ArtsWeek Launch

As part of the ArtsWeek Launch, the Toronto professional dance companies involved in this year's Harbourfront Centre Dance season decided to share a booth at the event and spread the love for contemporary dance. From 10AM to 7PM, we sat in our tents between/near the TD Centre Courtyward and people-watched. I was surprised that in the four hours I'd spent manning the booth, I did not see a single impressive women's suit.

What a waste of a day. The powers that be decided to place our booth RIGHT on Bay Street, far from all the action and most importantly, the live entertainment. Those who did approach us did not care for our performances. They just wanted to know where they could take dance lessons.
"We don't really offer dance lessons -- though we do offer classes at the professional level."
"Oh yeh? What kind of dance?"

"Contemporary dance."
Blank stare. Followed by "What's contemporary dance?"
"Oh, you know. It's pretty much what the choreographer makes it. It's modern dance."

"So do you guys do hip hop?"

A man walks past the booth, makes eye contact with me, then comes over.
"Say, you look familiar. Do you work around here? I'm up in that tower."
"Really? Cuz I'm pretty sure I've seen you around. I must have been in your office at some point recently."
"Doing what?"
"Selling spa packages. Haven't you seen me before?"

"No. Selling spa packages must be lucrative. Rent must be phenomenal for a space in one of those towers."
"Why yes, yes it is." Then he goes into telling me about the spa he's trying to sell. And how his boss has appeared on CityLine countless times. He starts listing all the services and reaches into his jacket to pull out a pamplet.
"Whoa. Are you trying to sell me something?"
"Well yeah."
"So you don't really know me. That was just your way to get my attention?"
"Uh... heheh... why don't you take a look at this brochure? Doesn't spending a day being pampered at the spa sound enticing?"
"Not really. Besides, I'm sure it's out of my price range." That could have been his cue to leave me alone.
But instead, his eyes narrow and we go into this bizarre exchange.
"So have you heard of Bally's?" he asks.
"Sure. That used to be my gym."
"Well I'm the VP at Bally's."
I stare at him. "And you're selling me spa packages?"
"Hey, I don't really need the job. I'm just doing this in my free time because all the money will go towards the Chidren's Wish Foundation..." it all ends in mumbles and mutterings – and he storms off.
Since then, I've heard a few more examples of the sneaky spa-packages salespeople, and the ploys they'll use to lure you into their spiel. Friends, beware of anyone who stops you with what might sound like a request for directions, or tells you that you look familiar. I wish I could have given half a bonus point to this dude for effort, but his Bally's-for-the-Children story was just too weak and he gave up much too easily.


At 6:24 AM, Blogger MUPO said...

I think if Ignatius Reilly lived in Toronto he might be selling spa packages.


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