The phones here at Hopper HQ have been ringing off the hook with people asking when I’d do another installment of wandering around talking about stupid shit. Most of the calls were from some person called Scam Likely. (Note: I deleted a joke I made about “Scam Likely” on one’s caller ID. I realized without context it came across as pretty insulting. For the past couple of years I’ve gotten a lot of calls identified by “Scam Likely” and a robocall in what I think is Chinese. I made the joke thinking most people get those same sorts of calls. But if people don’t get those calls, my joke would sound pretty rude.)

I took the audio equipment with me for a little walk yesterday. You can listen below. But I’m warning you – it’s about 10 minutes of your life that you’re never going to get back. There are no refunds. You can leave complaints in the comments. I don’t promise any replies to complaints.

At the end of that audio I said I’d be back. Turns out that was a lie. I would have segued into a discussion about effective marketing.

I went to the booze shop to get a tallboy of Rainier to go along with some Oma Bap takeout. I get in the socially-distanced line, and a guy has at least 6 bottles of rosé on the counter. He and the cashier are talking about how good it is. The customer turns a bit and points to the conveniently located stand holding bottles of this rosé and says, “Yea, this stuff is really good, and at $7 you can’t beat it.” The cashier boxes up his haul of rosé.

The customer at the other cash register is mid order and says, “One second, gonna grab a bottle of that rosé.” The cashier complimented him on his good taste and decision-making.

I went to the now empty cash register, Mr. Rosé having departed under the weight of inexpensive but allegedly delicious fermented grapes.

“Just the Rainier?”

“Nope. There’s no way I’m not leaving without a bottle of that rosé.”

The customer next to me nodded his approval. “Aww yea, joining the party.”

Now that is effective marketing. It reminds me of one of my favorite stories about my dad in college. He’d pick up some extra cash by working for a liquor distributor. The distributor would give a list of liquor stores that weren’t carrying his brand to my dad. My dad would visit those stores and ask for that brand.

“Sorry, we don’t have that, but we do have…”

“Oh, no thanks. I’ll track down X.”

It also reminds me of a Flintstones episode. (No, I’m not currently watching the Flintstones.) Someone was trying to sell an amusement park to Fred and Barney. Total scam. The owner of the place paid a bunch of people to race to every ride or attraction ahead of Fred and Barney. Fred and Barney figured the place was hugely popular and a goldmine.

I’ve clearly got some natural marketing skills and instincts. Might have to pursue this.

It was the longest walk I’ve taken in a while. I need to remedy that. As I was walking by Cal Anderson Park I heard someone playing the violin. I figured it had to be the Maestro. A Capitol Hill favorite. I like seeing him ride his bike along Broadway in those colorful outfits.

I headed towards the park to see if it was him, even though I swore I was going to avoid that place. It was him. Nice to hear his music.


The Maestro, Cal Anderson Park, May 2020. I always worry I have his name wrong. I’ll double check.

The Maestro, Cal Anderson Park, May 2020. I always worry I have his name wrong. I’ll double check.