“So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man” #047: “The Three Bears of Selling”

Once upon a time, in a magical land called The Comic Con, there lived three bears. The first bear, Cool Carl, was a cool cat. Which was funny, because he wasn’t a cat at all. He was a bear! The second bear was named Pushy Peter. Ole’ Pete was a grouse of a beast! And that left Social Sam, the third bear. He was kind, and loved to talk-talk-talk.

And in their home of The Comic Con, Carl, Peter, and Sam all had one job to do: to sell their funny books in the magical forest to the other animals who lived in the land. Some animals liked scary stories. Others liked action and adventure! And still others were hipsters and they only liked books about books — old musty vintage books from yesteryear.

Well, on a day not unlike any other, Carl, Peter, and Sam all set up their tables to sell their wares. Cool Carl’s table was cool. He covered his table in a cool blue tablecloth, and decorated it with pictures he drew. Carl was a very good illustrator! Pushy Peter arrived at the space where his table was, and pushed it flat against a tree. Peter took box after box of his funny books, and stacked them high on his table against that tree. It wasn’t as neat and organized as Cool Carl’s table. Social Sam’s table looked a bit like both Carl and Peter’s — but with neatly stacked piles of books on top of a bright and festive table cover. Sam kept his table where it belonged.

With minutes before the day’s first customers walking through the magical forest to shop for funny books, Carl, Peter, and Sam had a brief chat. Pushy Peter spoke first; something he prided himself on.

“My furry friends, today I will sell 100 of my books! I’ll take only YES as my answer from all who pass by!”

“I will draw my pictures at my table”, said Cool Carl, “and I know my friends will buy my books because they like how I draw!”

Sam smiled, and opened his briefcase (which he had hidden under his table, next to a box of books). “Well, I brought my secret weapon that helps me sell my funny books.” And with that, Sam flipped over a little white sign that read “CAN I TELL YOU ABOUT MY FUNNY BOOKS?”

And with that declaration, the working day started!

Animals of every shape and size began to fill the magical forest. Big animals, little animals, and even animals dressed colorfully as other animals all wandered into aisle past Carl, Peter and Sam.

Peter — standing in front of his pushed-back table — placed his funny book into the hands of the first animal, a turtle, who was slowly walking past. “Sir, what you hold in your hands is a most prestigious and important tome of amazing brilliance…” Peter said with a push. “I —” began the turtle. “—You know that this funny book is the most amazing one on the forest floor! Of course you do sir. You’re so clearly wise. For just one shiny gold piece, this book can be yours!” Peter prodded. And before the turtle could even formulate his retort, Pushy Peter pocketed a gold piece for his book and sent a bewildered turtle away from his stacks. “One down, so many more to go my friends!” Peter boisterously beckoned.

Meanwhile, at Cool Carl’s table, a small group of cool cats (not bears!) oogled and awed at Carl’s drawings. “These are sooooo cool” meowed the first cat. “I have to have this one!” cried another. “I need at least three drawings and a book!” added a third. Cool Carl smiled his coolest smile. “Of course—” he started. “Plenty to go around.” And with that, Carl continued to draw. What a day!

Sam stood behind his table, a smile beaming from his maw. “Pardon folks!” he started, “Can I tell you about my funny books?” And those animals, looked Social Sam up and down, and leaned in to hear more. Well, that lil’ lean was all Sam needed as he launched into the pitch of his funny book. Not half a minute later, his first customers placed a shiny gold piece on Sam’s table. “Sure, why not!” they happily declared. Without a pause to appreciate his sale, Sam marked a single tally mark on the back of his signature sign, and quickly pointed to the next animals crossing in front of his table. “Mr. Bunny, can I tell you about my funny books?” Sam said unsheepishly.

As time drew on throughout the workday, Pushy Peter continued to shove book after book into the hands of every passerby. And when some would refuse a purchase, well… Pushy Peter pushed even harder. What a sight to see! At Carl’s table, the same cool cats continued to contemplate each curve of Carl’s cartooning. And while few others could make way through them to see Carl’s books, it didn’t much bother him — as those same cats continued to drop shiny gold coins into Carl’s coffer just to see him doodle and doodle. All the while Social Sam serenaded each sauntering stray soul with his special sign.

And in no time at all? The work day ended, and the animals left the magical forest — funny books under their paws, and a ravenous desire to read their wares as soon as they got home!

Cool Carl, Pushy Peter, and Social Sam broke down their tables as they conversed about their day.

Pushy Peter, as always, started in. “My friends, I have conquered once again! And while many an animal turned me away, here I stand with not a single funny book left to sell!” And with that declaration, Peter swiped his big bear paw across an empty box — tearing it into pieces with a loud gnashing sound. Cool Carl casually tipped his money box on to his table. A small mountain of gold coins glittered in the peering beams of dusk’s lowering sun from between the trees of the magical forest. “Well, it looks like I did well today too. And those cool cats loved the drawings I did. Dig that, daddios!” he declared. Social Sam zipped up his coin purse, modestly. Peter snickered a bit under his breath. “And how did you do, my friend?” he bellowed. Sam flipped over his sign, now adorned top to bottom in tally marks. “I sold 100 books!” Sam said, celebrating.

And with that, the three bears left the forest, to take in a nice dinner. For tomorrow you see, was another day to sell those funny books — in whatever way worked perfectly for them.

The End.

 

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