Interview with Tanning Salon Owner, pt. 2
A: Maintenance is the name of the game. And advertising. Upkeep and outkeep.
A: Advertising. Don’t people call it outkeep?
B: I wasn’t aware–
A: You know, like, keeping your name out on the street. Outkeep.
B: Maybe it’s an industry term. I haven’t run across it.
A: If I use it in a sentence? “Those SuperBowl outkeeps are always fun to watch.” Like a projection of the business. Outkeep. Outside keeping.
B: So what do you do for that–for the salon, I mean?
A: Print ads in the Penny Pincher. Online ads. Those are merely showy though. Buff dude or chick tanned to the bone plus some copy about our prices and hours. Most effective is the word of mouth. I encourage that. We do some conceptual outkeep to that end. Performance art.
B: What does that entail?
A: Beautiful, evenly tanned women. Words in the air. Listeners.
A: Not much more to it than that. But I’ll expound, since this is for posterity. Picture a little coffee klatsch at your standard construction site.
B: All right, that’s a bit of a stretch already.
A: So you’ve got five or six construction workers standing around, drinking their coffee straight from the thermos, really shooting the shit. Getting into it. Talking about hot cars, hot wives, hot girlfriends, and hot rivets.
B: Fair enough.
A: And then–whoosh. A beautiful, evenly tanned woman walks right by. Dressed in one of those bag dresses. Do you know which ones I mean? It’s like a cloth bag with a couple holes in it? They really stick to chicks’ asses, which is what makes them notable. Whoosh.
B: Why the whoosh? Is she being rocketed past the site?
A: That’s just a sound that hot women make. Whoosh. Or sometimes, Phsh. And even other sometimes, Unnh, do you know what I mean?
A: The girl walks by the site, phsh. And of course all the construction bros stop drinking their coffee and whistle at her in turn. Like, whew-woo. [whistles]. What is that called?
B: Wolf whistle.
A: Right, wolf whistle at her. And she then turns around, smiles, and says, “Thanks boys! And by the way, I got this tan at Sun Glow Forever Summer Touch Tan!” Knocks ’em dead.
B: And that’s it?
A: That’s more than enough. Better to be direct than subtle, am I right? Listen. Those construction workers will stew on that all day. That girl will rankle them. Suddenly their hot cars, wives, girlfriends, and rivets aren’t enough. Not even their precious girders can console them. So they go home and take out their envy on their significant others. Tell their wives, “I wish you would get a tan for god’s sake. People are starting to talk about how pale you are.” Or say to their girlfriends, “I’d marry you if you would just a put a little color on your hide.” They probably wish they could tan their cars. That’s what I mean by word of mouth, basically.