I’d always wanted to be a carpet liquidator. Way back when I first opened this place, I said, “Man, this is it. I’ve joined a community. I’m staying here forever.” The calendar pages dropped away as I made my home, waved to my neighbors, and swept the shattered glass below my driver’s side window every Monday morning. Then, it happened. Completely out of the blue, my carpet liquidation center that’d been going out of business for 11 straight years, was suddenly going out of business! And I never saw it coming!
Sure the world’s always in flux. Nothing stays the same. But when I wrote the words “carpet liquidation” on the lease agreement and taped those first signs to the storefront: THEY’RE SHUTTING US DOWN, and EVERYTHING MUST GO and 3-FOR-1 UNTIL THE SIRENS GET CLOSER, I thought I was creating something permanent. But a mere decade later, the only thing permanent is the masking tape that once gripped those signs to the glass. No blade has a chance against the hardened detritus left on my windows. The next owner is buying new panes, for sure.
I always thought rug clearance was such a stable enterprise. For years, I watched the local kids ride their bikes up and down the sidewalk. Smoke black tar heroin in the parking lot. Watch me load special midnight shipments through the rollup door in the alley. Remember the time I got shot? I do.
Seems like yesterday I hired someone to dress like a sheriff and padlock the doors while the customers still browsed inside. Boy, I made some sales that day! And now, unfathomably, my little neighborhood liquidation center is liquidating. The padlocks are real this time. Chrome plated steel.
I had the knack for liquidation, too. Anyone could knock 50% off a roll of carpet, so I’d go 60%, 75%. Sometimes more. That’s not for the faint-of-heart. You need a strong spiritual center to put up signs like: 95% OFF OUR ENTIRE STOCK WHILE OUR ELECTRICITY STILL WORKS!
But I was a good marketer. I sold Persian rugs. I sold Turkish rugs. I even sold Perkish rugs. (Made that one up on the spot for another great payday!) I even unloaded that aquamarine short wool remnant with the one stringy flap for $15.99. Nice, huh?
I thought I was doing everything right. I managed to stay going out of business longer than all the other storefronts in my strip mall: Hardcover-Books-A-Dozen, Couch Leg Land, the Year-Round Chanukkah Store. That should count for something.
But, sadly, it does not. At least I can go back to using my real name. I’ll no longer change it for the business license every year to avoid temp-zoning-mandated relocation, maintaining an operational bathroom, and providing heat. Although, I have to admit, there was a certain freedom in a newly-minted pseudonym every cycle. “Freddie Lancaster” was my favorite. He wore a hairnet, grew a neck-beard, and sold a lot of Flokati shag.
Unfortunately, I’m destined to be a liquidator no more. It was a combination of things, really. Slim sales margins. Competition from the Internet. All the fluorescent tubes in the showroom incessantly flickering. To think I won’t have to look at the expired flies scattered across the clear flat panels on the fixtures anymore. Most of those corpses were from the last carpet liquidation center that occupied the space anyway. From 1991 to 2004.
Sure, I feel like I let the neighborhood down. That’s only natural. When a carpet liquidation center enters the community, people expect it to be around for a long, long time. Carpet liquidators that are going out of business aren’t supposed to just leave. It’s bad form. And can really screw with a liquidator’s reputation.
But while closing the doors where my kids grew up, where my best memories were forged, where my carbon footprint was ostentatiously stamped, is devastating to my psyche, my family, and my assortment of miniature forklifts, something good can still come of it.
Namely, huge savings! Because this isn’t your everyday liquidation sale! This carpet liquidation center actually is going out of business! 99% off everything, motherfuckers! Free installation until I skip zip codes! If you don’t buy it, I’ll goddamn burn it!!!!!!
Make sure you come see me at my new location just off North Fairfax and Selma Avenue.