Thursday, April 7, 2016


Letter “E” is for Entrepreneurs, but not the kind like, oh say, Donald Trump and his ilk. No, these are the street entrepreneurs that pop up just about any old place. All you need is a blue tarp, probably left behind by FEMA, after one of our many hurricanes in 2004, something to drape said blue tarp upon and if you don't have any aluminum tent framing, a bunch of 1x1 sticks duct-taped together, or a 40-foot ladder that you bought from 4 guys one night, MAY work, but you'll have to be damned clever to pull that off, and a spot to set up shop.

This is kind of what our street Entrepreneurs look like, only not as prosperous. They usually have a card table, with a very small selection of crappy CDs, and crappy dresses, maybe. But, they're just starting out.

Usually giving 5 bucks a day to some gas station or one of the festering eye-sores' parking lots, that we refer to as “strip malls” with their mostly-closed stores, or “antique” shops that are mainly picked-over junk from Goodwill boxes that the bums didn't even want will serve as your spot to conduct business.

And boy, howdy, do we have a selection of goodies to tempt even the most jaded shopper. CDs that are a bunch of randomly mixed ghetto hip-hop generated on a Casio, with an electronic drum loop. The lyrics go something like this: “Yo... yo, yo... Bang! Bang!” And we're all excited to hear the dance version that goes on for like, fifty minutes. Most of these CDs are ripped off from some other ripped off CD and are chock-full-o-bugs. So, you can count on having to call your local computer geek (that's ME!) to get your shit fixed, so that you're not always getting that crappy FBI page and nothing else when you boot up your laptop.

I found this on the sidewalk. The entire playable side is totally scratched up, so I never tried to play it, but you gotta love the title. Also, the first time I tried to insert the picture of the CD, it boogered up my blog post, so you gotta know this thing is just chock-full-o-bugs!

The TPD keeps an eye on these budding moguls because they also sell Spice which has been known to have the nasty side-effect of causing the user to eat other people's faces, and they also are supposed to have some sort of license to sell their goods if they are not selling from home. I'm going to take a wild leap here and guess that our budding "The Donalds" don't have homes to sell from. When you talk to them, they often mention that they're opening a new franchise somewhere else, but they are kinda iffy on the details on “the somewhere else” part.

This is pretty much like the Velvet John Wayne picture I saw at the street Entrepreneur's "shop" the day I visited. I'm not sure what period of The Duke's career this is supposed to represent, or if it is a catch-all for all of his many phases; The Quiet Man, The Conqueror (Mongolian Cowboy), True Grit, or the War Wagon. The Duke also seems to be missing his right eye, or maybe the artist got tired and needed a lie-down before completing his masterpiece. We will have to content ourselves with guessing, which also may have been part of the artist's intent.

The ones who have stepped up their game are also selling crappy dresses for 10.00 a pop and God Forbid, painted velvet rugs, ever so classy, somewhere. They offer painted tigers and John Waynes. I haven't seen Elvis in a while, so I guess he was a limited edition. Let me assure you that velvet John Wayne looks nothing like the real John Wayne, nor is he even vaguely humanoid. I had to ask the proprietor, out on the corner of Hillsborough Avenue and Nebraska Avenue if I was looking at early Picasso. He had no clue as to what I was talking about, but he did ask me if I would like to buy some Spice. I said, “Hell no, I'm tripping bad enough on this painting. What or who is this?” He rummaged around and looked at the back of it, “Is John Wayne. Famous American Cowboy!”

I passed on the John Wayne and all the crappy dresses and the horrible CDs. But it's fun to go and see these guys. The following week, his little shop had moved elsewhere. I wish him prosperity and luck with his endeavors, but lose the Spice, dewd. It's dangerous!

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