Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy birthday, unhappy German

This week Pauline invites me to run a lunchtime Tupperware stall at the Orpington offices of Southern Gas Networks. It's a bit of a shlep, but direct on the train from London Victoria, and I set up shop in their conference room. I commandeer a handy flip-chart to create this rather rinky-dink sign to bring the punters in. People drift in during their lunch hour, and I take enough orders to generate some decent rewards for Pauline.

I am always interested in what people use Tupperware products for, so I am intrigued when an email arrives this week from Sandra, a professional musician. She is trying to track down some small Tupperware containers. "They are absolutely perfect for soaking oboe or bassoon reeds. My mother bought me 2 dozen about 20 years ago, but over the years i've managed to leave them in nearly every concert hall in the North West and I am down to my last 2!" Tupperware Man has come to the rescue, and although the pots Sandra needs are not in the current catalogue, I have managed to source some for her.

On Sunday, there is a rare home party that I can walk to. Unfortunately it is pouring with rain, and my trolley bag has developed a dodgy wheel, so I have to get the bus anyway. Down the road in Bermondsey, Adam has invited me to run a party as a surprise birthday treat for his partner Chris, who is an avid baker and was thrilled to discover there is a Tupperware consultant in the heighbourhood. Chris is a serious baker. On the table there were home-made Oreo cookies. And he is a great sport when I make him act as my assistant, complete with garish pink patterned apron.

Adam and Chris's airy and immaculate flat is a great setting for a party, and their guests a charming bunch, who buy plenty of Tupperware. I agree to hold the party order open for a week, as they have a few friends who can't attend today, but who would like to order. The boys will end up with a nice set of rewards I think.

I am still doing my best to infiltrate ex-pat communities in London, and have been working on the Germans who are huge fans of Tupperware. I sent emails over the Bank Holiday weekend to several German churches in the region, offering to run a Tupperware party for them, or to hire a stall at any events they are running this summer. One reply arrives this week. It reads in full: "Hallo Andrew! We are not interested."

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