Anyone born after 1965, skip this part, you won’t get it.
It was only a matter of time before she switched gears from the silly and giddy nut-job she was, into a businesswoman. I already knew she was an ‘Amroid’, and she knew I knew, but she still insisted on stalking me. The last time we had this conversation, I’m sure I insulted her, so she’s either forgetful or a glutton for punishment. To prepare herself what was about to come, Darlene smiled and downed her drink. Roxie still relied on the Amway playbook and used what they called the curiosity approach to nab another victim. She was already in her Amway-Zombie trance, and I braced myself for the attack. Darlene clinched my arm, holding on to keep me from beating Roxie to death. I took a long deep breath, then Roxie started the pitch. “John, let me ask you a question.” Away we go as she began her ‘Amwacker’ routine. “John, are you making all the money you want?”
I pondered for a moment. Since I’ve already been through this, I should have prepared a memorized response, but I had to go along, if for no other reason to help build Roxie’s confidence. “Gee Roxie, does anyone make all the money they want? What is it?”
She responded right out of the Amway playbook, “It’s a business opportunity.”
Again, I knew it was Amway, but asked anyway, “Is it Amway?” That always got to them when you asked. They try and maneuver away from the question. I suppose these people took a few tips from me about truth reorganizing.
She continued with a crafty redirection of the truth. “Airway?” Roxie laughed, shrugged it off and said, “No, we don’t build airplanes. I’m the president of a marketing company.”
“So, what’s the name of the marketing company, President Roxie?”
She sat up in the chair and proudly announced, “Roxie Pugh and Associates and our motto is, ‘We Make Dreams Come True’! Let me go to the car and get you a motivation tape.” She got up and ran out of the restaurant as fast as she could.
When she left, Paul made sure she was far enough away and motioned to Darlene and me to get in closer. We leaned across the table as instructed. “That dream of hers makes about four bucks a year. The good news is, she gets to write off her business expenses; it makes the IRS crazy.” Huffing and puffing, Roxie returned, handed me the tape and assured me my life would be changed. “Yeah,” I thought, “and going broke from buying all this shit.” I did my best to move on to another topic, but she was relentless. Those people were like a “dog on a bone” and wouldn’t let up. I promised her I’d listen to the tape, which was another complete lie. The cassettes’ fate awaited at the bottom of the nearest trash can.
“After you finish the tape, I’ll talk to my sponsor and he’ll call you. He’s our pastor, and very successful in the business.”
They never say Amway; it was always “the business.” With all the secrecy and coded language, you’d have thought the mob was in charge. “We should all go to a seminar and rally! I believe they’re having one in San Antonio next month.”
“Roxie, let me ask you a question. How much money does your successful pastor make?”
“Why? Do you need to borrow some?” That was another one of their tricks when asked how much money they make.
Darlene had been silent during most of the sales pitch, suddenly, she got excited about a trip to San Antonio. Didn’t she realize this was a trap? When these people got their hooks in, they never let up. Roxie went over the itinerary. Darlene asked, “You don’t say too much about what the women do.”
“We mostly stay in the shadows and support our husbands; after all, they’re the head of the household, and we’re taught to be submissive.”
Oh shit! I believe I’d made it clear by now how Darlene thought and reacted to things on the subject of freedom. The last comment from Roxie went over like a fart in church. I could tell by the expression on her face what she was thinking. “I’m out,” she replied flatly. Darlene turned her interest switch to the off position. Her involvement in this little chat had ended. Darlene submissive? You’ve got to be kidding? At that point in the conversation, Roxie would have been better off talking to the parrot. I visualized horns sprouting from Darlene’s head, as her venom glands began to swell. She bit her tongue and remained calm. Now came the excuses, and thankfully, the appetizers.
“Roxie, I just remembered something, I’m busy next month. I’ve got a parade to plan, and organize the Shrimp Festival. But John can go.”
Her effort to throw me under the bus failed. “Roxie, I can’t go either. I’m going to be sick next month. Let’s get back to dinner and forget about this whole thing for now.”
Roxie got in one more line. “OK John, but remember, winners win, and losers lose.”
“Do I pick now, or can I think about it for a while?” She wasn’t amused, but I assured her I’d keep it in mind. Roxie, in defeat, stuffed the brochure back into her briefcase, slammed it shut and snatched the tape out of my hand. Roxie was not a big drinker but ordered a beer and a double bourbon chaser.