Every Sunday, downtown Campbell closes to cars and opens to entrepreneurs who masquerade as hippies, and sell organic bread, homegrown fruit and other overpriced earthy fluff.
We’ve been so often we’ve now mastered the routine. Here are the 16 steps you need to win at an American farmer’s market.
1. Engage Bernie Sanders campaigners in an empassioned debate. Tell them you Feel the
Bern. See their eyes light up. Tell them you can’t vote because you’re not a citizen yet. See their eyes narrow. Beat a hasty retreat.
2. Go to the almond stand. Try as many different types as you can. Tell the kids they can’t have any more. Help yourself to another handful.
3. Enjoy fresh, locally grown strawberries. Use the tongs provided as a courtesy. See other people putting their sticky hands in. Tut loudly, shake your head. Then shove your fingers in and do the same.
4. Watch some street musicians entertain the crowd. Push the kids to the front and encourage them to do that cute dance routine. Realize you don’t have any cash on you. Drag kids away.
5. Give granola guy a wide berth. Sorry dude – you’re a nice bloke and all, but no free sample is worth the time I have to spend talking to you about agave oil.
6. Thank the nice lady who gives out such generous helpings of apricots. Stay close to Starbucks – you may be hit by a sudden urge to check out their bathroom.
7. Try a few different flavours from the Houmous Guy. Comment on how good they taste. Don’t buy any.
8. You’re now at the popcorn stand – that smell of freshly popped goodness is your kryptonite. Summon all your will power. Fight the urge to buy. Walk away…
….yes, you did it! Congratulate yourself for resisting temptation. Fistbump a random. Hell, take a selfie to mark the achievement.
9. Make a U-turn and buy a bag the size of your thigh. Delete selfie.
10. Steer the kids away from the balloon guy. Complain to your wife that there’s no place for balloon animals in a farmers market. Say it a bit louder than intended. Walk away quickly before balloon guy can finish the sword he’s making.
11. You’ve reached the knife sharpening stall. Who actually plans ahead, and brings their knives to a market so they can have them sharpened while they shop? Oh wait, there’s someone waiting to be served. Make a mental note of what they look like, in case you need it for a police identity parade some day.
12. The samples are drying up now, and the kids are reaching an 8 on the annoying scale. You’ve got one minute before they break each other’s faces, and two minutes before you publicly disown them. Only one thing to do: buy them corn on the cob. Shut it down. Love your kids again.
13. Proceed to the fruit pie stand. Impress the pretty lady with your razor sharp wit. Ignore the way she rolls her eyes. Make sure your wife doesn’t see you crash and burn.
14. Arrive at the tight end. So-called, because they don’t give out samples on this side. Sneer at the cheap traders.
15. Feel proud of yourself for supporting the local community. You’ve helped small businesses grow. You’re the reason independent traders survive against the corporate giants. Long live the little guy, down with corporations!
16. Stop in at Starbucks and buy a latte.