Wednesday, September 22, 2010

some, err f-... all.

and ladies and gentlemen. The summer has come to an end. Yes, it came to an end about 48 weeks ago - but it's over, nonetheless.

i had set a goal - a goal to sell four more fans. and guess what? That very day I sold some. How many, you ask? Well, that'd be four--- wait for it--- teen. FOUR FUCKING TEEN. FOURTEEN MOTHER FUCKING FANS!

i only had 2 clients.

one being my room mate, phoebe, who had been off gallivanting in Canada for the whole summer, leaving me all alone to deal with all of the people who buzz our buzzer and ask if we are the super. i'm still not convinced that phoebe is not the super. there is always a flash of guilt on her face when she replies "wrong apartment" and I found a tool belt underneath her mattress, with her initials engraved on a hammer and a piece of red construction paper with sharpie writing on it that reads "If found - please return to the super, Phoebe."

Butever. Her being gone gave me loads of extra room for my 8.4 drillion unsold fans.

I don't know if she was staring at my blog constantly hitting refresh or what, but pretty much as soon as I hit PUBLISH on that last post, Phoebe asked if she could buy 4 fans.

For those of you who can't find a calculator, that is 12 dollars. That's a meal at Texas Rotisserie OR 4 cans of tennis balls if there's no tax.

Cha ching!

So then that night I went to a birthday party at a bar, no fans in hand, and a friend of mine named Max sat on a couch away from the party.

"What's wrong, slugger?" I asked with a heart of concern and a tone of confusion.
"I'm fine. No nothing."

He slumped in his seat. I knew there was more to this story.

"Now don't lie to Mr. Paul. What's wrong Max?"

His arms crossed tighter. His teeth clenched harder.


And then - with an outburst - socially unacceptable but still probably very therapeutic - he yelled -

"Oh - well buddy - I didn't bring any."
"Everyone else had fans this summer. I didn't even have ONE!"
"Well why not?"
"Did you ask for one?"

He looked at me, saddened but also relieved.
"So what have we learned?"
A stare.

His eyes welled up. A smile across his face. A weight off his shoulders and some air in his lungs. He opened his mouth. He revealed the answer. The answer he knew all along.

"Ask and ye shall receive."

[Max - if you read this - I know this is not at all how this happened - but I just wanted any publishing companies that stumbled across this blog to realize it could be a kids book too. And If I throw in a few more "ye"s, I bet we can get in in the CUSTOMERS WHO LIKED THIS BOOK ALSO PURCHASED list when people do an search for the bible - the best selling book in the world.]

In reality, Max wanted to buy some fans for his nieces and nephews. So what happened? He gave me thirty bucks and requested ten fans. thirty dollars. shall i count that for you?


I went to 34 cause I knew that 4 of them would probably break immediately since I'm a first class pawn shop selling total pieces of grade busted plastic shit.

And then, kids, the adventure came to a close. For 2010, that is. I've got no house in the hamptons. But what I've done is built an excellent foundation for 2011. These three months were used to get people to stop thinking "that dude is fucking nuts" and start thinking - "I could use a fan. where the hell is paul?"

and i've done that.

AND - on top of it all. I broke even.

So for next year, I'm thinking about upgrading. To non shit-grade fans. Something a little more durable. Something a bit more like this.

Cause let's face it. Nothing is more refreshing than a fan blowing right in your face. Right guys?

Thought so.

This is Paul. And I'll sell you my fan. :-)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

i know. ok? i know.

let's call a spade a spade, alright? i haven't sold any more fans since my fantastic night at the party. something happens. something bizarre. on the heels of accomplishment comes a total inability to hit the road again. this is why i shouldnt own an ice cream shop. because as soon as i sell enough ice cream to finish one bin of vanilla, i'd probably close shop and go home for a nap and a naked juice.

also - i'm not taking the blame off of myself in the slightest - but I should just paint a full picture here. It's been rather cool in New York this month. I don't mean like - this is where all the cool shit happens. i mean temperature wise. it's been a bit pleasant - and that's really ruined my market.

though perhaps it was a good warning. everyone asks me what i'm going to sell once the hot wears off. if you believe in opposites, the obvious answer would be to sell personalized mini travel heaters, but a google search for "personal pocket travel heaters" just comes up with a list of recalls - which shouldn't surprise anyone.

but in the meantime - there is supposed to be a heatwave this week. i don't know where. i don't know how. and i don't know when. But I want to sell at least 4 fans this week. A low goal? Yeah right. you try selling just ONE.

I will say - I did wear my I'll Sell You a Fan cutoff shirt to the gym one day this week. I got no weird looks (any weird looks I did get I just attributed to my unique form of exercise that involves dumbbells and hanging upside down on the pull up bar - hello obliques) but I did go buy some food afterwards and the woman who rang me up said "I'll sell you my fan?" then a pause, and then "that's funny." I politely smiled and laughed with her but inside i was thinking - how do YOU know.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

i had so much fan that night

guys -

something's happening. something good. and something weird too.

I'm rehearsing for this show right now called Veritas - it's part of the Fringe Festival at the HERE Arts Center --- and I put a little line about this blog in my bio.

The other day I got to rehearsal and the director, Ryan, asked me what was wrong.

"I was trying to sell one of my fans and all this guy at dollar pizza wanted to do was talk about sharper image. And then he was like - 'you should sell other things too!' - like he was on his way to being the first person ever to think of the concept of a "store." i'm sure if I had let him go for a few more minutes he would have come up with the idea of being located in a 'building' and having 'customers.'"
"You were trying to sell a what?"

Ah yes. The hiccups of being self-centered. Talking about everything in your life as though it's been tweeted and read by everyone you meet.

"Oh - I'm selling these fans for three bucks."
"I'll take one."

I'm almost certain that this cast things I'm bat shit crazy, but - hey - I sold a fan and that's what's important here.

Cut to Friday night --

There was a fundraiser party for the show. In New York, when a bunch of poor people put on a show, they call one of their rich friends and ask them to throw a party for all of their rich friends and charge them at the door, and give the money to the poor show people. Then the poor people buy a bunch of alcohol that rich people would never drink, and charge the rich people what sounds like a lot of money to the poor people but is not that much for the rich people, and then it's all you can drink - but only the poor people drink cause they are poor and sad and are used to drinking the cheap shit and all of the rich people are on coke anyway. So it's basically a party where rich people pay to watch poor people drink. And then the show opens, no one makes any money, and you still have a degree from one of the best schools in the country, though whenever you say that, the school as a collective sort of turns away from you and every one from that school with a real job at the same time mouths the words "I don't know that person."

I arrived at the party with a self-imposed limit of 1 drink and a bag full of 11 fans.

3 drinks later I had sold all 11 fans. That's right kids. All of them.

By chance, by a stroke of fan God luck, the air conditioning in this palatial west village apartment was bronx busted. I couldn't have been happier.

The first fan I sold was to a man named Michael R. Jackson. I usually don't include last names, but the man's name is fucking MICHAEL JACKSON. He was wearing a backpack turned backwards at the party, so I knew the cool factor wouldn't be an issue in his mind when it came to considering the purchase of a pocket fan on a lanyard.

He was talking to an old friend of mine Billy. Billy saw that Michael Jackson had bought a fan, so just like a bunch of screaming fans from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, he just had to have one. He was fan sale number 2.

