Get you to stop your can and get out and walk. So you can park a block away, no sweat. Because there is no way you can see the Corridor when you’re driving. You might find the place that you’re looking for if that’s what you’ve a mind for. But, ala the great Rumsfeld, you don’t know what you don’t know you don’t know. And the shopkeeper that keeps a light on for the ones that are looking for him and forgets about the one visiting his neighbor, well, that is a fine opportunity missed. That’s when the gentle citizen would find most welcome some small discovery…
Because that’s another problem: once you know something or seen something, it’s tough to unlearn that. The person that learned you have nothing to offer, she now knows you have nothing to offer, and she has other things to do. How are you going to surprise that person? And that person who might just like to peek in and see just what the hell is in there? What kind of smile or greeting will she get? Will the shopkeeper look up and say “Hi! how are you?” and be glad for that person to be there? Or will it be the cold assessment, is this a customer? Am I going to get annoyed? I have to watch this person walk around my store and everybody steals! Or breaks something, or moves something and doesn’t put it back.
The sidewalks of the Corridor are the public spaces of the United States. Lots of stuff going on, always a bit of a free for all: it’s a free country, remember? That’s what we demanded.b And unless you’re out way late and into something you shouldn’t be into, here on the Corridor, you are as safe as anywhere on the planet. And the stores: they are extra special. They are watched and cleaned and managed and everyone absolutely behaves and always always always: money talks! If you have money, you’re the man. You don’t have to have a lot, and what’s nice on the Corridor, you don’t need a lot! You buy something, something small, most anything, you have bought yourself a transaction, a conversation, you have become THE paying customer, you have added real money to that store, no laugh, and all we can wish for is more of you, and we way look forward to seeing you the next time.
You watch. You watch how it is when you go into places you’ve been before, and you watch when you go into a new place and say “hi” and you get something small maybe even you don’t need anything but hey, you’re in the mans store and surely the man has something you want… gum? a paper? ah, you did need a new toothbrush or a pen, and have a quick schmooze and you’re the man! And your money talks! And that person at the counter: they know you’ve got the power and you’re sharing it! And you’ve told the man at the store, he’s got the goods you want and you’ve come into his place, his guest, under his protection, and you are going to give him money for the things he’s got. And you do that. Complete. Perfect. Looking forward to the next time. And you’re not even back to your car get… maybe you’ll go for a double today. You’re the man! He’s the man!
I tell you, it just does not get any better than that! (to be cont)