Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Men shopping

I received a comment that my profile photo made me look like a deer in the headlights. Since I've never claimed any sentience higher than a light struck ungulate I will not take offence. Actually it reminded me of men shopping.

It is a rare occurrence when a lone man stumbles alone into Keystone looking for a gift for his partner or mother, the only two gifts that really matter. Luckily men have been such crappy partners for so long that most women's expectations are so low you could glue elbow macaroni on a card in the shape of a heart and they would probably cry tears of joy. The secret of course is that we men cultivate this incompetence in order to keep expectations at an historical low. Really, how could it be possible for a man to have heard absolutely nothing for 15 years and have no knowledge of his partners tastes. It doesn't really matter what you buy your Mom as long as she gets it at the appropriate time with a little mushy emotion. Moms are good like that

This rare opportunity, a man shopping alone, is the retailers chance to test his professional gift selling expertise and move a little dusty product. Often all you have to do is put something in their hands and they are so grateful they just pass over the Amex with a stupid grin. At Keystone we pride ourselves on selecting the perfect gift for a total stranger; oddly we are better at it than the people they love.

Well, a good cliche, one that keeps women from expecting too much from us, must be perpetuated; still, the energy it takes to keep up this level of apathy can wear you out and the result of actually caring might surprise you. I have some lovely handmade jewellery you might find interesting...sir...sir...put down the squirt gun.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The death penalty for shoplifting

I believe in social justice. I believe in an equitable civil society where the needs of all are met without judgement or recrimination. I believe in the death penalty for shoplifting.

Self employment in retail does things to you. Before I created and sold my art at Keystone Quay I would never have considered electrocution as a solution to petty theft. Now, in the darkest days of the winter lull when a sale literally means tonight we eat I can't help these malevolent feelings from bubbling through. I am very fond of old ladies but when one of the old dears bags even the cheapest trinket it's all I can do to not crush their toes with a hammer.

When I finally snap and am writing this blog from a prison cell I hope you will all be kind. My fellow retailers will send me cakes with files inside and post my picture near their cash registers for inspiration. (post as in manually stick an actual photo on a real machine in real time)

In the meantime, for those predisposed to generalization, teenagers are good customers. You have to watch out for the middle aged ladies. A little theft is the only thrill they get.

You hold their arms, I'll take their wallets!

Welcome to blog one.

After reading all the drivel, some very interesting nonetheless, I've decided to blog about the retail trade, specifically flogging future landfill to unsuspecting tourists. I'm standing in the store right now flogging and blogging. The store, Keystone Quay, is located in fabulous Pickle Harbour out here on a rock in the North Atlantic. Here we enjoy tourists although it would make things simpler if they would just stay home and send their Visa cards. I love them though, wide eyed and so struck by this unusual place that they give me money for my art. Sure it's Kraft dinner and homemade wine in the winter time but in the summer I can live in a style unaccustomed, pretending to be important, even talented. It must be the Guinness.

People are vulnerable on vacation and I do my best to respect this vulnerability by offering full disclosure: everything I sell is guaranteed useless, although I paint on wood so you could burn it and stay warm for a little while. I sincerely thank people for saving me from having a job but this does not stop the niggling feeling they all need psychiatric help. I don't think I do unless happiness is a mental illness, which in a crazy world like this it probably is.

That's my intro. Stay tuned