Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wolf Dung-a short part of the book I'm working on

“Do you want some healthy chocolates?”

Of course the answer was yes! I was standing next to our counter and a giant was leaning over me. Norman was at least 6’6”, his silver hair and beard framing his face. He was big. An ex-Olympic archery coach. We had met him through Sergei the young Russian who kept coming in to our shop with bizarre proposals to help make our shop even weirder than it already was. We realized that we had been seeing his mini-van around town too. It's hard to miss a Dodge Caravan with a massive drum tied to the roof. Norman was also a drum maker.

So healthy it's all you need to eat!

 I had first seen Norm as he was navigating our hall while it was packed with Twilighters and I was busy taking pictures. He had watched the goings on and disappeared like a phantom until it had quieted down. He came back with Sergei and we learned that he was in town for awhile and was interested in getting into the Twilight business. His angle was the wolves.

 He thought the market for their fans was still untapped. It was true, they were just as popular as the vampires in Twilight, but the town was not doing much to make those fans happy. As for the Quileutte tribe, they had not really gotten into the merchandise thing, so it was a great opportunity to make some cash. I was interested in hearing what he had to say.

Norman was right about the fact that the wolf market was being largely ignored, but his ideas about capturing it left something to be desired. He was an artist, musician,  archery instructor, and vendor of healthy chocolates but based on the conversation we had, I think his marketing skills were somewhat limited. Lucky for me he had no idea and was eager to share his ideas! 

“If you climb way up to the top of the Doug firs, the needles are soft and green and they are at their most fragrant stage.”

Sergei was smiling from the chair while Norman explained his idea. It was clear they had been talking about it before they came by.

“So you climb up and you pick the needles, and you make a perfume out of it!”

Normans eyes were gleaming as he spoke in a soft baritone voice which conveyed his seriousness.

“We’ll make a fragrance line out of it, and we will call it ‘Wolf Dung!’ that way all the fans of the werewolves will want it!”

Not feeling up to explaining the marketing disaster which awaited the future makers of “Wolf Dung” perfume, I hinted that it may have to get FDA approved. Norman assured me that since it was natural you would not have to do that. I managed to move the subject along before I was offered the opportunity to get involved with the Wolf Dung project. Though it tempted me greatly to become involved in the coolest failed business ever, I was somehow able to avoid inking a deal with Stormin' Norman. It may be one of the great regrets of my life.

I'm all slathered up in Wolf Dung and just ate 53 healthy chocolates. Not that you can tell from the picture.
 Norman hung around Forks for a couple weeks, being awesome, huge and mysterious. It was easy to spot him driving around because the drums were probably 4 feet in diameter. Most of our time together was spent talking, he liked to drop by the shop when we weren't busy. Norman liked to tell us about the sound systems he had installed in various stadiums and he always came well stocked with healthy chocolates. I wish I had asked him more about the archery coaching but I am simply glad we were able to meet.

It was heartening to hear that big Norman liked the way I was doing my business. He said it was good that I made sure that the kids were comfortable, and also looked over at the parents to make sure they were happy. Most people don't take the time to consider the potential problems that could happen when your entire business is posing with strangers who view you as a sex symbol and celebrity, that someone was paying attention was great, plus WOLF DUNG!

Normans van was parked out back with the drum on top a couple weeks later. We all had a smoke and I told him about an available store front. Sergei and Norm were being pretty mysterious about why they were looking, but it was a fun game to play trying to pick Normans brain. He had an enormous head so I assume he had a brain to match, so long as he was not naming fragrance lines. We shook hands, his giant paw engulfing mine. It was the last I saw of him until I saw him driving south on US 101, he waved goodbye, and as he disappeared I realized the mini van was missing a significant accessory.

“I wonder what Norman did with those drums?” I asked Lando.

We found out the next day when I went to Lappelle's gift shop. The giant drums were outside. Silent, as if mourning the loss of Wolf Dung Inc, the drums waited until they would resound triumphant at the product launch. Goodbye Norman, show me that Wolf Dung money!

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