Geneva An email whizzed in from the interweb on a Tuesday. A location scout wanted to know, “Would we be willing to shut down the coffeehouse on Thursday for filming of a television series?” The subject line on the email spelled proposal as “propussal.” I was suspicious. This might be spam. Something called Purge II LLC or some such.
I asked Google for the details. It claimed that there was a filming operation making a television series based on the horror movie “The Purge.” If you’ve never gone channel surfing, and I know that’s old school, “The Purge” was a bizarre show. It was set sometime in the future, From what I could tell there was a population problem. The government set up one day a year where murder was legal and everyone was fair game. The rich and well positioned had safe rooms to hide to make it throughout the day when population was being purged. The poor, well, you can guess, they were dead meat. Anyway, they seem to be claiming that they were making a television show based on that premise.
Ok, maybe this was legit. Wouldn’t that be wonderful in this bad business, hot, wet summer for selling fair trade coffee, so location money falling from the sky would be fantastic, but…
I was in Europe. There was a phone number at the bottom for an office location. It was 730 AM on a Tuesday in New Orleans, but I would call and at least find out if the number was legit or fake. Three rings and a young production assistant answered the phone and said, yes, but the location manager I asked for was out at that minute. No problem. We’ll connect later, I explained, I was just trying to determine if y’all were for real.
Ok, maybe this would work? This is the entertainment business though, right? I’ve read the local papers and heard too many stories of locals being ripped off, so the next mountain to climb would be making sure Chaco Rathke, the manager of the coffeehouses, was able to get the check and get it to the bank before we shutdown that morning and were ripped off. He was on it, like white on rice. He got the check, he made it to the bank, and, we confirmed the check was good. Let’s roll!
Small world. Once they showed up, Chaco knew the location manager! Used to run into him at a local store. I asked him to send me pictures. There were film trucks blocking the street. They were a professional operation from stem to stern. Chaco worked the coffee bar dispensing some coffee and charging for the fancy espressos.
You never know what breaks up a week in a city of surprises! Sometimes it’s just not enough to be good, you have to be lucky. This week at Fair Grinds Coffeehouses, thanks to the Purge and Bastille Day, we were both good and lucky.