Sunday, September 18, 2011

Toy Guns, deux.

The store is in place, making quite an impression, many people walking through the store, overheard saying, "this place is so cool!" I have assembled an excellent staff, who are mostly responsible, as I have been mostly chained to this desk pouring myself into orders and packing slips and interviews and emails et al, on less than six hours sleep any night except last night (6.5), the last three weeks, or something like that. I don't really recall, there is so much to remember, and I have stretched myself to some sort of limit.

I'm sitting at the front desk writing, knowing I can return to my house tonight after two nights here, and sleep in. And yet I'm in no hurry to return, as the business we've built is much more comfortable than my house. The only thing I have to return to is my plants, who I miss. I'm hoping Tuesday morning to make wine, with the grapes at my sister's. I might even take the next three mornings off. Though it's a critical time, the partners are leveraged to the hilt, and traffic and sales have been anemic. We thought the Vikings football opener, five blocks away might help. The Vikings were up 17-0 at the half, though the radio announcers made note of how quite the crowd was. Rosie, the General Manager of next door's Maxwell's, stopped by to ask how sales were. He said Maxwell's was slow too. The Vikings seemed to be infected by the mood, losing 24-20.

We've grown increasingly pessimistic about the location we've chosen, and it seems we may have ordered too much merchandise. That, and a critical vendor, Rubies, is considerably late with a delivery of makeup and fake blood, which is critical to our making some kind of profit from this venture. Without that, for the Zombie Pub Crawl, we aren't necessarily sunk, but the hull will have been breached, of this peace pirate ship called Monster Halloween. It's preposterous for me to even care, knowing as I do how bad all of it is for the Earth, except that I'm aware of the financial risk the partners have taken, and there are at least twenty people who are depending upon the income generated, including myself.

So it is, for all of us, as we trend toward that precipice called the changing of everything, or the like, for those in the know. I overheard two elders on the light rail; one, of the so-called greatest generation, the other a clear boomer, the one sounding like a local radio celeb, the other like a politician or a member of the Metropolitan Commission, talking about all the light rail that would be built. I thought, how much light rail there had been in Minneapolis, and how much there could have been, and now the hour is very late.

I checked in an order of fake guns last night. I ordered them, replicas from a Tennessee company called Parris MFG. They take their replica's very seriously, at Parris. They sent us a pair of boxes of matching Confederate and Union hats which we didn't order. I'm not sure what to make of that, or the warning, or advocation, that these toys are, "appropriate for ages 5 and up." As I was entering these items into the system, a song was heard on The Current, with the refrain, "All the other kids better run, run, run, faster than my bullets," a very catchy tune. Last year at this time I was building a monster out of toy AK-47's, M-16's and Uzi's. This year, I'm contemplating Americans using these guns against each other.

I don't want to be. I think instead I'll close up shop and head next door to see if Rosie is working. Or maybe I'll just go home and sleep.


Justin said...

It's preposterous for me to even care, knowing as I do how bad all of it is for the Earth, except that I'm aware of the financial risk the partners have taken, and there are at least twenty people who are depending upon the income generated, including myself.

Absolutely not preposterous, it is important to acknowledge and accept this dichotomy. Once you make the leap to dismissing the anxiety and potential suffering of humans as wholly subordinate to an abstract construct like global health, you begin to accept and envision social engineering types of projects.

Jeff Z said...

Halloween is still a long way away, and I don't think anyone is in the mindset for it yet.

Yes- financial bloodshed and zombie banks- there are plenty of those.

I think that 'consumer confidence' will grow as halloween gets closer. Whatever that may mean.

You do top-notch work, Hunter. I can't wait to see the store. I think we'll take the kids through one of these weekends. We're not big buyers of fake blood but I'm sure we can find something that'll be useful. Maybe a fake Uzi for when Jehovah's Witnesses come knocking.

Glad to see you're keeping up with the blog (and winemaking) despite the craziness.

William Hunter Duncan said...


Thank you for checking in again. I'm not sure what you mean, though. By dichotomy, I take you to mean paradox. And I have never dismissed anyone's anxiety or potential suffering, nor have I ever imagined any social engineering project could ever possibly be successful, unless you believe in the magic of consciousness (which I expect JMG will be alluding to in his next few posts.) By preposterous, I mean very much that just about everything about Halloween merchandise is bad for the Earth. And ultimately, what is bad for the Earth is bad for people. It would be preposterous for me not to say so, though my ability to pay my mortgage depends upon people buying the stuff.

Jeff Z,

I spent the afternoon today making wine. Again, tomorrow morning. Then it's back to fully managing this store, because a lot of people are depending on it. A nice break though, with about eight+ gallons of juice, with only half the vines harvested from. Another six gallons tomorrow - I've never harvested more than six. Showed up to work this evening late, with juice and grape bits still clinging to my forearms and pants. See you soon.