Chic Sale's sequel to "The Specialist" is another funny book titled "I'll Tell You Why".
It has a greater subtlety, and its philosophy is deeper.
This new book "I'll Tell You Why" is, I believe, destined to surpass "The Specialist" in interest, and I hope in sales.
I have known Chic Sale intimately for years and have heard him tell a thousand stories among every class of listeners, but I have never heard him tell a story you could not tell your mother and mine.
Chic has, without realizing it himself, become one of the American realists comparable to Trollope in England. He is a prestidigitor with the commonplace and the mediocre things of life. And he is as typically home-spun American as the seventh inning stretch.
His life has been spent in the rather sordid glamour of the theatre. Yet he has given the stage his art--and that is all. He is one actor who does not strut.
He is as innocent of worldliness as spring water. He knows only the humanity of his own heart, and that is why he has become a happy philosopher. He was suckled in a creed that many profess outwardly to have outworn, but inwardly is their greatest possession.
Life has bestowed upon me the gift of many wonderful friendships, but not one is more prized than that of Chic Sale.
-Excerpt from the Introduction by O. O. McIntyre.
Chic Sale is one of the bright eyed robins of life.
He was an actor, and a good one, and did not know he could write until he seized upon a homely topic, usually mentioned in whispers, and gave it the whimsical charm of a Barrie play or a nursery tale by Milne. That slim volume "The Specialist" sold close to a million and is still selling.
Two humorous excerpts from the pages of
"I'll Tell You Why"
by Chic Sale.
"It always pays to give the customer what he wants."
Take a customer I had in our town--a skittish, scary sort of woman, the kind that would dodge in the closet at the first clap of thunder. Dogged if she didn't insist on me puttin' up a lightnin' rod on that job I built fer her. This bein' out of my line, naturally I argued agin it, thinkin' it was jest a faddish notion, but finally I give in.
About a week later, a bad electric storm come up, while she was out in there. I'll be slab-dabbed if the lightnin' didn't strike a tree in the yard, glance off onto that rod and go in the ground, savin' her life. When anything happens to a woman like that, it's jest like puttin' it in the papers--so the news spread. Result was, her talkin' created such a demand that now all my customers that can afford it, want their jobs lightnin' rodded. Of course on new jobs, this comes under the head of extra equipment--adding' a new department to my business that pays a v-e-r-y v-e-r-y pretty profit.
Now there was a case where the customer was right. Puttin' lightnin' rods on that job didn't weaken its construction or spoil its looks. Fact is, the shiny point and glass trimmin's sort of set it off.
It always pays to give the customer what he wants, providin' it don't kick back on you, givin' your business a black eye--and I'll tell you why.
"When a customer comes around with a novelty idea that ain't practical, turn it down."
I had a case with a feller that run a amusement park. His mind run to tricky contraptions fer playin' jokes on folks. Come to me with a workin' plan fer buildin' a breakaway job out on his country place. Wanted her built on a high knoll, in sight of his front porch. She was to be of trick construction, with the four sides hinged at the bottom; held together with a secret spring, and to all appearances look like a ordinary, standard, regulation three holer.
Here's the way she'd work: His idea was to watch till he saw some guest that was modest and high strung, go out in there; wait till they got comfortably located, and then call his other guests to come out on the front porch to admire the view.
Jest as they was all oh-ing and ah-ing over the beautiful scenery, he'd point at that knoll and say: "Now here's a view I always enjoy." Then he'd pull a secret wire, releasin' the spring, and the sides and back of that job would drop down like peelin' a banana, and there they'd be Well you can imagine the embarrassment.
Well, gentlemen, I turned his fool idea down flat. If I had been an inexperienced young man jest startin' in business, I might have done it and ruined my career. Danger bein', folks would likely have gotten the wrong idea--might think that all my jobs would fall apart like that, and where would I be? Certainly not standin' here today, the head of my profession, tellin' you young business men startin' out on a career how to make a success.