I Feeeeeeeeeel Good!

It looked like we were going to hit the big time this morning, or at least make enough for lunch. The phone started ringing before 9 a.m. with eager beavers combing craigslist for deals: messages were left by two people wanting to come by for a look at our “yard sale.” It’s not really a yard sale, though, since half the stuff is in my underground parking spot and the other half out on the balcony. Anyway, we’re still in the midst of renovations, as well as preparing for a move out of this fine city, and so we’re trying to get rid of as much stuff as possible. One of the items the Twister put up on craigslist is my James Brown statue.

Basically an 18″ vinyl toy that dances and sings “I Feel Good”, it’s come in handy on a number of occasions. It’s great for scaring cats, for instance, and as a seduction aid, that is, if your date is blind and deaf. I don’t know how many James Brown statues there are in the world*, but to me it’s a collector’s item—never mind that I got it for six bucks at a (real) yard sale.

“I couldn’t let it go for less than a hundred,” I told the Twister, who promptly put it on sale for $50.

So this morning I field a call from some dude named Hilden wanting to know all about it. Says he can be over in five minutes, and sure enough, the buzzer’s going off five minutes later. The guy at the door looks serial-killer-ish, I must say—a weathered puffy jacket, long white hair combed back from a balding pate, overweight. I opened the building’s front door to him and put James down, and pressed the button on its base. I wish a neighbour had come through the lobby at that point, to see these two guys on a Saturday morning staring at a one-and-a-half foot James Brown vinyl figure gyrating its hips and swiveiling its head while a recording of “I Feel Good” seemed to come out of its semi-detached mouth.

So I put this song-and-dance (literally) on for this “Hilden” dude and he actually has the nerve to say, “So how much would you come down in price?”

Now, I’m a reasonable man. But this is a James Brown statuette we’re talking about—the Godfather of Soul, vinylized. I realize we’re in the middle of a recession and all, but once all these bailouts kick in and Americans can go into debt again, this thing’s gonna be worth its weight in Apple stock.

“Forty,” I said. “I can’t go any lower.”

We stared at the James Brown statue. “‘Cos I buy for a guy with a store, right,” says Hilden. “I like to bring him something different. Like, I bought this reindeer with a remote, and you can make its mouth move and talk.”

“Yeah,” I say. “Forty bucks.”

Hilden left without buying it. I don’t think he’s going to get back to me.

*The only other dancing/singing statue I’ve ever seen that was anything like it was a similar model, obviously from the same line, but of Ray Charles. Red Robinson, a local celebrity DJ famous for, among other things, introducing Elvis at the King’s first Vancouver appearance, owns it. It was given to him, he told me, by the manager of some game-show host—maybe Bob Barker?—who manufactured them.

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