Wow. You learn a lot about people doing a task like this.
Lincoln, Lank, Barbapoca and Heatherlynn all got together on a Saturday afternoon to do some trading. We decided to go to a heavily populated area and to dress up in costumes in order to attract more attention. That may have been our downfall, at least at first.
Lank dressed up as Abraham Lincoln. Barbapoca dressed up as a pirate. And Lincoln (don't be confused!) found a hot dog costume to wear. Heatherlynn came along as documentarian and driver for the three goofballs.
We made signs to wear around our necks:
And a big sign that we could prop up in wherever our base of operations ended up:
We decided to first try The Grove, which is an upscale outdoor mall near Fairfax, between Beverly & 3rd. Less than a minute after setting foot inside, however, we were accosted by mall cops, who told us we couldn't stay. They said we might cause a commotion. I guess they don't like anything that looks out-of-the-ordinary in their nice mall.
So we proceeded to the adjacent Farmer's Market, which is an awesome place that has an amazing assortment of little restaurants and food-type shops. Again, we were immediately asked to leave. Okay, we get the picture. We'll go someplace where weird people in outlandish costumes fit right in. We'll go to Hollywood Boulevard!
We decided to start playing on our way back to the car, which was now three or four blocks away. We made several stops along the way, making trades with passers-by and folks at bus stops. Then we headed to Hollywood & Highland.
Again, for those who don't know, Hollywood & Highland is also a mall. Difference is, this one is in Tourist Central and adjacent to Grauman's Chinese Theater:
Every day the stretch of Hollywood Blvd. that fronts the Hollywood & Highland mall to the Chinese Theater is crammed with tourists from all over the globe. You can also, on a daily basis, find people who dress up in costumes as characters from current (and not-so-current) films, there to make a buck from tourists who will pay to have their picture taken with Spiderman or Batman or Darth Vader or what have you. We opted to shy away from the turf of these hardened professionals and hang out a little closer to Highland. Besides, two of the three Captain Jack Sparrows who were out this day gave Barbapoca the stink eye.
So we traded as furiously as we could for about an hour. There were difficulties. For many of the tourists, there was a language barrier. Frankly, there was a language barrier for some of the locals as well. But mostly we found that people either didn't want to trade or didn't have anything to trade. It turned out that generally the more edgy, economically disenfranchised individuals were more willing to play along and the more posh, hip individuals couldn't ignore us harder if they tried.
Plus, you get some very entertaining reactions when you're dressed up as Abraham Lincoln. One guy cussed me out for starting the IRS. A couple of African-American men thanked me. And while driving, a young person "assassinated" me with a toy gun from a neighboring car. - Lank
But in the end, we made some interesting trades and I think we inserted some wacky into a few people's lives. Thanks goes out to Heatherlynn, who you won't see in the pics below because she was taking them. And she drove us all over town, to boot!
Oh yeah - even though it was a competition between the three of us, we didn't pick a winner of the game. You can decide that for yourselves!