Then my cast mate Matt, or as I referred to him that night - Mr. Smiley (hello open bar), was doing his best to sell fans for me. I could tell that he was both making fun of me and helping me at the same time, and because in my childhood, whenever my brother or I would fall, one of our parents would say "God did that." I (a) spent a good deal of time angry at God and (b) learn that people that love you can also make fun of you.

So I let Matt sell. And sell he did. Aside from the fact that he kept introducing me as "Kramer", he was pretty good. He introduced me to his two friends - Robb (with two "b"s - I know this because I thought he said his name was Rom and we had one of those awkward introductions where the first person goes "I'm Paul." and the second person goes "I'm Robb." and the first person goes "Rom?" and the second person goes "Robb." And then the first person goes "Rom." and then the second person goes "Robb. R-o-b-b. Robb.") and another friend. After 15 minutes of convincing, they too bought fans.

Then there was this girl - Maria I believe -- who held a fan in her hand, looked at the blog address on the side of the fan, and busted out with
"Wait - this is you?!"
Oh God. Another crazy person. Miss Edie light.
"Yes. This is me. These are my arms. This is my hair. All of this is me. Are you going to buy the fan or not, because -"
"No. that's YOU?!"
"Wait. What? Yes. Why?!"
"I've seen this before!"

Before you get too excited, turns out that she made the website for the show, and the link to the blog in my bio was what was ringing a bell for her. She'd never clicked on it. But she had, in fact, seen those words before.

Then two cast mates - Morgan and Joseph - asked if they could buy a fan. There was a bunch of sweet glory in this. And Morgan really needed one because for reasons only Morgan knows, he was wearing not only a blazer but also a scarf. And it got back to me that he didn't want to take off the scarf because it would ruin the outfit. And then that asshole only gave me two out of the three dollars, and then I blogged about how he wouldn't take off his scarf at a party in the dead of summer with a busted air conditioner because it would "ruin his outfit". Don't fuck with me, people. And hey - Morgan Karr (that's K-A-R-R) - keep your dollar.

Then there was a man named Ian. He was sober because he was a rich person. He bought three fans. The first two he bought for ten dollars each. Why? We still don't know. "We" being any one on earth. Maybe he's just nice? Call it generosity. Call it kindness. But I called it a new shower curtain and a liner cause I had a coupon to Bed Bath and Beyond and my bathroom gets mildewy FAST.

And then there was Carlos. Carlos is a man from a country that offers accents. Carlos took the publicity shots for our show. My favorite moment of the photo shoot was when one of the cast members was standing in the corner of the room and asked if he should be smiling. Carlos, in his A for effort English, said to him "Ok - behind you is a corner and this corner is UH and UH you know? And that - that is exactly what I want."

He ended up smiling.

So there I am - sold out of fans - looking around to take in all of the red fans in use by all of the party goers. They're sharing them. They're loving them. They're thanking these fans for every single burst of fresh house party air. And then - like a movie -

"What the fuck?!"

All of the fans - or at least all of the fan in the room I was in - broke. At the same time. And people. Were. Pissed.

I addressed the evil eye.

"I told you they break!" And I did. Before every sale I'd say - be very careful - they break very easily and there are no returns.

You know what you can get at McDonald's for $3? Like - nothing. Like fucking NOTHING. A Mcflurry. That's it. I think a 4 piece Chicken McNugget costs more than that in New York. So the fact that you paid 3 dollars for a fan that kept you from not looking like a wet mop in a ralph lauren shirt for two hours - that's a pretty fucking good deal.

Ok - but guys - that's not the crazy part. Everything is taking a turn.

This blog is at about 1600 hits for the last month. It's no Perez - and I'm sure it's not even close to the number of daily hits that something like the google search for "How do I tell my mother I'm pregnant" gets - but it's becoming it's own thing - and i'll explain.

My friend Robert (remember? The idiot who advertised how loud the fans were and got wasted when Cuervo the dermatoligist wouldn't buy a fan?) broke change for one of my customers at the party. After he said to someone "He's selling those fans" he turned to me and said "I'm being good, right? I'm helping, right?"

"Yes, Robert. Yes you're helping. Next time I make a cake you can crack the egg all by yourself."

"But are you going to write about this? Are you going to write about how I"m begin good this time?"

Whoa -- wait ---

Morgan: Paul - my batteries are dying.
Paul: You're wearing a fucking scarf.
Morgan: My batteries are still dying - I'm not going to pay you that final dollar.
Paul: You bet your sweet candy ass you're going to pay me that last dollar.
Morgan: I know. I just want you to write about this.

What is going on?

Ryan: Now that I bought this fan are you going to blog about it?
Me: Yeah -
Ryan: Oh good - cause then I can tweet about it.

It's almost like WRITING about someone is an incentive for them to BUY a fan.

This is a lesson.

I need to use this moving forward.

How do I branch that out? How do I write about EVERYONE at ONCE?

Shit just got real.

Friday, August 6, 2010

As told through photos.

The fans after being prepped ---

The fans in use, by Benj, Andrew, and Brian---

What happens when you are irresponsibly swinging a fan --
A man with the right idea but the wrong execution---

An audition I went to where I was the only non-Asian---

Soho - short for sohot

gee pop whizzie bang something is in the air.

"Hey Paul? It's Benj. I'm going to the Soho House to lay by the pool. Wanna come?"
"No. I'm a fucking idiot."


"Yes, Benj. I'll be right there."

The Soho House is a mark of class - so I dug through my IKEA hamper to the bottom of the dirty clothes and found my old navy swimsuit that was still wet from jumping in that puddle in the Bronx and I put that fucker on. I thought - you know what - maybe I should bring some fans. So I packed three fans into my backpack - which was already stuffed with shit, much like a closet owned by a budding hoarder or like Rachel Zoe's husband when he pretends to watch football (did anyone else notice that he was looking through a magazine and that the only football term he was able to yell at the tv was "Miss!"?).

I jumped on the subway -- which is slowly becoming a joke -- like a friend that you're like -- i'll see you in 5 minutes? and they're like - yeah totally - and then they show up 25 minutes later and they're like ok let's go and you want to be like fuck you and do something else but they're your only ride to the Semisonic concert and Closing Time is one of the best songs you've ever heard and you bought your ticket already and you don't want to go home because your parents are fighting so you get in the car and try to maintain a level of anger but somehow being mad has become your fault and then you doubt your right to have negative emotions and you grow up to have some damaged self respect so you spend your life selling fans and waiting for the subway? You know what I mean? Oooo - it's a vicious cycle.

So there we are at 14th street. My friends Benj and Andrew. Standing side by side, Andrew, Benj and I look like those Russian Dolls that hide inside one another. Andrew is petite- and as a 25 year old actor, he often portrays children born post 9/11. He was actually just doing a show in Texas where he was playing a 17 year old, and one day he came to rehearsal and they were like SCRIPT CHANGE, and the only change was that his character was now 13. Benj is normal sized. And then there's me, who hits his head on car ceilings and retrieves things for giraffes when they cant reach it themselves.

So as we Russian Dolled down 14th street, Benj spots some gray hair ahead of us. Benj is the mayor of the West Side and must secretly be a pharmacist cause this guy knows every person over 60. We caught up with his friend - who was a very pleasant old lady and she knew it. Who else responds to "So what's new with you?" with "Well both my cats died, it's almost my birthday, and my life expectancy is 13.4 more years. So I'm getting my apartment painted! I can see you don't read my emails. What's new with YOU?"

