I haven't been to a show lately, but I remember going to Wanamacher in '08. I'd never seen anything like it.
Panic is a strange thing.
But to the OP. That dealer is just looking to make money, and he's looking for a sucker to enable him to do that. It's just business. Don't take it personally.
"I say, boy, I say, you're doing a lot of choppin', but no chips are flyin'."