Swimming Instructor, St. Louis Community College
"Opening a barbecue restaurant, but I became a cop, and once you're involved with law enforcement, it takes up too much of your time. Twenty years went by, and that restaurant idea faded. I tell my wife the real reason I never opened it is because she wouldn't front me the money."
"Living in an apartment, I thought it'd be nice to have a treadmill for both me and my dog, and then Zooey and I could still get our exercise if the weather's bad or whatever. But I didn't pursue it, and then I saw it in the Miles-Kimball catalog -- the Doggie Treadmill, $29.95 -- and I was undone. Miles Kimball carries any silly little thing you can think of, so it was embarrassing to see my idea in there."
Steve De Bellis
Publisher, St. Louis Globe-Democrat/
Marketer, Lemp Beer
"I tried to market Capone's Beer in Chicago -- I thought that every tourist would want a bottle. But no distributor was interested in it. 'We don't associate with that,' they all said, and the official stance of the city is 'We don't promote him.' In fact, there was a guy who opened the Capone Museum in the city of Chicago, and a year later they wiped that out and put a Rainforest Cafe in its place."
"The best idea was the marijuana gum. It tastes like reefer, smells like reefer, but there's no THC. The placebo effect takes over. At some point it's, like, 'Hey, I'm getting high!" Or how about Sock Monkeyland, where it's all about sock monkeys? The cocktail waitresses dress up as sexy sock monkeys, and they stop what they're doing every so often to perform scenes from Waiting for Godot."
Manager, McNulty's Pub
"When they first came out with bubble wrap, I thought wouldn't it be great if you could somehow morph that into the face of someone in your life -- your boss, co-worker, husband -- so, when you get mad, you just pop their bubbles instead of popping their face."
Artist/Desert Storm Veteran
"I tried to sell some pieces of my soul on eBay, only they stopped me after three days: 'You can't sell body parts.' I wrote them, 'Well, my soul isn't a body part, and, besides, how can you prove it even exists?' Never sold any, but I got e-mail: 'Why are you doing this?' The pieces were in a limited edition of 100 with a certificate of authenticity. I could've paid off my student loan if it would've worked."