Everybody wants to make a buck; some by conventional methods and others with flare. Either way, we all manage to scratch a little pocket change out of the dirt.
Luckily, Americans today still know how to create opportunity for themselves. They understand the saying, "When my boat comes in," refers to personally rowing it to shore and making something out of whatever they find when they get there.
And lean times lend themselves to desperate measures.
So I've got to applaud the ingenuity of a business man, obviously thumbing his nose at animal rights activists, who advertises on his roadside sign, "For Sale, Corn and Orka." What I want to know is whether it's homegrown or imported from Sea World, filleted or chopped, and fresh or frozen.
I also wonder if he's friends with the fellow advertising, on a similar handpainted board, "Peacock Meat."
Some folks just have the gift of persuasion and a handle on savvy sales techniques.
The "Varity Store's" almost illegible hand written billboard looked so unappealing, I pulled over to take a closer look. Peering through the dusty window, I hoped to catch a glimpse of a "varity." From what I could tell, "varities" might be old ladies, tube socks, stuffed animals, pots for catching leaks, or tacky lamps.
When it's not enough to generate inquisitiveness, however, a wise entrepreneur diversifies: "Guns, Live Bait & Bibles ‚" If we don't have what you need, the Lord does." This particular place has a yellow page listing under Right Wing Christian Book Stores.
Sometimes, the key to success lies in the appellation of an enterprise. Take The Bank of Banks, for instance, in where else but Banks County. That's a tough title to prove.
Or consider the Quickie Restaurant down in Albany, and its inspired menu offerings. I bet it's one of those places with walls full of autographed pictures of celebrities who have dined there. Bill Clinton's face, I suspect, smiles unapologetically at customers, along with those of philanderers, I mean fillet eaters, of all persuasions and politics.
Down the street from the Quickie, Loosiers Furniture Mart opens its doors each morning. The marquis doesn't indicate if the name refers to the proprietor or the customers, or both.
Crooks Automotive: What can I say? At least they're honest.
Other capitalists ensure profits by posting their expectations in plain view of the patron. No client of the Pay-or-Go Trailer Park ever claims confusion about the terms of the contract.
Of course, everyone in pursuit of financial reward needs a little nudge now and again. Barrie Dolnick left her senior VP position at a New York firm, knowing she would achieve far more as a voodoo doctor, to write her book, Simple Spells for Success. Now a creepy corporate consultant, she aids clients using tarot cards, astrology charts and incantations, while waving a magical chicken foot.
Her self-help manual even recommends a little black magic for people on the quest for success facing lean times: On a Friday in July, at 7 p.m., arrange a clump of weeds in a mason jar and light a citronella candle. Then, on your wife's heirloom tablecloth, place a pickled pig's foot with a silver dime between the toes. Toss some nuts (ones kin to you work best) around the room, and then sew up the table cloth with orange thread, knotting the ends 60,000 times.
Take three sips of wine. Then take 1,697 sips more. Things will seem better until your wife discovers her tablecloth.
Or, you could get in on the ground floor of the Orka business.