If you can’t blind them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bull####. -- TheDragonsFlame
If there was one thing that Ned "Fucking" Chicane could do, it was think on his feet and talk so quickly that people were nodding along before they realised that he was selling them dung by the bag.
"This one looks so fake," complained a customer/rube.
"This? This is simply a curio. A tip of the hat to the late, great showman, P. T. Barnum. You all recall the famous Fiji Mermaid, and the greatest hoax ever pulled on the human race? Well, this is a lovingly hand-crafted homage. No doubt you have heard of 'reborn' dolls? Commercial mass-produced fabrications initially, but with love, care, and lavish attention to detail, they emerge from the hands of a skilled artisan and craftsperson looking like they are about to take a breath, look you in the eye, and say 'Mama' or 'Dada'. This is but one of my first attempts at such lavish skill, my friend. Just the first. And since I run an emporium of the strange, the bizarre, and the otherworldly... why, I thought it might be fun to tip my hat to the biggest fake in the business. It's merely present as a test, my friend, a test. To sift the weak willed from those with a greater discerning eye. A critical mind and an analytical wit are one's greatest friends when sorting genuine paranormal footage from -say- losers in wookie costumes and out-of-focus shots of venus."
Which was why he had a special display of the fakes he put effort into, behind doors and drawers and in low lighting conditions, allegedly to preserve them. In actuality, to preserve then from a critical mind and an analytical wit. Sold together that this was the special stuff and this customer was also special enough to see it. It worked effectively to sell more than a few mementoes.
Ned had a fine collection of Alien Eggs in the curio store. Some with UV lighting so that they appeared to glow. The stuff behind closed doors was the more genuine kind of fake. Surrounded by Things in jars, a drawer opened to reveal what was, in actuality, the foot from a plastic skeleton, re-wired so that the toe was the thumb's hand. Covered over in leather, fake fur, and the dried produce of Ned's septic tank. And then deodorised in the loft for months. Any insects that perished or left their carapaces there were lovingly kept for authenticity.
Ned lowered his voice to a whisper. "Now this specimen is very fragile, so I can't allow you to touch it. My agents were lucky to preserve even this specimen from the site where it was found in the Chilean mountains. This is the foot of a juvenile primate the likes of which science has been unable to classify..."
He ran through the usual stuff. Perilous expedition, the body being in a terrible state, the tragic story that the expedition was able to divine. The book was available in the shop, of course, for a significant mark-up when compared to the obvious ones like the Alien Eggs or the Baby Abominations or the I (heart) Yetis T-shirts.
At the end of it, the Rube purchased quite a lot of paraphernalia, including some shirts and the 'fiji mermaid' doll without the display case, but with the little plastic basket that the original doll had come with.
Ned waited until they were well on their way before placing another doll in the display.
"How many of those Trudy Tinkles dolls did you 'adjust', Ned?" wondered Kirby, eternally tapping away at his laptop.
Ned smiled. "They're a hobby. Once I liberated the stock from the Big Box Mart dumpster over in Snowshoe, I've kept them safely in a U-store I maintain for my... less reliable material. I actually spend my weekends on one at a time, so... I have fifty in stock and I'm working on another."
"Was it the 'alien wreckage' or the 'bigfoot' that sold that one?"
"Bigfoot," said Ned. "Bigfoot is in."
The bell rang. Ned launched into his spiel. "Welcome, welcome my friends, to my emporium of the unworldly..."
 Both for sale to less discerning customers with testimony from other frauds like Ned. With the obligatory impressive titles in the subtitles and a bookshelf in the background for genuine fake authenticity.
[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / Morphart]
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