What We Talk About When We Talk About The Men Who Sell Pixie Stix By The Highway

OK. So there are these men in Kansas City. Well, usually they’re men. And, anyway, they’re always standing at this busy intersection, this one right by my house, just a few blocks away, right down by the highway.

Like literally, By. The. Highway. Like maybe a hundred yards or so. Let’s see. There’s a stoplight. And then an intersection. And then the highway.

And what are they doing? They’re selling Pixie Stix. Yep, fucking Pixie Stix. Those big, plastic ones. Giant fucking Pixie Stix. Now, this is actually not the first time I’ve seen these men in Kansas City. I used to see them down by this busy intersection near the Plaza, right around State Line and Shawnee Mission Parkway. That made no sense, either. There was no convenient place to stop. The intersection was all sorts of busy. And they just stood there, on the medians, hawking pixie sticks. Giant fucking pixie sticks.

Now, in case you didn’t know this…well, you should probably know that it’s been really hot in Kansas City lately. Like really fucking hot. At least 100 degrees everyday. Heat index even worse. We’re talking Baghdad-in-July hot. And here these men are, standing on these medians, selling their packaged sugar. And that’s the thing. I’m not sure I should even use the word “sell”, because I’ve never seen these men actually sell anything.

The reason, I believe, is pretty simple. I mean, it’s pretty dangerous to roll down your window and buy a pixie stick while you’re trying to merge onto the highway.

***

So, I did a little bit of googling to try to make some sense of the men who sell pixie sticks. First off, I guess I should point out that this doesn’t appear to be a Kansas City phenomenon.

According to this, it’s happened in St. Louis, too. And according to this, I’m not the only one who’s absolutely perplexed by it all.

In the past couple days, as I’ve watched the men and their pixie sticks, I’ve developed a few theories. Some are sadder than others. Some are practical. Some are downright depressing. Because, I mean, deep down, don’t we all feel a little worse about humanity when we see somebody standing on a median near a highway, selling a pixie sticks in 100 degree heat?

Perhaps it’s for charity. I have thought of that. And you know what? If that’s the case… fucking awesome. Perhaps it’s for a church, some type of fundraiser. And if that’s the case… well, OK. Cool. Good stuff. And, then, perhaps it’s for the homeless. Or something similar. Maybe they’re just panhandlers that have moved on from sign-holding and went straight into the pixie stick business. If that’s the case… well, fucking awesome.

But still, I just want to roll down my window, yell out to the world, to the men and their sugar, to everyone in the city…

Guys, it’s 108 degrees out. Nobody wants to pour straight sugar down their throat. Maybe you should try lemonade.

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