As we boiled in the ball sun, we approached the magical doors of the exclusive club with the exclusive roofdeck with the exclusive pool where cool people go when they're hot and hot people go when they're banging someone cool.

The Soho house. Nestled quietly and subtly in the eloquently named Meatpacking District, the Soho house provides a getaway for New York's elite --- and up to three of their poor, drunk friends at a time.

So for affect's sake - picture the three of us entering the lobby - with sunscreen on our noses, Andrew decked out with goggles, a snorkel, and flippers, me shirtless with one of those big tin foil things people use for tanning their face already in place around my neck, and Benj with the ability to share it with both us - happy to be there for his friends.

"Hi Benj!" They say as he enters.
"Hello! Hello there!"
"Are these your friends?"
"Who? These guys who are beaming ear to ear? Ready to escape the testicle heat and be hand fed grapes while rocking on a hammock? Yes these are my friends."
"Great. Welcome."
"We're just going to spend some time by the pool."
"Pool's closed."

Straight out of a sitcom. Apparently they do renovations on the pool once a year, and seeing as it was summer and fourteen frying pans hot outside, I'm guessing the Soho House completes all of their scheduling by throwing darts at a calendar.

We go up anyway. There are about 4 people around the empty hole in the ground and a bar tender who wanted to shoot himself.

And it was hot. Did I mention it was hot.

So we decide - no this is cool - let's bake a little bit - my organs are feeling a little underdone. But that turned out to be a good thing for me.... you see two more of Benj's friends showed up - Brian and Helene - and somewhere - someone had the great thought to ask - Hey Paul - do you have your fans?

Why yes pool-less friends. Yes I do.

And look at that - I have three. I think Helene wanted one but she was too late on grabbing her purse. I had already made the sale PLUS a one dollar tip.

So time goes by, and Benj heads to the bathroom when I hear a mature woman yell "WHERE?!?!"

Benj enters with two women - two classy broads in their 50s I'd say - who want a fan and they want it now.

"You're selling those!?"
"3 bucks!"
"I'll take two!"

Dammit Paul - not again.

"I think I might have one at the bottom of my -"
"NO! It's two or none!"

Ok, lady, I know you made your money SOMEHOW. But that two or none shit is fucking reet.

"Benj! Give her your fan! I'll get you another one!"
And Benj kindly extends his arm.
The she says to Brian "Give me your fan too."

This bitch is sort of a bitch.

"Can't do it."
"Come on."
"Nope. Need it. Sorry."

Hold on a second. Let me get this straight. There I am on the subway, losing sales to WHISTLE MAN on the hottest day of the God Damn year, but here I am at Soho house and there might be a fist fight over these trinkets?

Of course.

People who are used to treating themselves. What have I been thinking. Only a self-hating masochist would live in New York City and go through all of the New York City shit everyday. They'll never buy something to make life easier. They're in it for the pain.

But the rich...

But the rich...

I think I've found my market.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

an update

well, kids. I've sold one more fan. I already knew the person but it was still a sale so get over it.

her name was kate. it still is kate, but it was kate also. i arrived at some place in midtown that was further west than i knew existed, and it was, of course, scorchballs hot out. as i approached, kate yelled "PAUL! Do you have your fans?!"

Now I never told Kate about these fans. That question was a solid product of dot com blog tweet face space. And that gives me hope.

I reached into my backpack and pulled out a fan. I may not be pushing them on people like those fuckers in times square with the gangster rap CDs, or the upper middle class Cornell kids who beg the question "Do you like comedy?", but I keep a few on me.

As a kind gesture, as Kate dug out 3 big ones from her purse, I offered to put the batteries in the fan - which - even after preparing like 20 fans, figuring out how to put the batteries in is an episode of LOST every time.

"How does it work?" she asked.
Stupid Kate. "You hold this button up and-"

Holy shit. The fucking thing exploded in my hand. The blades went fucking flying. The front flew away like a man in Murray Hill the morning after. Little pieces of green plastics grazed the hair of a one miss Kate whose slow motion face was shock surprise delight and sweaty.

I am sure they teach you a BUNCH of things in salesman school - but i doubt there is a chapter on what to do when you're selling a battery fan and it atom bombs on the customer.

"I have another one!"

I didn't want to lose the sale. I quickly produced my second and final fan (for the time being) from my backpack.

"Here! Hold on here! Here's another one! Don't you worry I've got another one!"

Maybe if i keep talking there won't be a pause for her to say "It's cool just give me my money back."

The second one worked much better.

And then you'll never believe what happened. Someone came up to me and said "Are you selling those?"

My new agent Kate chimed "Yep - he's selling these fans. Feel how good." What a champ. Even after the first fan titanic-ed on her face, she was still swooping in to help a friend.

"I'll take one."

Well - that's great. That's what I've been working towards and waiting for and guess fucking what? I don't have one for you. Why? Cause I'm a fucking idiot. I don't have a Brita, Obama pays my rent, I've got two poppables on my face, and these fans are my ticket to a house in East Shampton and I can't pack enough fans to sell because I couldnt' fit anymore in my backpack because apparently it was much more important for me to have Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead in there which - let's face it Paul - it's been in there for 3 years and you're on page 8 - it's not gonna happen.

I didn't say that, though. I said "Ugh - I'm all sold out!"

"You're sold out?"
"Yep. (I have 78 fans at home but I'm going to tell you that I'm) All sold out."

Is it worth it? Maybe those Cornell kids are asking with compassion and concern. They look at my life - at my filteredless water - at my Clearasil Before face - at my fan business - and they can't fathom why I would choose this life - and so they all get together in Times Square, and they pick out corners along my path, they separate, they wait for me, and as I pass them, they look me in the eye and sympathetically ask "Do you like Comedy? Because your life is one big joke."

Send in the crowns.

These are my hounds.

They each weigh two pounds.

They each weigh two pounds.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

2 fans. that's right. 2!

So I did. I went to an alcohol dispensary with my fans. Well here's how it all started.

My friend Jake texted me after reading the last blog entry and asked where I was headed that night.

"To... the bar," I responded. It was this sentence that would have clued anyone in to the fact that I don't go to bars, and to name one off the top of my head would have been completely impressive.

And then this text: "Free Drinks/Food tonight at my friend's bar in West Soho. 7:45-9:15."

Free drinks? Translation: Drunk People. Translation: People who will buy fans. Translation: Money. Translation: Limited Time Reese's McFlurries. Translation: Good idea, Jake.

I packed up my bag of fans and headed down to West Soho with my friend Robert. On the Subway, I made Robert hold a fan as well. I figured if people on the subway saw two people holding fans, there was a much better chance they would not think it was weird. Which may have actually been the case, but we'll never know because Robert, I learned, should never be in charge of selling anything.


Hey - SHUT THE FUCK UP ROBERT. No one is going to be interested in buying one if you yell through the air conditioned underground railroad how horrible the product is. Ass.

We get to the bar, with all of the fans unsold, and we meet Jake. As soon as I walked into the restaurant I knew this was going to be good. Not only were there drunk people, but the air conditioning must have been full on busted because hair gel turned to hair hell in a matter of seconds and the only salt people needed from their margaritas was being produced solely by their upper lip.

Fan. Central.

Jake at the bar: Do you have your fans?
Jake: I'll take one!

And there it was. So natural. So easy. A sale. And not a sale to just anyone. A sale to Jake - Salesman extraordinaire. He could sell cotton to a bunny or a grownup woman to a priest. With him on my team, this was going to be a cinch.

