I’d make a lousy salesman. A colleague said that I was too honest to be a salesman, but this post is about an incident of incompetence, not dishonesty, that highlights my lack of sales acumen. Plus two further incidents of incompetence for completeness.
I was at the Jean-Michel Jarre Destination Docklands concert in London’s Victoria Docks on 8 October 1988. My dad had taken me and my friend, Richard Harvey.
I’d gone to the merchandise stand and bought a hat. (Black baseball cap with yellow concert logo as far as I can remember. One of the nastier varieties with the plastic size adjuster at the back.) It was crazy-busy, and the salesman, trying to simultaneously facilitate purchases from three or four people, thought he’d taken my £10 when he hadn’t. I tried twice to insist that he take my money (that’ll be the honesty kicking in), but he was similarly insistent.
So, I did something daft, something I realised only a few days later. I sold the hat to another waiting enthusiast for £7 before getting myself to the front of the queue and buying my own hat for £10.
After the first transaction, I had a hat and £10; after the second, I had a hat and £7. This was the third stupidest thing I have ever done.
The second most stupid thing I ever did was while fitting the back panel on the vanity unit below our twin basins in the bathroom. Having cut two holes in the panel to accommodate the waste pipes, I removed the U-bend, reached up and poured its contents into the basin above, covering myself and the contents of the unit with water.
But the most stupid thing I ever did was repeating the second most stupid thing I ever did not five minutes later, with the U-bend of the second basin.