To start this blog off on the wrong foot, here's a sneak preview of a prequel chapter to "No Hope for Gomez!" Note: this scene takes place 5 years before the events chronicled in NHFG!
Arrived at the antiques store a little before twelve. Had an important errand to run.
“Morning Mr. Porter,” I said, throwing my coat in the general direction of the coat rack. “How’s it going? Are you feeling any better today?”
Mr. Porter shrugged.
My coat landed nicely on the middle peg, as always. I continued toward the counter. “I had a Great Idea this morning!”
“You did?” Mr. Porter nodded thoughtfully. “Well, that’s probably a good thing, then.” He was about to stare out the window, when something occurred to him. “Hey,” he said, “who are the hot babes?”
I was lost for a moment, then I realized he must be referring to the two young ladies on my arms. “These are Christy Turlington and Lacy Chabert,” I told him.
Christy and Lacy said ‘Hi’.
“Pleased to meet you,” Mr. Porter said. He smiled amiably. “I don’t suppose either of you is in the market for antiques?”
“Well, Mr. Porter,” I said, “Christy here is actually a supermodel and Lacy is a movie star. They’re unlikely to be in need of damaged Ikea furniture to pass off as antiques any time in the near future.”
“Fair enough.” Mr. Porter looked for something behind the counter. “So, does this mean you’re taking the day off, or are the girls just going to watch you sweep? There should be some chairs around here somewhere…”
“They’re part of my Great Idea, actually.”
“I was thinking we might attract more customers with the help of some beautiful girls. I realize we don’t have much of a budget, so I went to the airport to see if I couldn’t rustle up some volunteers. At first I’d planned to pick up some exotic looking women from the flight coming in from Brazil, but then I ran into Christy here and decided to up the stakes.”
Christy smiled, seemed about to say something, then just giggled.
“Then I went to check the flights from L.A., and used Christy as bait to get Lacy.”
Lacy rolled her eyes. “Oh, please,” she said. “I picked you up.”
“Either way,” I said, “both Christy and Lacy were kind enough to donate a few hours of their time to help us out.”
“That’s great,” Mr. Porter said. “But what will they do, exactly?”
I had to admit, I hadn’t thought that far ahead. In my experience, most of life’s problems tended to disappear more or less automatically when beautiful women arrived on the scene. I’d never thought to question the exact mechanics of it.
“I could point at the antiques,” Christy offered. She gave us a quick sample, pointing out one of the items that had recently become priceless.
Mr. Porter seemed doubtful. “You just point at them?” He shook his head. “I fail to see what that will accomplish. I’ve been pointing out these antiques to customers for over twenty years, never did me much good.”
Christy smiled brightly. “But I’m a professional,” she said, “I’ve studied for this. I have techniques.”
“Meaning what, exactly?”
“well… I use different angles.”
She gave us another sample. And while she did indeed look stunning, the antiques ended up looking more or less the same.
“Try another angle,” I suggested.
“I don’t know…” Mr. Porter said.
“Look,” Lacy interjected. “It’s very simple. All we need to do is reorder the list of inventory items by absolute descending profit margin and use this as a ranking with which to optimize store layout. This way we can quickly maximize revenue increase while at the same time facilitating interrelated item synergy. Next, we pop Christy outside in a tube top holding the top item.”
Mr. Porter looked at me. “What’s she saying?”
I wasn’t entirely sure. “Thank you for thinking along, Lacy,” I said, “but you’re a little difficult to understand.”
“I have a red tube top!” Christy chirped. Then her face clouded over. “But I also have a blue one. It’s going to be difficult to choose.”
I dug out my cell. “Okay,” I said. “Hold on everybody, I have another idea. Let me just call the Mayor, he’s a personal friend of mine. Maybe he can come over and officially open the store for us. Then Christy and Lacy can hold the ribbon while he cuts it. It’ll be great.”
“But the store is already open,” Mr. Porter complained.
I gestured around. “Really, though, who’s going to know?”