Story Sent in by Barry:
Sandra and I were eating out together on our first date when she pulled out a stack of dollar-sized paper and handed a leaf of it to me. It was a black and white, photocopied dollar bill, though heavily doctored so that in George Washington's stead was a photo of Sandra herself, and it had her number and name all over it, but spelled "$andra."
"Thanks," I said, taking it, "What are these?"
"My business cards," she said, "I made them and printed them up myself."
Sandra's business, by the way, was counter help at a pizza place. She said, "I need them to advertise myself."
"To advertise… what about yourself?"
"What do you mean?"
"Business cards usually indicate that you provide a service. Why would someone who finds one of these want to call you?"
She sneered at me. "What the hell is that supposed to mean, 'why would someone want to call me?'" She then grabbed the one she had given me out of my hands and replaced it in the pile.
Trying to keep her calm, I explained, "You give someone a business card, typically, to advertise a service. A lawyer, an accountant, an auto body shop–"
"And you're saying I'm not as good as they are? That I don't deserve a business card?"
So tempted I was to say yes that I had to drink down a large quantity of water before more carefully phrasing my answer. "What I'm saying is that they provide services. Someone calls an accountant when they want to do their taxes. Someone calls an auto body shop if they need work done on a car. If someone calls you, what will they get?"
She waved her hands at herself and said, "Here I am! Have a problem with it? Why would someone not want to call me? There are a thousand reasons why."
"Okay," I said, agreeing to end the conversation. It really wasn't worth any sort of angst, but she wasn't done:
"If someone needs an extra hand with something, if someone wants to pay me to cook, to clean, to wash their car, their lawn, their dog, anything! Just call! Sandra will be there!"
"Okay, Sandra, I get it."
She huffed and puffed, "I don't think you do! I have… free… there's places, I have… there's free advertising I can do all over this city."
"What are you talking about?"
Around this time, the waitress showed up and we ordered dinner. After she left, I said to Sandra, "Why didn't you give her one of your business cards? Maybe she could have used a hand with... something."
Sandra said, "Eww. A waitress? I'm not wasting one of these on something disgusting."
It was an awkward dinner, to be sure, and I said a hasty goodnight once we were done eating.
Over the next several days, I found Sandra's business cards literally wallpapering my neighborhood. They were taped onto every fire hydrant, telephone pole, streetlight, and tree, in clumps of five or six together at once. I must have seen hundreds of them on my walk to and from work each day.
Then, one day, they were all gone, all at once. I went to work in the morning, and by late afternoon, on my way home, they were all, each and every one, gone. I guess someone grew tired of seeing her and not having any idea why the hell they would call her in the first place.
Story Sent in by Barry: