Adventures in Marketing — Weeks 380 -381

Gave a café journal to a retired pediatrician in Carmel, who regularly reads my blog and is intrigued by the characters my “Adventures” bring to my table. And I sold two books.
An “Outlaws, Rebels…” went to a young, pony-tailed, Hispanic physics professor, who knew nothing about underground/alternative cartoonists and wanted to learn. And a “Cheesesteak,” was purchased by a middle-aged, grey-bearded physicist, who had lived in Philadelphia for nine years, some of them near Clark Park, which exists in my memory because (a) the steepness of its hill loomed like Annapurna to seven-year-old boys with sleds and (b) its playing fields were the neutral site for the titanic struggle between my mid-elementary school, post-dinner softball gang, the Osage Indians (I guess we would be the Osage Guardians now) and our arch-rivals from one block west. (We won. I had a lead-off walk, advanced to third on two ground-outs, and was stranded.)

In other news…
Two notable encounters occurred.
One was with a man of about 60, who was on his way to Bandimere Speedway in Colorado for the Mile High Nationals, the largest drag-racing event west of the Mississippi. I was digesting the improbabilty of a life-long drag racing fan following a physicist and molecular (or cellular) biologist to within three-feet of my double espresso, when the fellow to his left shanghaied the conversation through references to fuel mixes, cam shafts, and carburators, and I retreated into memories of James Dean hurtling toward the cliff’s edge in “Rebel Without a Cause.”
The other involved Berne, the photographer-turned-tree-trimmer (See “Adventure 368″), who, in the intervening weeks, had seemed in the process of de-acquisitioning some holdings. He had asked me if I knew any yachtsman who might wish to purchase a pair of waterproof binoculars. I, in fact, knew a sailor on the Bay, and, though no sale resulted, Berne gave me a horseshoe for my trouble. (It now hangs on my study wall next to my Bill Sienkiewicz pen-and-ink.)
This time he wondered if I knew any knife collectors. When I said I might, he laid four on my table and had me take a photo and email them. My friend replied he liked the looks of one, “If it’s not a knock off.” Berne took offense at the suggestion. He wanted $25, and when my friend declined, I bought it. What the hell, I figured. I’d’ve loaned Berne $25 if he’d asked. This way I had a five-ounce steel Kershaw, with four-inch blade.
I could have used an instruction booklet. It took two days and three more conversations to clue me that if I pushed this button… WOW! And then to show me how to close the sucker without jeopardizing my thumb.
Let brigands beware. I am walking with new swagger in my pocket. Of course, my opening inquiry will be, “Do you have a gun?”

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