NEW YORK, NY—Henry Fairbanks has prided himself on making his customers smile before they leave his stall at the Union Square farmers’ market. But this Monday morning, his skill failed him with staggering consistency.
“I know it wasn’t the cold, because I’ve contended with that just fine in the past,” said Fairbanks, as a woman snatched her change out of his hand and walked east mumbling something that sounded like ‘Daft Punk? Really?’ “Maybe it’s just a cumulative effect of all this cold, but they don’t have to stand out here all day like I do, so I really don’t get it.”
Fairbanks has noticed a common look of disappointment in the faces of all of his regulars, who stop by his stall to buy his assortment of baked goods. But since they all bought their normal favorites, Fairbanks could not identify the cause of such widespread ire, even when he asked.
“There’s one guy I set aside all his stuff for so that it doesn’t sell out. So when he came to pick them up, I was hoping for our usual small talk, ‘How’s the kids?’ and all that,” Fairbanks recalled. “Instead, he paid, grabbed his bag, and yelled that some guy named Vince McMahon should have his balls kicked in. Ever heard of him?”
When Fairbanks learned that all of the anger was centered around Sunday night television programming that left most people disappointed, he said, “Well isn’t that just the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. You’d think their oven was broken mid-batch, or the truck they needed in order to make a living wouldn’t start.”
Fairbanks laughed at the explanation as he tended to a customer, but when the customer said, “Go Seahawks!” Fairbanks reached across the pastry table and beat him senseless.