Where I live in Louisiana, I give credit to people for constantly coming up with new, inventive reasons to keep partying year-round. They roll from Christmas and New’ Year’s right into Mardi Gras. They roll from Mardi Gras right into Alligator Mating Season. And so on.
But I’ve got to hand it to the people of Key West, Florida. They like to do things the easy way, and so they figured out that all you really need is one good reason—one that you can count on day in and day out for the rest of time. And while it’s true that the cancellation of Joanie Loves Chachi can be safely considered as fairly permanent, that’s not the reason they came up with.
No, the locals here chose the sunset as a thing to celebrate. And so that’s what they started doing night after night at Mallory Square on the west end of the island. Of course, nowadays it’s mostly tourists who come down to Mallory Square to celebrate the sunset, as if sunset never occurs in places like Terre Haute, Indiana.
The locals, having this seeming monopoly on sunsets, have not squandered the opportunity for profit. And so now you see them every night, entertaining the tourists with dazzling feats that range from tightrope-walking to sword-swallowing to fire-dancing. The tourists, awed at these incredible demonstrations of human agility and, gladly empty their wallets. Apparently, there is a decided shortage of sword-swallowing talent in Terre Haute, Indiana.
One creative entrepreneur even figured out that he can make a living out of startling people. Hiding behind a couple of palm branches, he simply parts them and yells something whenever an unsuspecting tourist ambles past. Many of these tourists, after returning to Earth, gladly empty their wallets into his tip bucket
The act of startling people is not one that requires years of postgraduate study or hours upon hours of painstaking practice. Yet here’s a guy who has figured out how to turn this simple act into a profitable enterprise.
We should put the Conchs, as the local Key West people are called, in charge of the world’s economy. If they can turn the setting of the sun into a profit center, solving the Eurozone crisis should be a cinch.