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.
"THESE FANS ARE SO LOUD!"
"IT'S JUST BLOWING HOT AIR AT ME!"
"HOW MUCH DID IT COST TO MAKE THESE THINGS? LIKE 13 CENTS? LOOK! THIS THING JUST POPPED OFF!"
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.
Jake at the bar: Do you have your fans?
Me: 3 DOLLARS!
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!"
"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.
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."
"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.