I started off calmly. Just placing a fan on my table and holding one up to my face. There Jake was at the bar showing everyone the fans, talking them up, blowing the air on people. I could read their lips from across the restaurant. "Oh Wow! It really does work! Robert's an idiot and should keep his mouth shut! Everyone should have a fan! Fuck Robert." Seriously impressed, they nodded and smiled. Still more they said - "Ooo. Feels so good. We hate Robert."

Perfect. Jake's at work on these sales - even though i'm not going to give him a dime of the profit. You know what? I'll take a free margarita please.

Beer makes me sad. Wine gives me a headache. Gin makes me warm. Tequila makes me happy.

Mmm - this is good. Make that 2.

Ok so now I'm shit faced. Jake is talking to the same people and they are just mooching off of that fan. Not at all interested in an actual purchase. I finish my Octopus and we leave.

Robert, Jake and I head uptown. A glowing sign. "GELATO ON A STICK." That's not what the sign said - but I was wasted and that's what it should have said cause that's all that they sell there.

I requested a pit stop. We go in, we get some Gelato on a stick which - save your money and just go buy a fucking fudgesicle because everything that cold just tastes like freezer anyway - and there's a group of girls standing around, eating their stick gelato. We go in for the kill.

"It's so hot out, isn't it?"
"Well, we're from Texas."
"Oh my God! Where'd you go to high school?! I'm from Texas!" Shut up, Robert.
"We went to blah blah."
"The blah blah panthers! I went to Stupid. I was a Stupid Idiot."

That wasn't the name of Robert's school, and his mascot was clearly not "The Idiots" but that might as well have been what he was saying because we wanted to sell a fan to these people and he wanted to sign their yearbooks.

"I bet it's always this hot in Texas."

Good save, Jake.

"It is. It's hot there."
"I got this fan cause it was so hot. Feel. Feel how well it works."
"Oh wow. Where'd you get that?"
"Actually - he's selling them."

Jake pointed to me as I drunk gelato smiled and opened my duffel bag to reveal a bunch of fans. And somewhere in those 3 seconds we became creeps to these 4 girls - or - sorry - women (I heard one tell Robert that they were 27 years old - which - "lady" - if that's what your fake ID says you're fucked because that class of '08 sticker on your wallet is very big - and they don't give out Class of '08 stickers when you graduate from doctorate programs.)

The girls sort of clammed up.

"Come on! It's hot out! It's only 3 bucks!"
"We're good!"
"Look! This can be your crazy 'New York' story! You bought a fan in a gelato shop for three dollars from some drunk dude!"

We stood there in silence for a moment as they finished their freezer taste on a stick.

Fan sale fail.

We headed to a bar. I feel like we had another drink before we got to this next bar but I'm not sure. Probably part of this "sell fans to drunk people" plan involves not actually being drunk yourself. But at this point it was too late. My eyes were half shut, my smile was painted on and I was craving buttered toast.

Stumble town.

So I guess a few hours passed and a few drinks as well and we're all sitting at a table and then I remembered the whole point of this was to sell a fan so I turn around and the people right behind us seem like great customers.

"BUY A FAN!" I shout into the oblivious man's face. He was a dermatologist, and after he got over the initial confusion that most people face when I explain what I'm doing, he was uninterested in supporting the arts with his botox money.

And then his friend pulled up this blog on his iPhone. I don't remember his name - when I meet someone I try to say their name over and over again in the conversation so that I don't forget it but the only names I had been saying all night were "Jose" and "Cuervo."

So Jose was reading the blog on his phone and Cuervo the dermatologist was explaining that they have those fans at his office already and I was drunk Gelato yelling the words "3 DOLLARS" over and over again and Jake was fanning himself off and yelling "Come on! Are you serious? It's a steal!" and Robert was being worthless somewhere. Or everywhere.

Jose looked up from his phone.

"I'll buy a fan."

"You will?!?!"

"Yes. But let me tell you - I majored in business and you should really redo your whole business strategy here. What you should really be doing, if you want to sell these fans is--" blah blah blah Jose bought a fan! 3 dollars!

So then I told him to visit the blog and then email me with the business plan cause that actually was probably valuable information but my head was filled with such tequila thoughts that I didn't listen. All I could hear in my head was "Go swimming somewhere! Go buy a dog! Order some chicken tenders!"

We packed up to leave, but as a way to get back at Cuervo for not buying a fan Jake gave some Silly Bands to every person in the bar except Cuervo. And from what I understand, dermatologists love silly bands. So - that was pretty good thinking Jake.

Friday, July 23, 2010

sophomore slump

ok - i know - it's been a few days. don't think that i don't know. i know. but let me just be real with you: i'm scared.

I got such a high from selling that fan- that single fan - that i'm not sure i can handle the impending rejection of hitting the streets again. call it foolish pride. call it a sophomore slump.

there are 3 things worth talking about.

(1) the actual shirt came. the one i ordered. a painful reminder of my grand plans. first of all, it was fucking HUGE. Medium my ass. Medium village, maybe. And "pre-shrunk" - so I'm guessing they put it in the washing machine - and i'm guessing they did it a million times since the printed writing looked like it was the victim of a fucking silly putty ambush.

since i had already put the shirt idea to rest, and i had already ruined a perfectly good hanes-his-way-or-if-you-don't-get-back-in-there-and-clean-the-kitchen-then-you-ain't-my-bitch-no-more v-neck with a makeshift backup, i figured I could try something out with this shirt.

there are these men at the gym that have shirts with no sleeves and no sides. as a member of the academic bowl team starting in the 7th and 8th grade, and a member of the marching band for grades 9-12 (officer, 10-12), never in my life have i had a shirt without sleeves, let alone without sides. but i have matured a bit since my days as a social outcast and may have even developed what generous people would call a bicep. (in comparison to the days of intruder alerts and fire drills, i think i'm fucking ripped, but the people around me have nothing to compare it to. so i stay humble.)

I grabbed a pair of scissors and gave it a shot. Goodbye right sleeve. Goodbye left sleeve. Goodbye fabric down both sides. And hell - why not make it a v-neck since crew necks remind me of priests and priests remind me of bread and gluten is so out right now. And being molested.

Ok - i don't know if the problem was that I did the cutting, or if only certain shirts can become these very exclusives sleeve-less side-less tees (I should stress, I was first chair all four years) - but this shit did not work out. The potato-sack looked like a pillow case turned smock and the shoulders looked like some 1967 sketch of what fashion in the year 2000 would look like. Where was my robot dog and my best friend from Pluto?

And then I remembered, after staring in the mirror with the same grace as one of the old women that model jeans on the 12th hour of the Today show, that it had "I'LL SELL YOU MY FAN" written on it in giant black letters, and that with a sleeve-less side-less tee at the gym, it was sure to be taken as some sort of sexual message. I'm not sure what the message was, but I was just having flashbacks of the 1st-chair-marching-bass-clarinet, academic-bowl-captain who had just applied to be editor of the newspaper standing in Abercrombie and bravely buying the shirt that said "Cunning Linguist" on it because he thought he wrote good lyrics. And then they day that someone explained why they were selling that shirt at Abercrombie, and how he would only turn it inside out and sleep in it from that day forward.

So I took it off. I'm not throwing it away though. Fuck you Robert Peterson. And your fucking Varsity jersey. And your prom crown. Meredith Fisher made out with Seth Franklin on the party bus while you were running in to get her corsage. Bet you didn't know that, did you?

