Friday, September 30, 2011
In Praise of Tacky
My dream in weak moments of overwork, looming deadlines and impatient clients? To open a tacky little gift shop in an out of the way place on Cape Cod – emphasis on tacky. That would be the perfect job. Work like crazy for July through August making your windfall and then take the rest of the year off. Perfect job. I’ve thought about this maybe a million times in the past 10 years.
And I think I have a flair for tackiness – a keen sense of what those Midwest tourists are looking for to bring home to Cousin Roy and Aunt Edna. Rubber lobsters, lobster baseball caps, and, get this, plastic lobster back scratchers – with glow in the dark lobster eyes! This last item I really have been thinking about for a long time, and not just thinking mind you, but conducting market research. I’ve got it all worked out. Design a beaut over here in the USA. Tim, my industrial engineering friend, could knock out a winning design in one evening. Then I’d farm out the manufacturing to China, or Bora Bora, or somewhere. If I wanted to ride this new Made in America trend (probably popular with those Midwesterners), I’m sure I could keep production here and find some plastics firm in Poughkeepsie or somewhere. Details. I was expounding excitedly on my plan to AVI the other day, but he was barely listening. “I think this could be big, AVI. Maybe go franchise on these tacky gift shops. Coast to coast on the lobster theme. I could end up as a big business typhoon!” I gushed. “Tycoon” AVI corrected. “Yeah, that too.” Now I was the one barely paying attention, fixated on my perfect future.