The Man Who Sold Everything


That’s me. I am The Man Who Sells Everything. I expect you’ve heard of me. If you haven’t already, you soon will. I’ll be everywhere – TV, radio, magazines, newspapers. Soon the whole world will have heard of The Man Who Sells Everything. That’s me.

My wife says, strictly speaking, I don’t sell everything, I sell anything.

“The difference is small,” I say. “Imperceptible, invisible to the naked eye.”

“Nevertheless,” she says, “anything isn’t everything, the distinction must be made.”

My wife. What can I say? Lovely woman, but always hung up on the details. No vision, no eye for the big picture.

“People like absolutes,” I tell her, “it’s the unwritten rule of marketing.” It’s true, take my competitors. Seriously now, do you really think that everyone gets a bargain? Everyone? You’ll never buy better? There’s a reason they didn’t go with “There’s an offside chance you might buy better somewhere else,” you know.

Still, I love my wife. “Sure,” I say. “I’ll change it to The Man Who Sells Anything.” I figure it still has a certain ring to it, in a post-modern ambiguous sort of way.

“Though strictly speaking,” my wife says, “you don’t sell Anything. I mean you don’t sell tractors, for example. Or dead kittens, say. Perhaps a more truthful title would be The Man Who Sells an Extensive Array of Goods.”

“All those letters,” I say. “Do you know what that would cost me in signage?”

“Of course,” continues my wife, “even the word Goods is a bit misleading. Considering you just sell carrots, that is.”

Well okay, admittedly, carrots today, but tomorrow, who knows? I have plans, big plans that go way beyond carrots. Start small, but think big, that’s my motto.

“An extensive range of carrots,” I say.

“The Man Who Sells an Extensive Range of Carrots,” says my wife.

“Perhaps just The Man Who Sells Carrots,” I say. “It’s snappier.”

“And strictly speaking, more accurate,” says my wife. “Since you just sell the one type.”

“Assorted sizes,” I remind her.

“The Man Who Sells Assorted Sizes of Carrots,” she says.


“Or perhaps The Man Who Hopes to Sell Carrots? Since, strictly speaking, you haven’t actually sold any yet.”

“The Man Who Sells Carrots,” I say, “and that’s that.”

“Hmmm,” says my wife.

“Strictly speaking,” says my wife, “you’re not really a man though, are you?”

“Now listen here,” I say. “Enough’s enough. The operation was a complete success.”

“Oh yes,” says my wife. “I’m not questioning your masculinity. That wasn’t what I was referring to at all. It’s just that you’re …”

She reaches forward to scratch behind my ear.

“Well let’s face it, you’re a rabbit, aren’t you? Strictly speaking.”

And at that, I turn my back on her, twitch my tail and hop off.


Rebecca Lovell-Smith ran away from her shop in Christchurch (where she attempted to be The Woman Who Sold Everything) to Wellington (where she is attempting to be The Woman Who Writes About Anything). She is currently completing a folio of short fiction for the MA in Creative Writing at Victoria.