(2) I have left the house with a fan and made subtle attempts at marketing them, but I've already defeated myself in my head and I know it's reading. Yesterday on the subway I held my fan and a man turned to me and said

"ummm -"

and i thought it was about to be another sale, but instead he said -

"my friend is a bus driver and makes $40 an hour."

"oh wow." i said.

then a long silence as I wondered if he was somehow trying to start a conversation in order to buy my fan. but nope. that was it. 3 stops later, we got to 18th street, he told me to have a nice day, and then he penguinwaddled away - right off the train - no fan in hand - no sale made.

actually - i think it's supposed to get very hot today. maybe today. maybe today.

(3) I met my friend Michael for coffee yesterday and he said to me "I was running the other day and I got mad at you cause I thought- How dare Paul think that of me. He's the paranoid one. But I can't think of what it was."

"What? Oh. Sorry?" Is that what I was supposed to say?
"What was it?" He directed inward.
"I don't know - but I haven't sold anymore fans."
"That's what it was! I was thinking - if anyone came up to Paul and tried to sell him a fan, he would think they were trying to kill him and run away."
"And you were mad at me for that thought?"
"Not mad."
"You said "mad."'
"No ---" As if to say "come on."

Then an awkward pause where I wore that face that was like "Yes-huh!" and he wore that face that was like "It's so quiet."

And then-

"I wouldn't think they were trying to kill me!"
"Yes you would," he said. "Or that they were trying to bomb you or rob you or something"

Which - I'll give him that. That could be true. People are crazy!

And then I thought - would I buy a fan from someone myself? If it was 98 degrees, and the humidity was through the roof, would I buy a fan from someone?

And then I remembered ---

One time I was at a bar in the East Village and it was 3 in the morning and I was with a bunch of friends and I was WASTED - we're talking like 2 whole beers here, people - and a garbage truck pulled up outside, collecting the trash bags from the urine ridden street. And as I looked out the window, all my beer eyes could see was the glasses worn by one of the garbage truck workers. They were clear rimmed, and they had lights IN them. Blue and and red lights. and they FLASHED.

"LOOK AT THOSE GLASSES!" I yelled to my friends. They could see how badly I wanted them.

Like Sloth from the Goonies, I launched from my seat and ran out to the street.

Over the 3 AM roar of the garbage truck I yelled to the man "WHERE DID YOU GET THOSE GLASSES?!"

"I sell them!" He yelled back.
In an effort to not jizz everywhere, I contained myself "HOW MUCH!?"

It was like Christmas.


I ran back into the bar and everyone was waiting to hear what I'd found out. "HE SELLS THEM!"

There was a unison gasp.


Every girl reached for her purse. Every boy reached in their pockets. Except my friend Stephen. He's not very giving.

I myself put my hand in my pocket, originally thinking that I had no money- but what's this I feel? What was this magic? Yes. Yes that's right. A 10 dollar bill just waiting there. I wasted no time and ran back outside, waving the ten dollar bill as though he were the Arizona police and these were my papers.

He grabbed a big blue laundry bag from the truck. I gave him the money, and out of the bag he pulled a pair of blinking glasses.

"Do you make these?!"
"Something like that." Which at the time, did not seem like a sketchy response.

I got a quick tutorial, walked back into the bar, and was the happiest man you'd ever seen for a solid 3 minutes before everyone was like - oh fuck it's late I need to go home.

The next morning my room mate and my friend who lives in Queens slash yes you can use our couch woke up around noon and we realized that 10 dollars was in fact NOT a steal for blinking glasses but in stead quite a rip off. I had to make sure to wear them a lot. To get my money's worth.

I know this is a long story and what does this have to do with fans and yadda yadda but here's the translation:

I realized that I am much more willing to buy things when I am drunk.

I'm going to a bar tonight....

Stay tuned....

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I. Sold. A. FAN!!!!

Days on the street: I guess 4-ish?
Fans sold: 1

Firework and lollipops it happened.

I'll give you the full rundown - starting yesterday.

I think in my secret sub-conscience, I had given up a bit. Here I was, offering sight to the blind, and they were not having it. So I was thinking - fuck you then. I'll KEEP my fans and be really cooled off and a little bit dry!

Well - a business lesson. If you don't offer something to someone, they'll want it.

Let's start with Lynette, shall we?

I jump on the subway around 2 PM, sweating balls, but avoiding a total soak down through the use of my illsellyoumyfan fan. I motor through the tourists and the assholes to the one available seat, where I - can you guess? - yes thats right. Where I sit down.

A cute blonde girl, who's either a dancer or a European, is looking my way. She smiles, clearly smiling at the fan. Well I do not smile back. I've lumped her in with all of the people who want a fan but had some freak thing happen to them in their childhood where they won't spend three dollars on themselves. And I'm not going to encourage that.

And then her stare, like the cold or silly bands, spreads instantly. Everyone's looking at my fan. It's like the power had gone out on the train and we've all been stuck on it for 32 hours, and we're all starving, and i try to quietly open a package of saltines. That's what it's like.

So then I think - I should have brought some fucking fans with me besides this one. But then I think - I bet this woman next to me (the one in the smock not the one drooling on her calculator) - I bet if she got a taste of this cold air, she'd want one.

So I act like I'm oscillating the fan, trying to hit every part of my face, but I purposefully turn it way past my face so that the air will hit her. And I do this over and over. And act like I have no idea it's happening.

Then -

"Sorry- where did you get that?"
"This? This fan?" I ask, like an innocent - um - person.
"Well - I'm actually selling them."
"You are?"
"Yes! For $3"
"I really don't have any cash on me but I would love one."

Well you're not getting a free fan out of me, lady.

"Well - umm - " I try to think of a solution. Come home with me? No. That's not it. You can order them online? No! Stupid! Think Paul!
"I have a bunch of friends that would want one. Where did you get it?"
"You know - they actually don't sell them anywhere in New York."
"Are you sure?!"
"Yes! I'm sure!"

I was not sure. I just know that they didnt sell them at Duane Reade on 41st and Broadway on my way to that wedding. I kept going -

"I actually bought them online wholesale to sell them to people here."
"That's so smart!"

Finally. Finally.

"But guess what? No one is buying them!"
"Really? Well -- "

And then she went into a speech. A long speech. Something about iPhones and Singapore and ebay and how she made 7,000 dollars and how you should never post on craigslist because it "rains money on eBay" and then something about a 2 for 1 deal on a hair iron thats a flat iron as well as a curling iron, and then something about paying 10,000 dollars to get access to some wholesale factory. I don't know. Iw as just so excitednervous that someone wanted to buy a fan and I didn't want to fuck it up. Regardless of the fact that she had 0 dollars and nothing cents on her. She kept explaining whatever she was explaining. I'm sure my eyes crossed at some point but she was really happy to be talking about it and I had like 2 more stops before I had to get off the train and I know that you're supposed to "keep the customer happy", so I was doing that.

"Well do you have a business card or something?" She asked.
"No. Umm -- I could text you?"
"OK. That works. Cause I have friends in the Bronx that would want a fan. I know it."
"Great. I'm Paul. What's your name?"
"It's great to meet you Lynette."

And then Lynette gave me her phone number. The following is the text message conversation between Lynette and myself:

Me: Lynette! This is Paul the fan guy. Are you going to be in Manhattan all day?

