Kilt Booth, Tattoo Show.
Executive summary — not a match made in heaven, at least not this show. We didn’t sell many kilts. I met Jack Rudy, but didn’t wind up getting tattooed.
I meant to leave for Paso Robles right after work Friday, 6 or 7 pm. But I had one of those afternoons where I was at work and could not get out. I got home after six, and then typically, packing took me twice as long as I’d planned, plus I had to pack the kilts and supplies for the show.
My plan to leave by seven turned into leaving at nine, then I had a run to Kinkos to pick up some printed supplies for the show. Kinkos, typically, bolloxed up the order so it took twenty-five minutes there; but you know, Kinkos turns out to be a large Utilikilts fan site. Two clerks and a customer came at me and wanted to talk abotheut how much they like Utilikilts. They treated me like a rock star when I said I was working a show and picking up an order for Utilikilts.
It’s about a three hour drive to Paso from where I live, so I made it in about two. I like driving late when there’s no traffic, and I’d pulled out some old Prog-rock cds for the drive; I enjoyed Lamb Lies Down on Braodway all the way down. Man, that’s a good album. Not all of Genesis’ early career holds up that way, though every album from the Gabriel era has spots of brilliance. But Lamb, even with a couple of lame instrumental fillers to make it four album sides, still holds up as music, and as a concept album. Brilliant lyrics throughout.
I made Paso a little before midnight. God, what a rinky-dink little town, I’d forgotten. But the room I’d booked (for just this night) was at a cool place, the Paso Robles Inn. UK had forgotten we might need a room that night, so I just booked my own so I could go down Friday and sleep instead of going down early saturday. I’d expected to share the room with two other people but they bagged at the last minute and I had it to myself. Lovely room in a building that had the feel of an old-west inn; but the only problem was the setting was romantic, And I was alone. Thus I went to sleep thinking romantic (and deeply carnal) thoughts about people who were not there.
I tell you, it may be the best hotel in town and the coffee shop may be damned cool, but oh lord, what a greasy breakfast. How hard is it to do scrambled eggs, hash browns and sausages right?
Whatever. Tabasco makes it good.
I got to the fairgrounds around nine AM, expecting to meet my booth crew around that time. Hell, I could have slept another hour, they wound up stuck in traffic on the 5 trying to get out toward Paso. I found our booth space and loaded in a few items, but I didn’t have a cart and wasn’t going to hump in all the kilts I had by hand.
I checkout out some shops, though, talked to a few people. Hardly any shops I’d ever heard of.
My crew finally arrived close to 10am. Corrine, whom I simply adore; a lovely, tough little hispanic dyke with gorgeous long hair and bats tattooed all over her. She looks like an american indian, and I love working booths with her, girl-watching with her, and I also have spent a bit on time having delightfully nasty thoughts about her. With her was Gunnar, whom I’d not worked with before, but who proved to be a good guy and a good worker. He’s certainly on my ‘good crew’ list for UK booths.
We got set up in a rush, trying to get things right with some of our booth supplies missing (We had a communication problem between Corrine, me, and UK HQ, and some booth supplies we needed wound up shipped back to Uk). But we made a decent-looking both, and were ready to get men out of their pants in into kilts.
If you build it, you know, They will come. Only they didn’t.
It’s a puzzling question why — but for some reason, no one was the least bit interested in kilts. We have a lot of theories as to why. Paso is a rural, central-california town. A small town. In a lot of ways more like the midwest than like the urban, ultra-hip california I know. Bikers, guys who look like they work on farms or in factories. Women who look like they defined their wardrobes in 1983. A lot of meth-heads, a lot of just ordinary people.
Very, very few people we saw had ever heard of Utilikilts. Many were completely confused by the idea and thought we were selling shorts.
It didn’t help that where we were set up, our neighbors were a booth run by a local Hell’s Angels chapter. Nice guys, not the Angels of old, but still, they had a constant cluster of people blocking our booth and very few men wanted to try on a kilt when they were standing in front of 10 or 15 Hell’s Angels.
We moved halfway through the day, and that helped, we got more visible and got more notice, but didn’t actually sell more kilts.
We have never seen a Utilikilts booth this dead. It was truly bizarre.
I actually did track down Jack Rudy, which was cool — we talked about my getting tattooed sunday, and I was planning to hook up with him sunday morning to schedule it. But in the end, Corrine and I agreed that there was no reason for me to stay and work, there just wasn’t enough work for me to stay and get paid. So I bagged the con late Saturday night and drove home. A shame – I’ll have to track Jack down later and schedule a piece. Corrine, on the other hand, hooked up with a very cool artist in the booth next to us, a shop called Ink Pimp (Though I wish I knew the artist’s name). She worked out a design and was planning to get inked Sunday sometime. I’m looking forward to seeing the piece, it was a great leg band made of flying bats, drawn by Gunnar.
So all in all, an entertaining weekend, if frustrating. I love to work hard at these booths, and this one we wound up working hard to get set up twice and then getting nothing for it; and I’m revved to get tattooed now and have nothing set up. Maybe I’ll do a quick run down to So Cal some weekend soon, get inked by Jack, and visit some friends down there (Corrine, whom I simply adore and would like to hang with when we’re not working, and my friend Metis who said she’d give me a tour of a dildo factory (I don’t think she meant that as a euphemism), and a couple other people I’d like to see. I also need to check out a couple tattoo shops down there.
And of course, I have that Hulalupe tattoo I need Klem to start work on. I’ve got my concept and I’ve got a model picked out for how I want the design to look (She knows who she is), I just need to schedule it. Maybe this week, or next weekend. Soon though. I’ve got the ink jones going hard. And Tricia Allen is in town. I need to hook up with her.
Stop me. Wait, no, don’t stop me. Encourage me. I take to encouragement easily.
Ink. Ink. Oink.