Sep 3, 2009

On Selling Space and Finding It

Hyperbole Alert Status If You Live in Swarthmore: ORANGE. If You Live Elsewhere: YELLOW

It started out innocently enough. My friend asked me to help her publish the elementary school's student directory. I like my friend, in fact that's why she's my friend, and I said, "OK." We agreed that I would sell advertising space, because I don't mind calling strangers and asking them for things. It's a skill I developed long ago in my college summers, when I did telephone surveys about toothpaste, soap, and the Yellow Pages. The Yellow Pages survey was on the computer, ooooh. We all loved that one. Except when I asked someone if they had used the Yellow Pages to find a funeral home in the past 30 days, and she started crying.

So I pictured myself knocking on the doors of the businesses in my little town for a couple of days. Everyone would be so glad of the opportunity to support the community that they would whip out their checkbooks with a smile. Even the little shop that sells stale nuts and coffee, the one that gets like one customer a day. Gee, maybe they should advertise locally! She would love me for presenting such a great idea. I assumed that the local business folk would know what kind of ad they wanted and be perfectly capable of emailing me a PDF, which I would forward to the printer with no problems. My boys would love perambulating about the town with me and would be ever so cute, proof that the local elementary school is stellar, producing fine young civic-minded children! I even thought that people would return my phone calls. But--not necessarily, forget it, occasionally, sometimes, and not so much.

So. I wanted to find a place where I could take out some frustration. And the best place I could think of was Dream Kitchen, a musty old place where no one ever goes any more. Here I am standing in a dark dusty corner of it, and I'm going to scream right here, where no one can hear or see me. Right now. "AAAAAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHH!"

That felt good. Really good. Hmmm, now that I think about it, the advertising job actually isn't that bad after all. It's kind of fun. The realtors are really nice and take out full page ads. One is not afraid to gossip a little! Love them! And the guys who run that solar energy place are cute as hell. Go suck an egg, little nut shop!

Well, thank you Dream Kitchen, this has been great. I'll have to come back. Don't change the locks.

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