Lynette: No I just had an interview and I was done but wld luv 2meet w/u about biz ideas I saw a lot of wholesale clothes not sure if its profitable but something. To think about send me your link wld like 2ck it out. My email is hope 2hear from u soon Lynette from the train ;-$

Me: Hey Lynette! Hope your interview went well. I'm actually a writer and less of a salesperson - my site is about my adventures trying to sell these fans. So I wouldn't be too helpful at business ideas! But I'd love to get you and your friends some fans if you want to keep cool this summer! Still interested?

"Lynette": interestin I write and act and I'm tryin to develop something about my experience homeless in NYC comin from an upper middle class background

Me: Bye Lynette.

Ok - the reason her name goes into quotes ("Lynette") is because look at that email address. That is the first, middle, and last name of someone who is not named Lynette. That is the email address of someone named Carrie Marie Gold. [note: that's not the email address she gave me - but it's the same idea - the same stupid idea].

Dreams crushed. Maybe it is all for not. So the next day, which is today, I'm on my way down to TriBeCa. Yes that's right. Another hilarious part of this whole fan thing is that the "wind machines" in my apartment do not at all match air conditioning, so for the past week I have been stealing the couch space of friends that do have it. A house in the hamptons - you are seeming further away.

So I'm headed down to my friend's place in Tribeca for the night - it's humid as all balls - and I'm thinking about "Lynette" and I'm holding a fan up to my face and I hear "Does that thing really cool you off?"

"Yeah, actually."

Don't fuck with me dude. I just had my heart broken by Carrie Marie Gold.

"It's so small."
"You're so small."
"It is. It's so small. But it works. Here. Feel."

I held the fan up to his face.

"Oh my! Wow! Look at that!"

The crosswalk switches to the white man on a stroll.

"How much does something like that cost?"

Don't fuck this up Paul. Unsolicited interest.

"3 bucks. I'm actually selling them."
"You're selling them?"
"Yeah - do you want one?"
"Yeah sure. Do you have one?"

I only had the one in my hand. Then I showed it to him. Right there on it, on the label, it says

He laughed and took out his wallet. As I watched him count the three dollars, it all went into slow motion. No joke. I can play the movie right now in my head.

"Good advertising, man." He said as he handed over the three glorious Washingtons.

I handed him the fan. And that was it. Fuck you, "Lynette." And Miss Edie. And crazy Chase bank man. This is what you call a paying customer.

And I'm what you call a business man.

Not a boy.

A man.

I called my mom and told her.

And now for tomorrow.

Friday, July 9, 2010

I didn't do it today

Ok - I didn't do it today - I was PLANNING on going to the free showing of Wizard of Oz on the Pier in order to sell these fans (right? outdoor events? that's better, right?) but I didn't. Brian Beach wasn't available and I'm housesitting for people have Apple TV and I just wimped out.

But here's the fucked up thing -

Today, I was on the subway - no fans in hand - and the door between cars flung open and what did I see? A man, along the same social lines of Miss Edie and Mr. Pizza Oven from Chase Bank, laughing, smiling, with a wad of cash in one hand, and on the other hand? About 200 whistles. This man was selling WHISTLES. And guess what? They were SELLING. Someone bought one in my car. Happily. They didn't even have to be convinced. A dollar was exchanged and a whistle had been purchased in front of my eyes.

I wanted to hit everyone. Who the fuck needs a WHISTLE in the summer? Am I on another planet?

These are fans. They're FANS!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Yesterday and Miss Edie

Days on the street: 2
Fans sold: 0
Money made: $3

I'm doing something wrong.

Yesterday I woke up and I went outside and I knew that it was supposed to be legit 8 hot cakes outside but it didn't feel that bad.

and then noon came.

hole. eee. balls.

i decided to try something new: the park. I was there the other week and I was sitting with a bunch of people (who I didn't really know that well) and this old asian man walked by with a cart and they all knew what he was up to and they flagged him down. He lifted the sheet on his box to reveal all of this beer, and all of the people bought cups of beer from him for $5 a pop. and i thought - well if people will by liver poison for 5 bucks a cup, surely they'll by a fan for 5 dollars since it'll last you longer.

so yesterday i headed to the park. but this time i called on my far-more-outgoing-than-myself friend, mr. brian beach. he was to meet me at sheep's meadow at 2:45.

On my way there, I held my fan in my right hand, just as planned. I ditched the shirt. This isn't a fashion company. It's a fan boutique, dammit. The first person I passed as I walked out of my front door:

"Now THAT'S keeping cool" he said, as he used his forearm hair hair to dismiss the classroom full of sweat that had gathered on his forehead.

"You want one?" I stopped in my tracks.


And I put a dash there because this is a weird thing that happens in New York. People, who you are inches away from, start to stop the sound of their words if the other person is a stranger. I do it too. Like if I'm at the gym and someone approaches the same machine I do and they say "were you on here?" - something in my vocal chords shift to go to new york un-invasive stranger mode and i go "no- go- go ahead-" but in almost a baby-is-sleeping and also i-can't-really-commit-to-the-last-sound-of-each-word way. it's weird. i can't explain it. i can only illustrate it with dashes. if you still don't get it, call my cell and i'll do it for you.

"Are you sure? I'm selling them."

"No- no-"

So I walked away.


wasting my time.

On my way to the park, everyone - literally everyone i passed - stared at my fan. No one bought one, but they all stared. I guess, to be fair, I didn't offer anyone a fan to buy, so I can't be upset about that, but I still thought SOMEONE would have asked where I got it.

No matter what, all of the eye interest in my fan was a great omen for sales in the park.

Until there wasn't anyone IN the goddam park.

I found Brian a the entrance to Sheep's Meadow. He was permanently shrugging.

"There's no one here."

(A) We should have picked a weekend. (B) We should have picked a day that wasn't under some sort of health advisory. It was balls fucking hot, people.

There were a few people in the park suntanning. No one told them it was cancer day, I guess.

So I ushered Brian into to park where he approached people while holding a fan and said "You look hot. Want a fan?"

It might have been creepy.

Long story short - no one wanted one.

So we went to go get Gatorade. And we sat on a bench at the food emporium in Lincoln Square and soaked in our sweat in misery.

That was until Miss Edie, a woman who I would have labeled as homeless upon first sight, appeared uncomfortably close to my fan, her eyes locked on the prize.

"Yes?" I asked.
"What is that?"
"It's a fan. We're selling fans. You want a fan?" The words just fell out of me, as my hope had already fallen hours before.

"I can't afford a fan. I don't got money, honey. I killed my husband."

Wait, what?

By this point, the murderer was holding my fan up to her face to cool herself off (she didn't know that it wasn't on, but she basked in the "refreshing air" it produced). She then launched into the details of her life. The death of her mother. The fire she survived, The birth of her still born child that somehow made the front page of the newspaper in Blacksville, South Carolina. And all of these things seemed to happen in 1967. Though it wasn't until I commented "What a tough year" that she realized that that all happened around the same time.

She lives on 64th street in a 5 bedroom apartment.

"How much is your rent?" I asked. I don't condone murdering but I love a good piece of real estate.

"How long have you live there"
"46 years"
"Child bring that number to the floor!"
"$250." she said.
"That's not-"
"An I'm getting my kitchen redone!"

Then she talked about her husband cheating on her in 2001 in their brand new house in Miami. Her words became quite unintelligible, but her diction turned crystal clear when she suddenly offered "and that whole house smelled like sex. it was ruined."

