I spent a few hours this weekend at a Health Show in Dublin. Any of you who have read this blog before will know of my interest in all things natural so it is no surprise that I would be hanging out at a show like this on a Saturday. At the moment my interest runs a bit deeper what with looking after Auntie B which is also the reason why I have been missing for as long as I have. But my interest is also for myself as I could do with a bit of an overhaul on the health and fitness front.
Rude Health is great show (www.rudehealth.ie). It has been running for a few years now and is a great way to find new products which are coming into our health shops and good retail food outlets. I love nosing around at it.
As an observer of human behaviour, my favourite hobby, I had a really interesting experience this year. It didn’t change how much fun I had at the show and I am not feeling over sensitive or having a rant. I am sitting writing this with a grin on my face and I have some cool stuff for my writing notebook. So here’s the thing which gave me some amusement.
Mum is a wheelchair user. We are used to people seeing the chair and asking the driver what she wants instead of addressing her. We get a great kick when she answers for herself in a loud clear voice and then the addresser doesn’t know where to put their face. What fascinated us yesterday was the number of people that seemed not to see us trundling up and down the aisles at the show. There is limited walking space so did these eegits think we could magic ourselves straight through the crowd and miraculously appear out the other side of them. Have these people been watching too much Harry Potter? Or are they just so rude and full of self-entitlement that we should struggle out of THEIR way?
Don’t worry; I am a Scorpio after all. I have a voice like a fog horn so I can call out excuse me with a volume that everyone in the vicinity can hear and notice these people not moving and this gives their egos a bit of a dent. Also according to a guy I once worked with, I can adopt a very unique facial expression. It was described as a mixture of boredom and disdain. When the aisle blockers look to see where the voice is coming from they are met with this face and it has the desired effect.
The second funny observation was in relation my own experiences with the exhibitors. This really was hilarious. I’ll be honest I am not the smallest person on the planet. Like all lovers of good chocolate it shows. So I got a great kick out of the exhibitors who didn’t really know what to do with me. It seemed as though I had a bad flu that they were afraid of catching. When I appeared on their stands they didn’t really want to deal with me. One guy in particular stopped mid-sentence to discuss his stuff with another woman. Even when I opted to buy his ware and was standing with a tenner in my hand he kept on to the other woman. I was thrilled when she walked off without buying his stuff and he was stuck with ol’ big ass for a sale. I didn’t have to say anything but my cool calm grin had the desired effect on him.
You see there is no need to make a scene or be indignantly offended. Karma usually takes care of all that for me.
It seems to me that they have their marketing all wrong. I mean the people who are obviously beacons of health are going to buy these products to maintain their health and fitness levels. But if someone of the ‘needing to change’ variety has gone to the trouble of coming to a show on health then surely they are going to want to buy the same stuff to improve their health and fitness too. A no brainer surely.
The best reaction I got all day was from a lovely lady called Lily from www.lilysteashop.com. Not only does she have a lovely range of good quality loose teas ( her white tea with vanilla is fab) she was really cool to talk to. And far from ignoring the obvious she suggested I try her slimming teas. I mean there goes a sensible retailer. It’s a health show. Here’s someone who obviously has a change to make. And she was as I said really cool about it. Hats off to you Lily.
So now I have some really fun ideas for my writing based on the discomfort of the health retailer in dealing with the unhealthy. But the last laugh is on them. When I go to the show next year, all sorted out and healthy we’ll see who wants me to buy their gear and who doesn’t. By then I should have the strength of Shire horse and can carry mum up and over the heads of the planks who refuse to use their brains and make way for a wheelchair.