Two friends came to visit for a couple of days. It was hot. So, rather than work, I took ’em on an island tour in the limo we have for just such a purpose.
They were keen to ‘see everything’ and so I slowly went down-island poking into rough tracks, wide trails and driveways – hard to tell the difference sometimes. The main road is a logging road graded semi-smoothish now and then but mostly only one lane wide, rutted, rocky, tilted, hard-scrabbly and off-kilter but still quite passable most of the time if you go slowly and drive the high-side. Do not drive the ruts or you’ll bottom out. You also need 4-wheel drive if you get off the main road (and you’d need 4×4 even on that main road in the winter).
I deviated from the main road down towards the east side community dock. That steep little side-road is about an eight-of-a-mile but is so rough it still takes about ten minutes to cover. We traveled at walking speed tilting and rocking to and fro as we got closer to the beach. In theory, we were hell-and-gone being on a remote island with small boat access only and then going into the middle of it in an old 31 year-old right-hand-drive Estima (the Japanese version of the Previa) van.
Down at the dock there are two small shacks, built in hill-billy style, but quite liveable. I know that because people live in ’em! One couple has a son about 8 years old. He was set up under a tree just where we approached the first dwelling. He had built a lectern-style ‘counter’ from reclaimed off-cuts. It was about 30 inches tall. The kid was about 45 inches tall. Think: a kid’s sidewalk lemonade stand but without the lemonade or the sidewalk.
Good manners suggested we stop and say ‘hello’.
“Yo, dawg! S’up?
“Sorry. Whatcha doing here under a tree in the hot noon-day sun?”
“Selling my cars.”
“Oh, yeah? What cars?”
“My Hot Wheels.” He then stooped down, picked up a cardboard box and showed my passenger his dozen or so Hot Wheels, lifting the ‘monster truck’ from the offering for closer inspection. “Five dollars each.”
“Okay, I’ll take the monster truck.”
“The monster truck is ten.”
“Ten? Will you take five?”
“Yep!” And he held out his hand. Clearly the money had to show before the truck left his collection. My guy paid. The kid was happy. As we were leaving the kid said, “Thank you for your business. Please come again.”
As we drove away, “What are ya gonna do with the monster truck?” I asked.
“I have a 45 year old friend, professional musician. Bit of an artist, too. He builds dioramas in his spare time and they are amazing. He also likes to use toy cars in his scenes. He’ll love this! Imagine finding a kid selling his used cars in the middle of a forest with literally no one around for hundreds of miles?”
“I know. It proves the old adage, tho. Location is everything in the retail game.”