response to the enquiry of how the product felt on his face, "Ah...I don't know." This was still my husband - disinterested in skin care and anything he perceived less than "manly," but the question remained - again, how did this happen?

Joining Haki at his side, I sensed it my duty to untangle my poor, unsuspecting husband from the lure that had him bound so that we could make a clean break from this nonsense (how did you fall for this lure anyway, my love? How?) I rehearsed possible interjections that led to excusing our family from this farce, when the salesboy - whom I shall refer to as 'Felithx' - directed his attentions to me. "What do you think? Do you think he should just be using soap on his face?" Aha, you are clever Felix, but you don't have me.

Me: "I think he's an adult that will choose his own skincare regimen and I can't really do anything about it."

Felithx: "But you would rather he didn't use soap?"

Haki: "Thanks, mate. I'm going to stick to my soap."

Me = beaming with pride.

Felithx: "Okay, thank you very much."

I spun on my heels and we headed for the mall's exit. Finally - I could get the skinny on how my crafty consumer spouse had succumbed to a mallshark; "How did that even happen? I mean, why were you talking to him?"

Haki: "Didn't you hear him? That lisp?" [Let us return to Felithx - whose contributing dialogue should be reconsidered thus; How doeths that feel on your fathce? / What do you thsink? Do you thsink he sthould justht be uthsing thsoap on histh fathce? / But you would rathser he didn't usthe thsoap?]

I furrowed my brow, holding back a laugh, Haki continued, "If a puppy dog talked, that's how he would sound. You can't say 'no' to a cute little puppy dog." This final statement was emphatic.

I was still intrigued - okay, so Haki had apparently explained why it wasn't humanly possible to deny Felithx his few moments to attempt to thsell his product...but still, how did this happen? I wanted to know how Haki - in search of his wife and child - had become absorbed into a "sale" bubble long enough to be lisp-wooed.

Me: "How did your conversation start though?"

Haki looked concerned as he turned to explain, "He called out to me - 'Hey, you - you have blackheadsth, yesth?'"

"And what did you say?"


Oh, honey.

And that, my friends, is the tale of one city, in which we encountered something rather unusual - namely, an interesthting man, with a lisp so darn cute you'll hear him out after he has introduced himself by publicly insulting you.

For the record, Haki later probed, "Are they really that bad? Can you see them across a mall? Maybe I should do something." Bless. him. Also, he began washing with a facewash. He has great skin - so for those who don't know him in person, you need not picture a pox-face.

Read Part 2
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