I really hate this job.
"Hi! Would you like to try your knowledge of Thanksgiving with our holiday trivia quiz?"
I hate this part of my job. Having to get people walking through the mall to try to pass this stupid trivia test. Actually, I pass the time trying to make sure they don't pass the stupid trivia test. If they get all the answers right, they win one of the prize baskets of a full turkey dinner. I hardly ever give one away. I prefer to see the look on people's faces when they lose than when they win.
It is a stupid, stupid job. As soon as I'm done with my MBA and get a real job, I'll never have to ask a single stupid Thanksgiving trivia question again.
I take break from the stupid questions when I see one really really really good looking guy walking down the mall in my direction. Tall, fit, confident and sexy. Oh so sexy, with his broad shoulders, short haircut, and 'yeah, I know I'm awesome' smile.
Are you a parking ticket? I want to ask him. Because you have 'fine' written allllllll over you.
I am so in luck, and hoping to get luckier, when he seems to deliberately heading in my direction. I make sure all my assets are on display in my stupid elf-in-a-short-skirt costume and wait for him to come within reach.
He's oh-so-almost-near-me when some other guy cuts him off. Some homeless guy or something. They really shouldn't be allowed inside the mall. His hair is long, his clothes are baggy and worn. Really, why doesn't he just go panhandle somewhere else? Where's security? Ugh.
Tall & Sexy agrees with me, I can tell. He gets a sour look on his face and says something to Homeless Guy. I can't hear it, I'm too far away, but I'm sure he agrees with me.
Finally, he shrugs and shakes his head, and finally Homeless Guy just walks away. Finally. And Tall & Sexy makes a beeline for me.
"Hi! Would you like to try our holiday trivia quiz?" I perk at him.
"Naah, I'm not much of a trivia person." He smiles and dimples at me. Oh. My. God. Do that again. "But I am a big fan of Santa's Elves…." And I feel as much as see his eyes counting every stripe on my red and white tights.
"You're cute." I coo at him and make sure again that my assets are visually available. "Are you holiday shopping with your family?" I don't see a ring, but better safe than sorry.
"Me? Naaaah. I'm here with my brother. We're meeting up with a friend, but he's going to be late. So I'm just looking for a little…" Smile. Dimple. "…diversion…"
I'm just about to suggest a few diversions when a smug little brat walks up.
"Can I try your contest?!" He asks, all perky and sure of himself. "I know a lot about Thanksgiving!"
"Oh, I don't know, Sweetie." I say with as much saccharine as I can manage. "It might be too tough for you!"
"Can I try?" The little brat persists. "I know a lot! And Mom said we could really use all that food!"
So he wasn't just a smug brat, he was greedy too. Ugh.
"Okay! Let's give it a try!" I saccharine again, but no way is this smug, greedy brat going to win. I read a question off of my list of 'stolen from the internet' list of questions on my clipboard. "First question! Where does the word, 'turkey' come from?"
"It's a Native American word!" He announces.
"Oh – Sweetie, I'm sorry! No! That's not it! Oooh – I'm so sorry!"
I'm so sorry I had to talk to you.
"Can I try again?" He begs me. Shut up, okay kid? "We could really use the food."
"Oh – Sweetie, I'm sorry! No. Once you get a question wrong, that's it. Oooh – I'm so sorry!"
I'm so sorry I keep having to talk to you.
"Buh-bye." Just to make it sure, I point him away from me, far away from me, I hope. Finally, he scuffs away. Finally. I turn back to Tall & Sexy.
"You could've given him another chance." He says. He sound like he actually believes the little beggar. "It sounded like he could use the food."
"Oh, no. When you do this as much as I have, you get to recognize the con artists. Like that bum who buttonholed, just before. You gave him some money, didn't you?"
I walk my fingers up his arm while I coo that at him.
"Well, yeah. I did." He admits with the most adorable twist of a shamefaced smile.
"That's OK." I tell him. Tall & Sexy is allowed to be gullible and sensitive. Any. Time. He. Wants. "They're good at it. They practice a lot. But I make sure that kind don't get through the quiz."
"Really? How?" He is soooo impressed with me, I can tell.
"I make sure I ask questions nobody can know the answers to. Especially nobody like that."
"Huh. Sounds like you've got it all worked out." He smiles and dimples at me. "So, you think that guy I gave money to wouldn't get your quiz?"
He nods down the mallway where the homeless guy is walking towards us.
"Please. He'd be dead at the first question like that annoying kid was. Watch."
When Homeless Guy is close enough, I saccharine out to him, "Hi! Would you like to try your knowledge of Thanksgiving with our holiday trivia quiz? You win this whole huge basket of food if you correctly answer all the questions!"
He puzzles a look at Tall & Sexy, who only smiles and dimples a nod back to him.
"Uh – well – okay." He agrees.
"Great!" Really, I should be an actress for how well I can sound like I enjoy this. "First question! Where does the word 'turkey' come from?"
He cuts another look to Tall & Sexy like he thinks he's being set up for something.
"From the word, 'tukki'. Hebrew for pheasant. Actually, for 'big bird' or 'wild pheasant'."
He's right. Worse, he answers like he knows he's right.
"Right!" I enthuse. "Good! Next question! What year was Thanksgiving declared a National Holiday?"
"Uh – right! Yes! Good!" Was this jerk a ringer? "Next question! What famous store held the first Thanksgiving Day Parade?!" He'd be sure to say Macy's. Everybody always says –
He sounds bored. He sounds like he doesn't know why I'm asking easy questions.
"Great!" It's getting harder for me to sound perky. "Next question!" I practically grind that out between my teeth.
"How long is this going to take?" He actually has the nerve to ask me. "I gotta meet somebody."
"Only one more!" I manage to sound a little more fake perky because this question is definitely the last. He's not going to get this one.
Tall & Sexy steps in. He looks like he can barely hold in his amusement.
"So, only more question and he wins the whole basket?"
"That's right!" I tell him. Both of them. Because Homeless Guy will not get this question. "Okay! Last one! Why is a male turkey called a 'tom' turkey?"
Homeless Guy blinks and I know I've got him. He opens his mouth to say he doesn't know. I'm seconds away from winning. Again.
"Because Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird and Jefferson wanted the eagle. Jefferson got his way and Franklin was pissed, so he called it 'tom turkey' as an insult to Jefferson."
He says it like it's an obvious answer. Like it's the actual answer.
And – he's right.
He's right and I'm so livid I can't even tell him he's right. I can't speak.
"Is he right?" Tall & Sexy asks. He wants me to say 'no', I know he does. And I want to say that. I'm about to say that when Tall & Sexy pulls my clipboard out of my hand and checks the answers. "He is right! Congratulations!"
Homeless Guy rolls his eyes and gestures back behind himself.
"Can we go now, Dean? Garth called, he's only a block away."
"Yeah, Sam. We can go now."
Tall & Sexy shoots me a scowl and scoops the heavy basket of food off of the table like it weighs nothing.
"Sweetheart, you need to change that attitude before Santa's Reindeer take a poop in your eggnog."
They walk away and Homeless Guy – Sam, I guess the brother – asks, "What're we supposed to do with all that food?"
"I got it covered." Tall & No-Longer-Sexy says. I watch them walk up to the kid who I shot down before. They hand over the basket and walk away.
I really hate this job.