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Hey, Mr. Alice:

So I'm sitting at a stop light and I notice this disturbing trend of human billboards. You see them twirling those sale signs and doing a weird dance. My questions I have are as follows: How much do these people make doing this? Are these jobs listed in the paper? Do they get any kind of benefits just in case a motorist runs them over? Who is to know that they stood on the street corner and didn't just go home and say they did the work?

-- Dave, Oceanside

M.A. and the elves had the privilege of interviewing two human arrows. A good cross section of the culture, we figured. Subject number one we'll call Justin. Since half the boys in their early teens are named Justin, that should hide his identity well enough.

Hi, Justin. "H'lo." Say, how'd you get this neat job, and how can I get one just like it? "I donno. Ask my dad." Yeah? Who's your dad, some bigshot in the advertising business? "Um, he owns the store." Oh, the store on the arrow? It's a little hard to read when you flip it around like that. "It's just to attract attention." And it sure does, Justin. How much do you get paid? "He said he'd give me $50 and some CDs." Get medical? A 401k? Family leave? Upward mobility? "What's that?" Is it fun? "Well, sort of. Not really." If you felt like it, could you just take your arrow and go home? "Um, not without asking my dad." What would happen if you did? "He'd be pretty mad, probably." Well, thanks, Justin. "Yeah." We had an eerily similar conversation with a bagel-sign waver, but her story was that she was an employee of the store and was paid the same wage for wagging a big arrow as she gets for sweeping up poppy seeds and cleaning out the cream cheese tubs.

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