Among my top ten list of annoying people are those who act like they’re the only ones inhabiting the planet.
On Saturday morning I visited a local farmer’s market with my sister-in-law. Every foodie in the area had the same idea, because it was super crowded and there was also a garlic festival going on. I like garlic, but I refuse to pay $5 for a garlic bulb, no matter how large, organic, locally sourced, gluten-free or dairy-free it is. We wandered around and found a vendor selling decent sized bulbs for $3. Better.
Plus, the vendor’s tent was relatively empty except for one couple who had planted themselves at the counter and were about to take root. You know the type. Fifteen people might be in line behind them, but they’re completely oblivious, immovable and have a million questions.
Silly me, I figured there was only one type of garlic but apparently there are over 600. This couple seemed to be intensely curious about each kind.
“Is this one mild or strong? What kind of dishes would I use it with? Where is it grown? How long does it take to grow?”
Me and my sister-in-law had already picked out the garlic we wanted, thanks to the very informative signs in front of each display, listing the name of the garlic, the potency, and suggestions for use. We stood behind the couple with our exact change in hand and stared at the vendor, who was busy answering all their questions.
His eyes never broke from theirs. He was in heaven, orating on the subject of garlic like he was on stage delivering Hamlet’s soliloquy — all four of them.
More people arrived and lined up behind us.
“What kind of soil do you use to grow it? Do you use fertiliser? What time of day is it picked? Where is your farm? Do you grow anything else?”
Me and my sister-in-law shared an eye roll. It’s a well known fact that a lot of men don’t multi-task well.*
Our garlic vendor was obviously one of them. He couldn’t talk and move his hands at the same time.
Since I’m already old and getting older by the minute, I decided I’d had enough. I moved in beside the couple and shoved $3 in the guy’s face. I rattled my little paper bag to show my one bulb.
He blinked, the spell broken. “What kind?”
“Brusse,” I said as my sister-in-law threw her money at him, too. We weren’t interested in how it was grown or when he picked it.
As we left the tent, I turned around. The counter hogs hadn’t budged.
*According to a 2013 study published by four male U.K. researchers in BMC Psychology, women outperform men when it comes to multi-tasking. The researchers caution against making strong generalisations about an entire gender, and add that more research is needed in this area. Don’t waste your research grant money, fellas. Just ask any woman … they’ll give you all the empirical data you need.