Jan 31, 2009 04:00PM, Published by Super Admin, Categories: In Print
I’m not saying I’m a great dancer. To the contrary, I dance like Frankenstein stomping on ants with his shoes on fire. But I don’t think you need to be a good dancer...just have a little enthusiasm. I mean, how often have you seen a “dancing” sign person who could better be described as a “standing” sign person, or a “sitting” sign person, or a “not-sure-where-they’re-at” sign person? C’mon guys...you’re not making me want to visit your new apartment complex very badly. Move around a little. Shake that thang. Uh, the sign, I mean. Mostly...but shaking other thangs probably wouldn’t hurt, unless doing so causes a slipped disc.
Next, if you can, kick it up a notch. Add a little something extra, something that draws eyes to your presentation like wasps to a salmon barbeque. For example, there’s a young lady who dances sign (I’m not sure if that’s how they put it, but if truck drivers can say they “drive truck” I think it should be okay) on the corner of Garfield and Greenback. She can spin the sign on her finger like a basketball while simultaneously displaying footwork that would make her a finalist on Dancing with the Stars. Or, she’ll bend at the waist and whirl like a dervish, with the sign on her back rotating in the opposite direction. The Kings ought to hire her for a half-time show.
Then there was a guy who used to sign wrangle for a furniture store on Riverside. He was unbelievably, another great dancer, who moved like he had certain sensitive parts of his body hot-wired to a car battery. Last I heard, a new gated community in the Bay Area hired him. Yeah baby...the Big Time.
But, again, dancing per se isn’t wholly necessary. For a while there was a guy on the corner of Junction and Foothill, who would simply head bang...I mean hard-core, neck-snappin’, scalp-flippin’, Angus Young-apin’ head banging. I don’t know what music he had in his headphones but I’ll bet it came with a parental advisory sticker. He would lurch and stomp menacingly towards traffic – think Gene Simmons straining at his dungeon chains – while shaking his sign as though it read “ROCK ON PUNY MORTALS” instead of “Mr. Pickles.” He made the idea of a sandwich seem like a power chord for your belly.
Anyway, that’s the point. Like any job, you need a little zeal, and you need to know how to use it. So no, I don’t dance well. But give me a sign and step back, because I’ve given this a lot of thought and if I ever get this gig, I would take fundamental enthusiasm and the only dance steps I know – which are stolen from Bruce Springsteen in his “Dancing in the Dark” video – and combine them with the one irresistible force I can bring to the table (or busy street corner)...my man-kini. A joke gift (I hope it was a joke) from my wife for my 40th birthday – it’s never been out of its box. Really. No, REALLY. But it’s there, on a closet shelf like a skimpy, tiger-striped fire extinguisher, in case of emergency. I can hear the drivers now: “Oh my, what is that creepy sign guy wearing? (Enter gag reflex.) Hey, six months of free cellular service from Joe’s Mobile Phone Hut?!” I wouldn’t be a “Dancing Sign Guy.” I’d be a “Dancing Sign Daddy.”
You know, on second thought, let’s just hope that I keep the job I have, and this whole recession thing is over really, really soon.
Catch Tom on the Pat and Tom Morning Show on New Country 105.1.