Sidey‘s Weekend Theme is “Advertising”.


It had only cost 24 dollars, but already it was looking like a really bad buy.

Pieter Minuit had bought Manhattan in order to build houses on it. This makes him the world’s first property developer, but let’s not hate him for that. The problem, though, was that Manhattan was an island, and no-one wanted to live there.

This was why he was accompanied that day by the two partners in the advertising firm of Kowalski and Murphy, which proves that even in 1626 New York was a true ethnic mix. The three of them stared out across the island’s vast emptiness.

“Well?” asked Pieter. “Can you help me sell real estate here?”

“We can try,” said Murphy. “First off, why did you call it Manhattan?”

“After the cocktail,” said Pieter.

“Mmm,” said Murphy. “It’s not a great name. Still, there’s a place a few miles away called Queens and we’ve managed to sell houses there, so don’t give up.”

“Yep,” said Kowalski, “the trick is to make this sound like the best place in the world to live.”

“And to make its weaknesses sound like positives,” said Murphy. “What would you say that they are?”

“Well, it’s hard to get to,” said Pieter.

“Exclusive,” corrected Murphy.

“The temperature is about minus twelve in the winter and plus thirty-two in the summer.”

“The average temperature is in the twenties,” said Kowalski.

“There are no amenities or shops built yet.”

“There are uninterrupted views of, well, New Jersey,” said Murphy.

“The middle of it’s all scrubland with a huge lake in it.”

“Home to the world-famous Central Park,” said Kowalski.

“What park?” said Pieter. “I need to sell houses on every square inch if I’m to make money.”

“Not if you make the buildings taller,” said Murphy, “anything from twenty to seventy storeys.”

“With a really big one in the centre with a giant gorilla hanging out of it,” said Kowalski. The other two stared at him. “I’m sorry,” he said, “that image just jumped into my head.”

“But the whole idea is daft,” said Pieter, “who wants to live in a seventy storey house? By the time you came down from bed in the morning it’d be time to go back up.”

“But you would just live on one floor,” said Murphy. “There would be other residents on the other floors.”

“What?” said Pieter, horrified, “flats?”

“Apartments,” said Murphy.

“But I won’t be able to sell them for very much,” said Pieter. “The place will end up full of the poor, and huddled masses.”

“Rubbish,” said Kowalski. “We’ll sell them at a million dollars an apartment. Everyone will want to live here.”

“Do you really think so?” asked Pieter. “You can really get people to live on the seventieth floor of what’s basically a tenement on an island with no bridges to it yet, and get them to pay a million dollars?”

“Sure can,” said Murphy.

“But that’s genius,” said Pieter.

“Nah,” said Kowalski, “it’s advertising.”


8 thoughts on “Apple-sellers

    1. Tinman Post author

      Thanks Viv, I’m glad you liked it – I’m so late with it because I could think of almost nothing to write about, and wasn’t too sure about it even when I published it.

  1. jmgalso

    you missed your calling, a true Sir Humphrey. Funny how the world has changed before lifts the poorer you were the higher you lived in a building, now its the richer you are. Thru I wimp out about 8 stories. My friends husband will only buy penthouses as he says he doesnt want people spitting on him!


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