72 – THERE ARE NO PHONES IN FAIRY TALES

 

The Material Girl was bewitched by Margot and her precious, infectious cargo of love seeds for the world, and she wanted more. “All the world’s a stage, and you’re the only player on it, at the moment, Margot. Your ideas are music to our ears, and you have captivated us, so don’t stop now.”

Margot hesitated just a bit, then hedged, “Okay, but this is a bit on the frivolous side.” Then she flip-flopped, “But it’s not really frivolous, because it’s just a fancy way to help people find love. Romantic love. And there should be magic involved in the maddening search for true love. The idea that finding a soulmate is nothing more than swiping rigt until your wrist throbs so badly that you sigh, and say, ‘Good enough’ is so banal, so thoroughly devoid of imagination and charm that Eros would weep, and drink a pint of pure hemlock extract if she were watching.”

Grinning ear to ear, Madonna applauded, but said not a word. Encouraged, Margot got on with her one woman show.

“Sinderella is a recreation of the royal ball from the fairy tale. A chance for every girl to find her Prince Charming. Saturday nights. At the Natural History Museum. Strictly dress to impress. The music is classical, but is limited to decibel levels that make it easy to converse, without having to yell.

“Fairy Godmothers work the room, helping every Sinderella find her Princes Charming. If a lady sees a gentleman she wants to meet, she calls over a Fairy Godmother, and asks her to provide an introduction. The Fairy Godmother grants the wish, and sticks around to make sure a conversation gets started, before moving on to help someone else. If there’s no chemistry, the boys and girls keep searching.

“If a guy is a cad to a girl, she can warn the other girls to steer clear. She summons a Fairy Godmother, who issues the cad a yellow card, and pins a frog sticker on him.

“The only way the frog sticker can be removed is if the cad pleads his case to the Queen, who is in attendance with the King, and she is convinced that either his crime was not substantial enough to merit being turned into a frog, or he convinces her that he has seen the error of his ways, and vows to behave himself in a princely manner for the rest of the night.

“Throughout the castle, guests will find tarot and palm readers, astrologers, and other divners of amor, who will be happy to arm them with metaphysical clarity, to aid them in their quest to find true love.

“At any time after midnight, if a Sinderella has met her Prince Charming, she summons a Fairy Godmother, and is given a packet of glitter. Sinderella shows the glitter to the boy she would have as her prince. If he smiles, she showers him with the sparkle dust, basically saying to the other girls, ‘Forget it; he’s mine.’

“Prior to the start of the ball, a formal dinner is served for a limited number of guests. Four courses, with the girls changing tables for every course, in order to scout the field. Dancing lessons are given, in a separate room, for those who are so inclined, and do not already know the beauty of the waltz.

“The last Saturday of every month is reserved for LGBTQ Sinderella. If it is popular enough, we can find another venue, and do LGBTQ every week.”

Having completed the first part of her pitch, Margot stopped, and said, “That’s the basic idea. If you have questions, or comments, feel free to fire away. Otherwise, I can expand on it, and give you a back of the envelope idea of the money, showing how we can make a small fortune from Sinderella to grow Love School.”

“Oh, no, you go, go, go Margot. Don’t stop now. You go, go, go girl,” said Madonna.”

“Okay, thank you! The legal capacity of the Natural History Museum is approximately a thousand. We charge a hundred pounds a head. That gives us a hundred thousand pounds gate per week.

“But, obviously, not everyone can afford that, and we’d be betraying the spirit of Cinderella if we excluded the economically disadvantaged, so we give away a hundred tickets per week, fifty guys, and fifty gals. That brings us down to ninety thousand pounds per week.

“All of our free guests are attired, free of charge to them, from a period costume rental service. We do a sponsorship deal with them, whereby we encourage all our paying guests to rent from them, to give it a real costume ball feel. So, they cut us a deal for the freebies at ten thousand pounds per week, for a hundred costumes, which brings us down to eighty thousand per week.

“From our paying guests, we can expect an average bar haul of fifty pounds per person, including finger foods which are available throughout the night, for a gross of forty five thousand per week, with a profit of thirty thousand, pushing us back up to one hundred and ten thousand per week.

“The museum rents out for twenty thousand per night, but because it is otherwise closed on a Saturday nights, with the exception of about a dozen nights per year it is rented, we can get them down to fifteen thousand per night, which includes staff. That brings us back down to ninety five thousand per week profit.

“We serve dinner for two hundred, at twenty five pounds per seat, including decent wine. All the food is vegan gourmet. At a gross of five thousand pounds per week, it’s revenue neutral, so we are still at a net of ninety five thousand quid per week.

“We sell souvenir trinkets for a net of five thousand or more per week, so let’s call it an even hundred thousand profit per week.

“We run it fifty weeks per year, for an annual net profit of five million pounds. But that’s before we include what we make from the TV show.”

“And how, pray tell, do we make a TV show out of this,” asked Madonna.

“Good question,” said Margot, who was on a roll, “Throughout the evening, on four occasions, the music stops, the lights go out, and a spotlight hits a performer. Music. It could be a solo singer, a pop duo, a band. But whatever magic the performers are making, it must be about love. Romance. Happily ever after, and all that fairy tale stuff we want for ourselves, and those we love.

“There’s your TV show. Shoot all the performances, and bundle them into a half hour, weekly show. The performers are all amateurs, like Britain has talent and all those other shows. We pay them well, very well for an unknown doing one number, let’s say five thousand quid per performance. That leaves eighty thousand per week, which should more than production expenses for the show, since we are only talking about camera people, editors, and hosts.

“In the end, we have a TV show that is pure profit, and the show is all the marketing we need for the events themselves. And all the profit goes into growing Love School, while keeping it free for all.”

Everyone agreed it was a fabulous plan, but Madonna insisted on one thing, “No one is allowed to bring their damn phone with them. Anyone who pulls out a phone is tossed into the moat.”

Margot laughed, “Yes, I neglected to mention that. I could not agree more. If you’re there, you’re there, not staring at your damn phone. We will have plenty of professional photographers on hand.

“You can call on a photographer to snap pics of you and your friends at anytime. There will be all sorts of candid shots, as well. All of which can be viewed, shared, and downloaded from our website, which will be updated within 24 hours of the night  coming to a close.”

73 – MAKING LOVE IS COMPLICATED

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