The young man in the bright green shirt with its crisp collar and the vividly colored logo on the chest rang the bell and stepped back down off of the porch to wait. He found potential customers considered it less pushy if he created space between himself and their door. He was seconds away from making his decision whether to ring the bell again or move on to the next house when he detected movement.
The door unlocked, several times then there was a pause before the knob turned. The door creaked open just an inch and the young man in the green shirt squinted slightly against the afternoon sun as he tried to determine if he really saw a set of eyes peering out of the barely cracked open door.
“Yes?” came a voice from behind it to confirm his suspicions.
“Good afternoon, sir,” his pitch started instinctively. “I’m with Benson’s Lawn Care and I’m wondering what your plans are for your lawn here this summer.”
The door swung open wider and a man in pajama pants and a white t-shirt stained with what appeared to be a mixture of coffee and mustard stared wide-eyed at him through thick glasses. Even if his sales pitch had not called for him to wait for an answer, the sudden sight would have stopped his train of thought.
“Plans?” asked the man. He stepped one foot out on to the porch and looked up and down the block. “What do you mean plans?” he asked as he did so. “Who says I have plans?”
“Well, sir,” the young man began again, right the ship of his potential sale after the brief interruption, “you seem to have a pretty healthy lawn, but you and I both know that takes a lot of work.”
“Yes,” the homeowner muttered to himself and wrung his hands, “a great deal of work indeed.”
“Benson Lawn Care would like to work with you to keep your lawn healthy. We have a fertilizing plan that would keep your lawn free of weeds and growing strong all summer, guaranteed.” He removed a flyer from the folder he carried, which was also bright green, and held it out to the man on the porch who reluctantly accepted it. “Should you sign up for one of these plans, one of our technicians would come out every other week and apply our patented chemical mixture to promote growth and prevent weeds. The prices are listed right there on the flyer. Do any of those packages look like something you’d be interested in?”
The eyes peering through the thick lenses never met the flyer. They stayed transfixed on his visitor as the hand that held it dropped to his side. Slowly, a smile spread across the man’s face.
“I’m sorry, young man,” the man on the porch spoke, “but you ask what my plans are for my lawn this summer and I actually already have plans. Very big plans and I regret to inform you that those plans are already underway and that I have no need for your services.” When he finished speaking, he grinned a toothy grin at the baffled and now slightly frightened man in the bright green shirt.
“Okaaaaaaay,” the young man collected himself, “well you go ahead and hold on to that flyer. My contact information is on there and should your needs change, please give us a call.”
“Thank you,” the man said an abruptly stepped backward into his home and shut the door in front of him before the young man had a chance to say anything further.
But that was fine by him. He turned to head to the next house, feeling fortunate that the encounter with the strange man was over. As he walked away, he thought he heard a stretching sound behind him. He turned to see what it was and swore the grass on the lawn was an inch higher than it was when he had arrived at the porch.
The young man in the bright green shirt walked slightly faster, straight to his car and made no other stops on that block.