Miss Edie, as she told us to call her, was crazy. She had a mind of loops and hoops. Why didn't we leave? Well it was either listen to the rejokeulous tales of the non-grey-gardens Miss Edie, or go back into that heat where no one wanted to buy the brilliant offering of a battery operated personal pocket mini-fan.

Butever. We were selling fans. I guess we were just as crazy as she was.

Brian and I worked up enough courage to leave. I did, however, get my fan back first.

I then went downtown to work on a project, where the kind-souled sister of a good friend of mine happened to be.

"What'd you do today?" she asked.
"I tried to sell these fans."

I took a fan out of my bag and explained my idea to her and the failure it had been reigning on my soul. Then - realizing that this was someone who did not think that I was mentally in line with Miss Edie - I went in for the offer.

"You want to buy one?"
"A fan? No."
"But it's so hot out!"
"It's awful out, I know."
"So buy a fan."
"How much?"
"3 bucks."

She laughed and got her purse. This was it! Walls start with one brick. Twitter starts with one follower. Multi-Millions start with 3 bucks.

We made the hand off. I handed her her brand new fan, she handed me three bucks!

About an hour and a half later, when she thought I wasn't looking, she put the fan back in my bag.

Those were pity bucks. And I got three of them.

But I have another idea. I do have another idea....

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oh no this is not good

Days on the street: 1
Fans sold: 0

Ladies and Gentlemen -

It is legit one balls hundred degrees hot outside, and I have returned home from my first attempt with all 10 fans that I left the house with and about 1500 stares.

So many problems -

1 - the shirt. I thought the shirt was going to be a selling point to the fans. Guess what? The shirt was the God Damn star. It's like if Marcel, who was supposed to make Ross quirky, ended up getting ALL of the laughs and then becoming the sixth friend, and goodbye Ross, and years from now people would be like "which one was Ross again?" and someone would say "he was Marcel's owner." And then they'd nod and say the word "right" twice in a row. Almost everyone I walked by read the shirt - and - mind you - it's not even the real shirt! It's literally a Hanes undershirt with "I'LL SELL YOU MY FAN" written on it in Sharpie. The real one hasn't arrived yet. And hopefully it never does.

2 - the price. it's ok to dream. it's not ok to dream and be an idiot. Laying in bed at night, I'd think - as soon as my fans come, I'll sell them and have some cash. I'll sell them for 3 bucks each. That's reasonable.

Next night:

I can't wait for these fans to come. 3 times 100. that's 300. minus the $150 it cost me to get this operation going. That leaves $150. Hmm... Well 4 times 100. That's $400. So yeah - it's really hot out - you know what - i'll sell them for 4 dollars each and be able to buy myself some groceries with this money. that's good.

Next night:

...and so 15 times 100 is - Holy shit! I'm going to be rich!


I walked into the CHASE bank to get my 2 20s turned into 8 5s and the woman behind the desk looked at my shirt, then looked at the fan in my hand and said "So? How much is it?"

"5 bucks"

The she made a face that can only be described as a poop break up face. The face you'd make if someone broke up with you mid poop push.

I had to say something:

"It's only not worth it to you because you're in here all day and you have air conditioning." I said.

I turned around and in line there was a nice man - a bit disheveled. Just getting by. Going for that grungy look. And he was holding out a clean crisp five dollar bill to me.

I panicked. And then I smiled.

"Do you want one?"


"Do you want a fan?"


"I nodded and looked away."


I should note that I'm typing the syllables closest to the sounds he made.

I had to disassociate. If I was the man with the sharpie shirt talking to the man who happens to be waving money and yelling pizza oven over and over, I knew I'd get grouped into the crazy list and no one would by a fan from me.

Well that might just be what happened. He wouldn't leave me alone. I did my best not to entertain him, but it was a lost cause. I opened the gate. He wasn't a 50 year old hipster - he was just a CRAZY man.

So I walked out of the bank and took the subway to the gym cause I had to get this god damn shirt off.

I got the the gym. The woman who scanned me in instead of saying "hello" just read my shirt out loud to me.

"I'll sell you my fan."

"Do you want one?" I asked. I lifted up my hand to show her my fan - thinking I was about to make my millions.

"Ha! No! But I like your shirt. It's hot."

Yes, I know it's hot. That's why I thought everyone would want a fan.

3. Attention. I forgot that I hate attention. Not in a weird way like when someone looks at me I cry. But close. 4 years of acting school has made me detest when people do things specifically for attention. And even though I know that I'M not wearing that shirt and selling fans for ATTENTION, it sure as hell feels that way when everyone's a-starin'.

4. I have an uninviting face.

So tomorrow I've got a new game plan. Cross your fingers. Pictures to come.

The fans are here.

Returned from the Hamptons to find a ginormous box on my front stoop.

here we go...

if you are reading this blog because this blog address was on a fan that you purchased, scroll to the bottom, read the first post for an explanation, and join the fun by following this blog.

a more detailed account to come soon!

Monday, July 5, 2010


For my 4th of July weekend I am doing a field study of my future life. I'm staying with my friends at my friend's parents summer home in the Hamptons and I am sun tanned, fed, tennised, croqueted, swam, and well rested. We did it all. We took a yacht to lunch. We ate a lobster dinner directly on the beach. We played tennis on their private court. And best of all - I didn't pay for a GOD DAMN THING! (except two scoops of ice cream, but it was worth the $7 [hamptons we DO have to talk about your cost of living if this is going to work out]).

the thing is - it's evident that none of these things actually BRING happiness. Purpose brings the happiness. Motivation and doing what you care about brings you happiness. But money brings you a boat and a boat brings you to a restaurant where a host brings you to a table and a waiter brings you the best fucking salmon you've ever had in your life and then you say "fuck i'm happy" so actually - so i guess yeah - ACTUALLY - in a roundabout way - it can bring you... welll .. let's just say it can bring you SATISFACTION. And freedom. But you've got to do what you love, right?

This is some heavy shit right?

I sound pretty level headed right now what?

Well guess what...

I'm fucking WASTED right now. i've had to right click the spelling on almost every word i've typed.

I don't know what the hell I'm talking about but here's what I know - It's 100 fucking degrees in the city tomorrow and when I get home my fans better be waiting for me right there at my front door because daddy's gonna make a fortune in a heatwave like that.

Friday, July 2, 2010

2 things

One. I just ordered the shirt.

And two - if it continues to stay nice and cool and LIVEABLE in this city, I'm gonna be fuckin pissed cause I just bought 100 fucking personalized battery operated mini-fans. This breeze is bullshit. I'll be outside spraying hairspray into the air. It's you against me, ozone.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hello there, Subscriber.

I'LL SELL YOU MY FAN has a follower!

You're the first! Welcome!

I'd offer you a percentage of my profits as a thank you but that seems a bit dumb on my part, doesn't it?

:-) :-) :-)

This is like when I was waiting to hear back from Cornell and I got an acceptance letter to a community college and my mom baked me a cake. I know it's not a HUGE deal, but it's still great!

Monday, June 28, 2010

And it begins...

Yesterday was my actual birthday. I've had five gatorades in the past 24 hours and zero hangovers thankyouverymuch.

I have no air conditioning in my apartment. There are bars on my windows so the back end of the air conditioner could not and would not be able to fit between the windows and those bars. Deal with it. I have.

