Sunday, July 22, 2012

Plenty of bark, no bite

So they have these people on the island that assume prominent positions known as "barker."

It's quite an interesting endevour. You basically sit there and yell at unassuming tourists as they march by in some sort of daze. You can actually feel them try to stay pristine during their clueless saunter, but they are obvious marks walking the plank through downtown Charlotte Amalie.

My friend Blake is one of the best barkers in town and while I stood next to him today, I had trouble trying to hold down my lunch while be harassed and berated random white people and tried his best to get them to walk into this restaurant to have lunch. Pure word-of-mouth action in full effect here.

I stumbled away and drank beers with the Wolverine, who was tending bar about 50 feet away. I couldn't take it anymore. But I eventually came back to watch some more. It was like a car accident drive by, you had to give a gander. You know, the whole process of it.

Making, or trying to make, people do shit they may not have planned for is kind of hilarious. To watch people in those intermediate decision-making moments -- they are always brief -- is kind of hilarious.

My bud, Blake, was out there all day. I'm talking 9 to 5. It was almost too much to stomach.

Blake: "Bro, I make mad money doing this shit."

Me: "Really? I'm befuddled by all of this."

B: "Do you just say, 'befuddled'?"

M: "I did. Indeed, I did."

He later told me that he gets a dollar a head -- barked at or not barked at -- for the lunch shift. It's an air-conditioned place on the water front...OK, I get it. You'll snag a few here and there.

But wow, dude. You really wake up for the day, shower up and report for work everyday to do this shit?

I'm getting nauseated just thinking about it.

When I was younger, my brother and I sold weak-ass fireworks around July 4 in one of those tacky tents on the side of the road. In Virginia, nothing that actually shot in the air was legal so this was a junior-varsity fireworks stand.

But still, I was almost forced to sell, yell, and even bark at passerby's in the Walmart parking lot that we took homage in. It was horrible.

Do they even sell fireworks on St. Thomas? OK. I now have a new game plan...who's ready to listen to a new business venture?

No comments:

Post a Comment