You should take today off. No, really. Life is short. Take today off.

My husband and I took a picnic to Central Park yesterday and I marveled at all of the people who hustle in the park to sell: water, Gatorade, Heineken, Corona, or Corona Light. Each vendor has his or her own pitch and his or her own way of transporting their product for sale. Some have regular coolers that you’d see at the beach, some have Red Radio Flyer wagons, and one guy has a milk crate filled with his inventory, which he drags across the lawn.

The guy selling the Coronas noticed the 3 guys next to us were hanging out playing cards and speaking Spanish, so he goes over, asks who’s winning the game and delivers his pitch perfectly in Spanish. Know your audience. They appreciated his tailored approach and each bought a beer. I notice that these guys are now wrapping the beers in newspaper when they give them to the customer. I guess that’s a new take on the tiny brown paper bags that they’d put the beer in, when you bought one at the deli.

Then, we hear loudly, “Freshly made MOJITOS. Mojitos FROM SCRATCH.” This is the best pitch of the day, perhaps because it is so unlikely to succeed. How do you make a mojito from scratch on the Great Lawn?  Like THIS:

He sits, he uses hand-sanitizer first, which I’m usually not a fan of, but in this case, genius. He has fresh mint, fresh limes already cut, one gallon of mojito mix and a jug of Bacardi, housed in two large duffel bags. He’s got his silver cocktail shaker ready.

He starts to prepare my drink, stops and looks down. “I lost my wife on Friday,” he says. I tell him how sorry I am to hear that. He continues, “I guess God needs her more than I…” his voice trails off.  He looks up, “I’m sorry; I got distracted for a second, let me get this drink back on track. Young lady, please sample this drink, does it need a little more mint?  Let me put some more Bacardi in there.” I tell him, “This mojito is perfect, as is.”

“Oh, just one more thing,” he takes out a tiny pink umbrella and places it gently in my drink.

We walk home from the park in silence. I wonder how many more picnics we will have. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Take today off.


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