Hosed by a Clown

In my 20 years of owning a bicycle shop I’ve seen my fair share of people requesting crotch-sprocket bearings, gear boxes, and toe-clap strips. So I never really know what each day will bring. A young man came in wanting to purchase our demo bike. He seemed like a normal guy, until he informed me he was in the entertainment business (clown by day and DJ by night).
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In my 20 years of owning a bicycle shop I’ve seen my fair share of people requesting crotch-sprocket bearings, gear boxes, and toe-clap strips. So I never really know what each day will bring. A young man came in wanting to purchase our demo bike. He seemed like a normal guy, until he informed me he was in the entertainment business (clown by day and DJ by night).

He didn’t get the bike that day, and went home to think about it.

Later that afternoon I got a phone call from his boyfriend.

“Whatever you do, do not sell a bike to Bozo!”

He didn’t give a reason. I really wanted to sell the bike, so the next day I took a check from Bozo and the bike was out the door.

Bozo’s boyfriend called back and said, “I told you not to sell a bike. The check’s going to bounce.”

He gave me the phone number to Bozo’s parole officer if I didn’t believe him. I was now in the middle of something so strange it couldn’t be true.

I called Bozo when the check bounced and he promised he’d bring the bike back. It eventually came back, and I realized that there are good clowns and there are bad clowns in this world. After that, I thought I’d seen the last of that crooked clown.

A few weeks later I was at my wife’s 25th high school reunion. Guess who was there spinning records? Bozo. He was using equipment he’d never paid for. My wife, unfortunately, was not in charge of hiring entertainment. As I was writing this story, I looked his company up in the phonebook, and it still exists.

The ad reads:
Entertainment for any occasion. Weddings, corporate events, high energy light shows, dances, magic, DJ, clowning, ethnic music. “Create a thousand memories in a single night”.

One can only hope that this clown has turned his life around.

Jim Rose, Rose Bicycle – Orono, ME

Through July 1, retail sales staff answered the contest call to submit a story of survival and perseverance in the face of challenging customers. The story titles with summaries that made the first round of qualifications are listed below, and each is now in the hands of our judges to decide on the top 10. You can read each story in its entirety by going to the contest landing page -- click here.

Ten lucky story writers will each win over $1,000 in product prizes based on the contest judges' votes. Here is where you come in! Of those 10, one will be named the grand prizewinner, cashing in on a trip for two to Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2007. Three others will be named official "honorable mentions," and in addition to the valuable prizes, each will receive a gift certificate that can be redeemed toward attendance at an Outdoor Industry Association-sponsored event, such as Outdoor University, Mountain Sports Festival or the OIA Rendezvous. The grand prize winner will be announced at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2006. We will determine the grand prize winner and the three runner up winners based on popular vote (sorry judges) -- those among the top ten receiving the most votes win, it's that simple. This is for store pride, for knowing you have a winner amongst you, so vote as often as you like. Tell your friends. Tell your friends friends. Tell your dog -- but only if he can work a computer keyboard.

Deadline for voting is August 1, 2006.Click here to register your vote now!

Did you miss out on this year's contest? Bummer, but no worries. If you haven't already done so, outdoor retail staff can get ready for next year by activating a subscription now at www.snewsnet.com/freeretail/snewsarticle-contest.html. Then, watch your SNEWS® for announcements calling for our next contest entries and get ready to be a winner.

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