An artist friend and I decided to have a go at a local market stall, over the long weekend. For the past weeks, I’ve been cramming in as much ‘creating’ as possible, in order to offer a selection for varying tastes and needs, in both writing resources and artful gifts. By the time Saturday arrived, the eve of the market, the weather prognosis was lousy, to put it politely.
Friend and I ummed and aahed, wondering if the market would even go ahead. It had been raining almost solidly for more than twenty-four hours, with nearby towns battling with flooded roads. How many people, we wondered, were going to turn up to a Yabbie Festival during a deluge? The yabbies would love it, but what about the humans?
A yabbie, for those unsure, is a type of small freshwater (usually, the muddier the better) crayfish or lobster. After the long drought we’ve had, I wondered if there would be yabbies to be found, let alone families bringing kids to catch and race them in the famous Yabbie Cup.
Sunday morning dawned as grey and wet as a farm dog’s blanket. However, after a call to the organiser, who assured me the weather was breaking an hour’s drive from home, we decided to risk it. We were also guaranteed a place in the Town Hall, in the dry, should the weather deteriorate – as the weather bureau promised.
With so many events happening over the long weekend, we were pushing against the odds. We should have known better. Neither of us sold a single thing to any of the sparse stragglers that ventured into the Town Hall.
I couldn’t help wondering if there is a regulation for market traders, of which I’m unaware. One that stipulates sitting behind the trestle, either peering suspiciously from beneath beetled eyebrows at anyone who dares approach, or appearing to be almost asleep with boredom. Or is it something insidious and infectious that clings to the clothes of die-hard stall holders? Whatever it was, I had to physically fight against being infected.
Lack of sales didn’t prevent me from having a fun day out. Live music had me jigging and wiggling to old rock and roll numbers. The Yabbie Kebabs were scrumptious. The browsers’ smiles – some were embarrassed movements of lips while others bordered on lecherous versions of grins – made me smile. Okay, so none of them bought a romance pack (you know, stimulating erotic reading matter, luscious love coupons and other tasteful novelties, to put some excitement back into your relationship). But at least they smiled. How good was that.
I’ve decided I need a market-ing outfit. Or at least a market-ing hat. Something colourful, bright, cheerful and perhaps a little outrageous, to let folk know that market-ing can be a fun experience for the market-ers as well as the market-ees.
Is the affectation of a couldn’t-care-less attitude for stall holders mandatory? If so, there’s about to be a one-woman revolution. Bring on the fun, I say!