Friday, September 2, 2011

Life on The Farm 082911: Fair Weather

It always seems that halfway through the summer farmer’s market season tourists passing through City Hall Park start to wear me out.

Last week, one asked how many days “this fair” would be going on.

Granted, market has become increasingly fair-like (Festival of Fools comes to mind) and there was some sort of Jesus-revival thing settling in for the afternoon on the other end of the green.

“This is farmer’s market, Sir, it ends at two.”

I’m fine with the day-trippers so long as they conduct themselves with some propriety: ordinary manners, not allowing their children to jump on the tables – and in return, I listen to their stories about staying at B&B/Farm Adventure-time Experience, and remain calm when someone bites down on a jelly donut and blows raspberry filling all over the carpet.

(We call that rug “Old Stinky,” by the way.)

In short, I consider my booth a private space, into which people are invited to peruse goods, and perhaps purchase them.

So, it irked me when someone settled down in front of my stand to use it as a picnic table. 

Now, I know that a billowing tablecloth is an attractive nuisance, and one can’t help but have indecent thoughts about how very nice it would be to run their sticky fingers against it’s cotton fineness.

But, avoiding eye contact with me because you couldn’t be bothered to take a napkin from a prepared food vendor is an indication you know you’re crossing the Waverly line.

I’ve practiced a scathing Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson facial expression that begs to be applied in these situations.  And icy witty comebacks.  Yes, many, many of those – and there so rarely arises an opportunity to use them in the proper context.

I gave my husband Dan a deflated look when the offender left, and asked him to brush the wheaty aftermath of crumbs away; a bout of hives from my gluten allergy would have have ruined the rest of the day.

At closing time we were dismantling our stand, tablecloths folded and put away, signs down, one of two tables upturned.

I noticed a person standing at the remaining table out of the corner of my eye.  A last minute customer, perhaps? 

The older gentlemen had put his purchases down and was fiddling with a pie in an open box – trying to break the sides down, presumably so it would not shift back and forth, because nobody wants to show up at Nana’s hurricane party with a broken, shattered crust – no matter how tasty the pastry.

He inquired as to how my day went and made light conversation, which acknowledged not only that I existed, but also that he appreciated the opportunity to rearrange his goods in my space before being on his way. 

Okay, I made that last part up, but I figure that’s what he was thinking– and I doubt he was in Vermont for only the one day.  

You can tell the difference, if you’ve been in the trade as long as I have.