A couple of weeks ago I was cajoled into attending a demonstration by a man selling some medical equipment. It was a magnetic pain relief machine for use in your own home.
I had to go alone because The Man had made other arrangements, as they do, but I felt I couldn’t let the organisers down because often no-one turns up at these events and they had gone to a lot of trouble making nibbles etc., It was held in a basement room attached to a local bar.
It was due to begin at 20.45 but I know from experience that anything Italian never starts on time and I guessed it wouldn’t start until about 21.15
They took your name as you went in and asked, ‘who and where is your husband/wife?’ This was apparently a company regulation, because if you decided to sign up and buy one of these machines then both parties must agree.
Well, the punters were up in arms about this, a selection of comments follow:-
‘What if you are a widow? ‘What if you don’t want to come with your husband?’ ‘What if you are single’ ‘What if you’re gay?’ ‘What if you are widower?’ ‘You are discriminating against all these people, it isn’t right!’
The poor man demonstrating tried to argue his point but in the end gave up. Especially as it was obvious that some people were just saying they were married to each other to be annoying when in fact they were neighbours or had only just met – imagine that, a romance starting at a demonstration for a medical machine.
The poster said, VOGLIO VIVERE SENZA DOLORE? WANT TO LIVE WITHOUT PAIN?
I was beginning to feel a pain in my butt from sitting and waiting for so long in a hard chair for the demonstration to begin. People were still wandering in at 21.30. Eventually, he began. At a quarter to ten! He started to hold forth on the glories of his magnificent machine. I was immediately reminded of a Wild West Medicine Show.
There was NOTHING this machine could not cure.
Doc Holliday, (I rename the demonstrator) was having a bit of trouble getting the crowd to shut up and listen while he told us the benefits of this wondrous apparatus.
‘Please,’ he said,’ I’m trying to talk to you but you are very noisy, please listen to what I have to say.’
‘Hey, you’re in Petritoli now! We’re Petritolesi and we’re a noisy bunch! You’re not in Senigallia now with them posh lot!’ A woman shouted from the back. I thought things were warming up and the evening was getting very interesting.
‘How much does it cost?’ shouted a chap from the back.
‘I’ll tell you that later, first I must explain the workings and benefits.’
Doc Holliday handed out a laminated flyer, which listed at least 100 ailments that could be cured, including impotency. This caused an absolute uproar.
‘Where do you have to put the magnetic pads to cure impotency then?’ said the man on my row. ‘I wouldn’t want to put them anywhere near my coglioni (I’ll leave you to guess the translation). A cry of laughter from the audience went up and Doc Holliday flapped about wringing his hands. He decided the next best course of action was to give up talking and give a demonstration of the ‘cure all machine’.
An audience member was duly chosen. She qualified because she suffered pain everywhere and was willing to give it a go. She sat at the front and he plugged her in.
I don’t know if it was the lateness of the evening, the workings of the contraption or boredom but within ten minutes she was falling asleep as was I so I made my excuses and left.
I never did find out how much the machine cost.