Thursday, March 19, 2009

Marketing 101

I've two quick things to talk about before next week, so the next few days will seem to be a blur in the normal course of this blog. The first item of interest is a sales pitch that I'd not heard before. I'll mention as a warning to those with ADD: this post has no pictures. Sorry.

I was walking around the city after work yesterday, and I was at the intersection of Broadway and 8th, about to hop on the Uptown R or W train. There's a man standing on the corner with a CD in his hand, and a plastic shopping bag of CD's in his other hand.

Now we're talking blank CD-Rs in a slim jewel case, here. Whatever was recorded on those discs, it was not done on professional equipment. In short, the man was an entrepreneur.

As I was approaching him, he called to people to come and purchase his latest artistic endeavor.

"Hey, buy this" he said.

The woman declined.

"Take a look at this" he said.

A man continued on as though he hadn't heard.

It came my time to get past this man. For the record, I really had no interest in buying this CD. I prepared my New York City stare and was ready to reject his offer. That's when he switched up his marketing tactics.

"Buy this you WHITE BASTARD!"

I broke stride, incredulous.

"Ah, I'm sorry man, I didn't mean that" he said, embarrassed that the frustrations of peddling his wares had gotten the better of him.

"That kind of hurt my feelings." I said, embarrassed that he had seen through my disguise so easily.

"Naw, but seriously," he continued, "You don't listen to reggae music, do you?"

"Honestly? No, I don't." I realized that I was standing in the middle of the crosswalk, and should probably move again soon. What I wouldn't realize until later is that I had just answered his "seriously" question with "honestly." The recognition would haunt me for hours.

"That's all right, have a good one, man." His hand moved in a gesture trapped halfway between a wave and a salute. He seemed resigned to the fact that calling me a white bastard probably wasn't going to sell his CD.

"You too, good luck" I said. My mind was racing to remember why I don't like reggae. Is it because I'm a white bastard? Is it because I don't smoke pot? Because I have a job? These questions clattered around as I cleared the curb and walked down the subway stairs.

And for the rest of that subway ride, I'll be damned if I didn't want one of those CD's.

So, I'm sorry, crazy reggae man. I'll definitely buy one the next time I see you.


White Bastard

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