When I was growing up, I can remember seeing road-side peddlers selling their goods on the old country roads near where my grandparents lived. I recall my father telling a story about one of those peddlers who would sell or trade his “merchandise” for just about anything. If his clients had no money and nothing to trade, he would offer to take junk of their hands; he would then resell that junk to make a little cash.

At one house not far from where he would sell his junk, there lived a woman who was known to be less than pleasant and who had a stern religion and sour disposition. One day, seeing the woman in her yard, raking leaves, the peddler stopped and offered to “put a little joy into her life” with some of his merchandise. All at bargain prices, of course.

“Not interested!” she snapped.

Refusing to give up quickly, the peddler then said, “Well, do you have any junk I could take off your hands, like old wine bottles?” Outraged by his implication that she was the type of woman who drank, she glared at the old peddler and said, “Do I look like the kid of woman who would drink wine?” Quickly, the peddler replied, “I suppose not. But you are bound to have several empty vinegar bottles around!”


Moral: Disposition often betrays true character.