Posts Tagged ‘Craigslist


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.


The Game, revisited

Periodically, my email inbox reminds me of my not-distant-enough past. To wit: emails from self-styled dating gurus, so-called spiritual “leaders” (this means YOU, David Deida!) and invitations to Bikram yoga retreats. For the most part, I chuckle to myself, hit “delete”, and go about my business.

Sometimes, though, I reflect on my time on the periphery of “the community,” as Neil Strauss dubbed it in The Game, and wonder what those dudes are up to, i.e., what new marketing schemes they’ve come up with. I got close enough to a number of the biggest names in “The Game” (and some latecomers) to smell the Drakkar Noir*; Zan Perrion, Dave M., Grant Adams, Brent Smith, Lance Mason… plus I’ve interviewed David Wygant (for this blog, and a column), and (God help me) even tried a couple of Ross Jeffries’ courses. I’m still not convinced any of these guys had more than confidence and a good marketing plan, but more to the point,  the only one I actually liked on a personal level, whom I thought was a good guy, was Zan. Now, I’m not saying a guy has to be likable (and we’re talking subjectively here) to learn from, but to resort to the political red herring: of all of them, who would I want to actually sit down and have a beer with?

For all my investigation (or, as I prefer, “research”) into their techniques, the only one I found to be effective, at least for me, was David Wygant’s, and his advice didn’t consist of much more than motivational talks to give me the balls to go up and talk to people*.

So I guess the question I ask myself, the question I can afford to ask myself now that I’m firmly and happily (gasp!) ensconced in a relationship, is: for all the hundreds, perhaps thousands (I don’t want to think about it!) I spent on phone coaching, Internet correspondence programs, conferences, books and Marc Jacobs cologne, did it help? Did I get even anything approaching my money’s worth? Would the outcome have been any different had I, say, used that money to buy original comic book art or a boat instead?

But maybe a better question is: did I enjoy the journey? I have to say, it was an adventure. I’m sure if I had been in a better place in my life, like Hawaii, I wouldn’t have had to resort to seeking help from total marketers, I mean strangers. I found myself in some exceedingly odd situations though–in a hotel room in San Francisco with top dating gurus/coaches, and the hotel security guard, who came to warn us to keep it down so the Hong Kong flight attendants across the hall could sleep; in Everett, just outside of Seattle, in a hotel room with the sex educator, attending a David Deida conference; at the Cactus Club watching Zan work his magic on the waitress. Also, there were those nights at Celebriteez, hanging with the guys from Lifestyle Transformations, and a couple of tantric sex classes conducted by Tanya… all it all, it was a pretty interesting experience. There were some lessons in human nature, too–you can be a successful dating guru, with money and women at your disposal, and still act like a total putz, at least on your email subscriber list. Not to mention any names, Mr. Speed Seduction.

Anyway, I’ve rambled on enough about this subject. I did learn a lot; I don’t regret a minute of it, only a few hundred dollars. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go sell some stuff on Craigslist. A dog-eared copy of The Game, anyone?

*With apologies to my colleague Michael K., from whom I steal all my Drakkar Noir references.


April 2020

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