I stopped at an intersection today as I was driving around the city. There was a guy walking between the cars presumably selling something. When I first started driving in Chicago, I thought this was quite strange–guys standing on the yellow line, inches from cars speeding by, trying to get the stopped cars to buy a newspaper or donate money for a cause. I’m fairly familiar with the middle-of-the-road peddlers now, but what I saw today was something new. The guy wasn’t selling newspapers he was selling–get this–socks. Socks. He had all kinds–men’s, women’s, even girl’s pink socks with decorations on them. They were in packages of six or so, like you would get at a store, but without the Fruit of the Loom or Hane’s label on them. As far as I could tell, nobody was buying them. That’s a shame, because I’m sure he thought his business plan was fool-proof. I can see it now–“What can we sell that everyone needs? Nobody reads the news anymore, but everyone wears socks, right? And with the laundry room ‘sock monster’ mishaps, everyone always needs new socks. We’re gonna be golden!” Except he probably forgot the fact that most people aren’t willing to conduct a business transaction while stopped at red light.
I wish you luck, sock-selling man. I would have bought some, except I just bought new socks yesterday…and I’m weary of conducting business at a red light.