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 carriemariegold@yahoo.com 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. carriemariegold@yahoo.com? 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 illsellyoumyfan.blogspot.com

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.

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