Reading "Clay Lover's" post about her terrible craft show customer made me think about the mishaps and misfortunes we've all survived if we've done any shows at all. It reminded me of my favorite "how bad can it get" story. It happened at an indoor craft show in the North Carolina mountains one Thanksgiving weekend. Attendance was almost non-existant, and there was a group of perhaps 10 craftspeople gathered in the aisle near my booth. The show was so bad for all of us that we had long since moved past hope, rolled through despair and settled into glum commiseration. Our downcast group was joined by a potter with an utterly hangdog expression. He told us that he had just made a huge sale to a woman who bought several of his best pieces as a Christmas gift for her mother, whom she described as a discriminating and avid collector of pottery. He told us that, eager to make a good impression, he was chatting up the customer when he asked where her mother lived. As she tore the check from her checkbook and handed it to him, she responded with the name of a North Carolina city. Seeing the promise of future pottery sales, he happily informed her that his work was sold by a gallery in that city, where her mother could add to the generous grouping the daughter had just purchased. The customer reached out and gently pried the check from his fingers, explaining apologetically that the gallery in question belonged to her mother.
I will never forget the deafening roar of laughter that greeted that story's end. We laughed until we were bent double, breathless and teary-eyed. Craftspeople three and four aisles away left their booths to see what could possibly cause that level of hilarity, especially in such a depressing show. It was a moment of such total camaraderie that despite my own terrible sales tally, that craft show remains one of my best craft show memories.
So, how about sharing your own "How bad can it get?" craft show stories?