Thursday, February 24, 2011

I wasn't going to post this because a lot of people take a lot of things out of context,

but I'll post it anyway

When I was traveling in my sailboat down through southeast Alaska and British Colombia I learned a pretty good trick to figure out if there were any odd jobs around where I could pick up a buck.

The first place I would go when I tied up the boat was straight to the nearest watering hole and I would buy a beer and sit there and listen.

I was listening for information regarding the presence of vice, gambling, narcotics and prostitution to be exact. Activity in these areas could tell a person a lot as far as the grass roots economics of an area,

If there was evidence of prostitution activity, high priced cocaine, and gambling in town I would take good notice. I’d also add into this equation the price of drinks in the bars. If drinks were expensive, that was a good sign.

When I tell this story to people many of them never seem to understand it and wonder why I would look for such things. Some would outright accuse me of being involved in various forms of moral turpitude.

Truth is, I never saw much in dope or prostitutes. To me the presence of this was nothing more or less than an economic indicator.

I discovered that if there was no shortage of vice in a town, there was no shortage of money, either. Vice has to be paid for and the panderers of this vice will simply pull up stakes and move on if there is no money to be made where they are at.

On the other hand, if there is a lot of vice in town, there is money and to be sure, there are most certainly a lot of people in town that spend their earnings on other things like boats and houses. Many of these people are in the market for people to help them with repairs and improvements. This means odd jobs.

The fact that vices like gambling, dope and prostitution are around in any quantity are simply indicators of the availability of loose cash floating around and you can be sure that successful people that avoid these vices have money that they are willing to part with for services rendered to the family manse or the family boat.

I recall more than once walking into the local watering hole and seeing the signs for two-bit drown night and two-dollar pitchers of draft beer and simply having a beer and heading back to the boat and setting sail because I knew right then and there that there were no odd jobs to be had in that town. Not if the bar is giving the beer away.

That’s not 100% accurate. If things were cheap there I would grub up because I’d save a few bucks. Still, I sure wouldn’t hang out there for any length of time.

When a draft beer was expensive and there seemed to be no shortage of hookers and blow, then it was a pretty good bet that there was money to be made. Often I would not even have to leave the docks to make a few bucks. In a place like that there was always someone that needed something done.

This subject is one that I have told several times and when you try to explain it orally, nobody seems to understand it because they seem to get sidetracked and ask you why you would want to stay in such a place or suggest you were looking for drugs or commercial sex.

The truth is I wasn’t looking for drugs or commercial sex, I was just looking for someplace to pick up an odd job of work.

When there is little money in town, people generally do their own work, but when money is a bit freer they often hire people to do things because the successful people are often too busy to do everything they need to get done.

The presence of vice is generally a pretty good indicator of loose money floating around.

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