So I went to Duane Reade this morning to buy another fan... or I'm sorry... another "wind machine" to kick up the circulation in this motherfucker, and on my way back, a herd of construction workers stared at me like I was a female bombshell in a red dress - or really even just any level of attractive female - they'll stare at anyone, it's amazing. So as I cradled my brand new "wind machine" in my arms and walked past them, fielding their gazes, feeling embarrassed but secretly liking it a little but still being able to complain to all of my friends that these construction workers were sexually harassing me but really just using that as a way to tell my friends that people think I'm pretty and hey let's go get a drink, one of the construction workers yelled out "HEY! WHERE ARE YOU TAKING THAT!?".

They all laughed as they beaded sweat on this 92 degree new york sauna shit show.

"HOME!" I said.

And then it happened. "No. But seriously. Where'd you get that?" They all got silent and stared at me like I was Jesus and I had just gotten back from the magic shop.

I stopped. Which, in New York, if you've lived here for more than 3 minutes the second lesson you learn when a stranger has a question is do not stop. The first is that you can use the bathroom at Starbucks without buying a God Damn thing.

"Duane Reade."
"How much?"
"Huh. Thanks."

I looked at him like I was the dorky kid in school who was always used to getting picked on so he was always on the defense and then you'd say something normal to him like "Hey - Can I borrow a pencil?" and he'd look at you with this suspicious look like you might have just insulted him but he wasn't sure but he didn't want to let you know that he wasn't sure so he just looked confused and then you were like "Harvey. Can. I have. A pencil." and then he'd finally give you one. I squinted. That's what I'm saying. I started walking away and I squinted.

I ran in, plugged in my new wind machine and realized I was on to something big. Something really big.

So I placed my first order. 100 personal mini pocket battery operated hand held fans. These ones aren't customized because it was balls million dollars cheaper to get them plain, so I think I'm going to have a fun little night in with a bottle of red wine and my label maker when the shipment arrives.

This is the beginning of my 26th year.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How This Will Work

It's my birthday!

Not really. It's tomorrow. But the email from my father (a) informed me that he didn't know the date of my birth, and (b) confused me - so all morning whenever something unfavorable happened to me I'd think "Of course this happens to me on my birthday." We're off to a good start.

But here's the deal. My refined goal, is to somehow make these fans and this blog get me a house in the Hamptons. Or even more specifically, a piece of property that Kelly Ben Simon does or would own. I'm not making this goal a short term goal. This is a long term goal. Meaning at least 3 weeks.

This birthday coming up (the real one is tomorrow) is making me think about life. In all fairness, I am pretty much always thinking about life. Why just three weeks ago I was taking a walk in the middle of the day (I do that) and I stopped dead in my tracks on 71st and West End because I realized that thousands and thousands of people had to have sex for me to be alive. Like, thousands. And then I was thinking back to all of my ancestors having sex. In all different places. In all different ways. Some with lanterns. Some really mad at their husbands. Some just in from a hard day on the field, taking a nap and not even knowing they were getting plowed themselves. And then random monkeys too. Before we turned into fur-less tool users.

And then I realized that there's a green box on the corner of every street that thunks every time a street light changes. There really is. You don' even notice it but it's there.

Point being - I know that all multi-millionaires have two things: a blog and twitter. So I got a blog and twitter. And those multi-millionaires have lots of readers and lots of followers. So I need to get those too, if I'm really going to make this house a reality. Right now I have 37 followers on twitter and 0 people subscribed to my blog but thousands of horny catholic ancestors who are counting on me.

These battery operated hand held personal fans are my ticket, I think. I figured I'd take all of my birthday money and buy the first batch of fans, but then I remembered that I was turning 25, not 12, and there is no birthday money anymore. Just emails from people on the wrong day, which are so convincing you get all turned around.

More to come.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Why, Hello.

It's balls hundred degrees hot in New York and I want to be a multi-millionaire. Apparently, to be a multi-millionaire, you have to have a blog. I've never before entertained the idea of having a blog because in my mind, it's ridiculous. Most of my friends blatantly play Scramble on their iPhones while I'm talking to them, filling in my pregnant pauses by not looking up and just stating "I'm listening." - so I think - who gives a shit what some stranger has to say?


Apparently everyone.

After that bullshit film Boring and Boringa about that self-centered woman who left a creepy block of butter at a Julia Child museum was released, I started thinking - this is some bullshit. Nothing happened in that woman's life, and now she has a house in the Hamptons. Which I want. And tons of weird ass shit happens in my life - so - I'm doing it. I can't beat them. I'm joining them. I'm also sweating cause its balls fucking hundred degrees hot in new york.

People often say to me - "you are my favorite online friend." -- which -- there's an array of problems with that sentence. for both of us. but now maybe i can be yours too.

i'll sell you my fan for $5.

Here's the deal. It is impossible to go anywhere in New York City in the summer and look nice. Impossible. No point in trying. You will look like some kind of rat by the time you arrive to where you are going. A dead rat. A drowned rat. A should-i-option-up-i-think-i'm-going-to-option-up-here-i-go-i'm-going-to-option-up-FUCK-i-cracked-i-shouldn't-have-optioned up drunk, sticky, sad rat. Everyone knows this. But that doesn't mean you don't want to look nice.

So as I was waiting for the subway to come yesterday (for those of you who don't live in New York, the subway is an Underground Military Training Program where you learn to steal seats from old ladies and develop the ability to keep a completely unphased face as your neighbor smells like gym crotch smell and that man with that shockingly deep voice pretends to offer fried chicken to homeless people and somehow gets money out of at least 3 idiots.) Anyway- I was waiting for the subway and I realized that everyone looked like shit. And I thought - I wish I had a fan.

Then I remembered that about 3 weeks ago, on my way to a wedding, I stopped into Duane Reade to buy snacks (I get hungry during ceremonies, I don't know why, it might be a sympathy knot in my stomach because these people are usually making a huge mistake, but it feels like hungry so i pack oreos) and I thought "Oh - I"ll pick up one of those personal hand-held battery fans that we used to have growing up that would somehow cut all of our lips at some point." And guess what? Duane Reade didn't have them. And I looked around on the street, and I thought - why does nobody have those?

So waiting for the subway, watching that girl's lipstick become a clown mask, I realized - I could make a million dollars (or at least 20) selling those personal hand held battery fans to everyone in the world. I googled "personal hand held battery fans wholesale" and realized that I could get them to SAY THINGS ON THEM and it would still only be like $1.59 for each fan. But when people are showering in their own sweat like that, they'll cough up $5 immediately. And probably hug me too. Which can be nice.

Then I thought - how am I going to do this. How am I going to sell these customized personal hand held battery operated fans to people without becoming a full on street vendor and learning how to yell at people in Arabic.

The solution: I will carry a bunch of fans in my backpack. I will hold one fan outside of my backpack, in what is known as my right hand. Then, I will wear a basic white t-shirt that says, in black lettering, "I'll sell you my fan for $5."


God. Damn. Genius.

I called my mother to tell her. My mother and I have many things in common, the most obvious being an all-you-can-eat prescription to Xanax. The first thing out of her mouth was - "What if you get mugged?". I could tell she hadn't taken hers today.

So just now in the shower, I was thinking about how Diablo Cody, screenwriter of Juno with a fascinating affinity for adjectives, launched her career by having a blog about being a stripper. And then I thought - that's what I'll put on the fans! My blog address! The first thought was to put the words "Be Nice" on the fans but that's some bullshit cause if I put this blog address on the fans and sell them to the whole world, I could get that house in the Hamptons next to that butter freak millionaire.