On having a bad cough: “Take a laxative. That will get you to stop thinking about coughing;”
On marriage: “Just settle. Lower your standards. He’ll change;”
On baldness: “The combover is the way to go. Women secretly find that sexy.”
This is the type of free bad advice you’ll receive in Cherryville, whether you want it or not, from a pop-up group of local residents.
“We’ve been given plenty of bad advice and we don’t want others missing out,” said group spokesperson Angelia (Ange) Harvey who, on this holiday Monday, May 24, is at the newly erected Lemon Heaven Freshly Squeezed Lemonade stand outside the back of Frank’s General Store beside Highway 6.
“They’re bringing in business,” said Lemon Heaven operator Kiel Crebo whose mom, Wendy, and wife, Alejandra Machuca, were helping dish out bad advice at the stand’s long weekend opening.
Harvey is joined under the big top (tent) with the Free Bad Advice sign on this drizzling Monday by group consultants and board members I’m Just Lisa (no last name given) and Melanie (same on the last name not given) as a reporter checks out the group and advice.
The group is helping the Crebos and their new lemonade venture as it’s been tough through the pandemic for food vendors with festivals shut down.
Lumby couple Mariah and Kevin stopped at the lemonade stand as they were in Cherryville looking at houses when Free Bad Advice offered these gems:
“Don’t worry about a house inspection. That’s a total cash grab.”
“Pay as much interest as possible and get the longest mortgage possible so you can pay for years and years.”
A self-described extrovert who loves meeting strangers – she even had a “waving chair” at the end of her driveway off the highway where she’d sit and wave at passing motorists until some rotter stole the chair – Harvey said to become a member of the group, you have to be asked to come to the table.
“It’s gone international as three of my friends from Washington (state) have been invited,” she laughed.
“This is a meeting of the minds,” said Lisa. “We want to change the world. We laugh, we cry.”
Harvey said they’ve tried to write a mission statement but to no avail so far. Right now, all members are women.
“Our rules on everything could change tomorrow,” smiled Harvey.
They might not know where they’ll pop up – be it the lemonade stand, the soon-to-be Cherryville Farmer’s Market starting across the road from Frank’s off Highway 6 at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 5, or other community venues, but Free Bad Advice will, like the lemon stand, operate through the summer to Labour Day weekend.
“We’ll know it when we feel it,” said Harvey, adding the group gives out good advice on Sundays. “We’ll know when the wind blows, when the stars align, and we’ll give advice whether people want it or not.”