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but to give them credit, they were tolerant. Port City Java’s people said they had to clear it with corporate, but we never followed up. Before we approached Café del Mar we happened upon a little shop on the other side of the Causeway opposite the Loop. It was called The Daily Grind and it was a precious little place with a side room furnished with comfortable chairs, a TV and Internet hookups. The coffee smelled delicious and the owner happened to be there the day we stopped in. He had two other locations, one in Southport, I think, and one in Surf City, both doing well but the present location, not so much. His biggest problem was that age-old real estate adage: location, location, location and this one had three strikes and three outs. A car going by was past it before it even saw the shop was there. And walkers took their lives in their hands crossing four lanes of traffic trying to get over to it. And it just wasn’t very noticeable. Obviously, business wasn’t good. So I said to this nice and very gregarious young man, “Have I got a deal for you!” And I told him about the death of courtesy on the Loop and the 10 percent off plan and Lumina News and David Muir and Good Morning America and the whole spiel. He said he’d give a whopping 25 percent off if that would get customers into his shop. I couldn’t wait to get home and start printing up the cards. And I did, that very afternoon. My children, of course, thought I was crazy but then they’ve thought that for years. They were tolerant as long as they didn’t have to go with me on the walks when I was passing out the cards. My poor friends, however, I did not let off the hook. They all but groaned when I appeared the next morning with a stack of small green cards, printed front and back. For some reason none of them wanted to join me in handing them out but luckily they were secure enough to walk beside me without embarrassment, at least none they would admit to. Our VERY first encounter right at the foot of my porch steps returned our “good morning” enthusiastically so he imme-diately got a card. We were off and running. I was already picturing the onslaught of customers hanging out at The Daily Grind turning in their cards and enjoying discounted coffee while the cash register cha-chinged the coffee house right into the black (high finance not being my strong suit). But the onslaught of customers did not materialize and the cash register did not cha-ching and the black stayed red because our plan had two basic flaws: First, the 28 WBM june 2015 People are less and less apt to make eye contact, much less greet each other. We’re all so busy and going so hard and fast and on our cell phones and worrying about our futures and what are we going to have for dinner and do I look fat in that? we don’t have time for greeting people or being nice.


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