He was selling paintings. He had a collection of them in a large art folder--the type that you see arts students holding as they go around, trying awkwardly not to drop their wears. Now, I had never before seen a door to door painting salesman, but anyone who comes to my door pretty much gets the flick. Religious folk, angry folk, happy folk, folk dressed as clowns, and even, yes, door to door painting salesmen. But what struck me, after he had left, was just how odd it was. A dude selling paintings. Granted, they were really quite ordinary paintings, the ones he showed me. He had a pitch, if I remember right, about him being an art student, or he was selling the work of art students. Honestly, I don't remember. But it was strange, I thought--strange enough that I went to the web and googled door to door art salesman.
Turns out, this is a scam that's been around for a while. Apparently, the paintings are bought from China for a couple of bucks, and then the men and women with them hit the streets and sell them to folk for a hundred and fifty, two hundred bucks. It's a pretty harmless scam in the scheme of things, really, so it doesn't get any blood boiling, and I have no particular urge to call a current affairs programs (why take them away from the real news, huh?). But I was, however, somewhat pleased that there was a scam out there that I had never heard of before. A fairly well known one, by the sounds of it, but yet, one that I had never been exposed to. In hindsight, I wish I had known, and had been able to chat with the fellow, and ask him about the kind of money that he makes from it, and if it's profitable.
I mean, it probably pays more than making actual art.