9:35 AM

Saturday. Inching along, I’m hugging the bumper of the same pickup truck for 30 minutes. The slowdown behind Mr. Super Duty started at 9:05. That’s when I took his spot at the back of the line. Now, with 14 cars in my rear-view mirror, I’m seeing progress. Smile. Turn up the music. Select recycled air. Should’ve done that earlier.

I’m in line this morning, but the idea germinated last night. We were munching on burgers, brats, and a 7-layer “have-to-have-that-recipe” salad. Already a profitable evening. Then Bill shared the big news: “The Dixon melons (aptly named after the town) will be in the Applebee’s parking lot tomorrow morning at nine. Text from my son.” “Cool, thanks for the tip.” “Yeah, drive-through only. It’s a Covid thing…so they don’t have to deal with contact-tracing.” “With the farmers market shut down, everybody has to find a corner somewhere.”

9:40 AM

Across the lot, a mirrored formation of cars and pickups advances with our line in a corona-created tango, pulsing to the distribution point. I’m on deck. Mr. Super Duty lives up to his name. He’s buying for friends. I count 21 cantaloupes and 5 watermelons.

9:43 AM

Hurrah! I roll into place, stop, pull up my mask, and power down my window. “4 cantaloupes (my father-in-law will like some) and one watermelon, please. First week in town?” “Yes sir.” “Great, looks like everyone heard.” For the next two Saturdays, I’ll fill my Saturday morning dance card with Dixon melons.

Roy H. Williams says, “Advertising is a tax we pay for not being remarkable.” Dixon melons are sliced into juicy, axiom-proving-bites. Besides their remarkable taste, Dixon melons are available only for a limited time in small quantities. Economics 101: high demand with low supply makes brisk business.

A remarkable product (and service) roots itself in memory. This Saturday sojourn was sown summers ago when I first tasted Dixon melons. I welcome them back every summer. My hope is that the truck will return next summer to its spot at the farmers market. I’ll queue up with fellow melon-questers, munching on fresh-cut samples and harvesting a week’s worth of remarkable.

You may not be selling tasty cantaloupes, but you can strive to be remarkable. As you become remarkable, your advertising “tax” will begin shrinking. Someday, a text may be all it takes.