Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#009 In which our hero encounters a salesman.

Couple days ago we had a "parents meeting" at the daycare where we take the little girl. The idea, I'm told, was to give the parents the opportunity to meet each other, and maybe set up play groups and such. Since the little girl is only six months old, her play groups typically are comprised of piles of whatever is in reach that can be chewed on. Which at this age is approximately every single thing in the house.

Since our daycare provider is just a women who does it out of her house, there aren't a lot of kids there, something like six or seven, and not all of them come every day. Bottom line there were only my wife and I, and two other sets of parents. And I couldn't stand a one of them (except my wife, naturally).

The idea of forming a play group in which my little girl plays with their kids while I attempt to trade small talk over coffee is horrifying. I suspect the conversation would go something like this:
ME: So, we take our kids to the same daycare, huh?
(Long uncomfortable pause)
ME: Your know your kid is kinda ugly, right?
I shouldn't pick on the one set of parents, they don't seem actively annoying (even if they did name their son "Loki," one of the dumber choices I've heard in awhile). But this other couple. Oh, boy, this other couple.

She seems to be a bitch. Turns out she works in claims for Progressive Insurance. The self-same Progressive Insurance I worked at for six months when my unemployment ran out and I had to get a job. I mentioned that I used to work there, thinking I'd get a "really? Small world!" kind of reaction. Instead, I got an indifferent glare that said "so what? You and every other third asshole in Cleveland."

But her husband took the lion's share of my disdain. He wore an ugly, ill-fitting suit that screamed used car salesman. He was balding, sleazy, slimy and otherwise unappealing. Turns out he is a salesman, but for a radio station. Let us be clear: he sells air time on a radio station. That means you can call him and ask how much it would cost to run your spot on his station during a particular time piece and he'll put your commercial on the broadcast. He sells air. Now, I don't begrudge him that... it's a job that someone has to do, and as far as jobs go, not a terrible one.

But the thing is, I work in advertising. I'm a copywriter, an advertising writer. Me and my ilk are the ones that come up with "Where's the Beef?" or "A Coke and a smile" or "Just do it," even though I've never written anything near that popular or famous. (As an aside - "Just do it" was written by a college grad student who was paid $34 for his work. Isn't that a kick in the pants?)

So, needless to say, when Mr. Smarmy Radio Salesman started to say "Well, we in the advertising business..." my hackles went up. I am in the advertising business. This guy is in the advertising business like a car salesman is in the NASCAR business. He handles a product that is tangentially related to the industry. Air time is a vehicle, a mode of transmitting a message, certainly not the message itself.

Fortunately, we were on our way out when dipstick starting moving his mouth. Otherwise I could have most likely been moved to reveal that I was also in the advertising business and he'd ask me what I do and before long I'd be ranting "You are a salesman! You could just as easily be selling shoes or encyclopedias or hair plugs! You are NOT in the advertising business!"

And then a slap fight breaks out and that's not good for anybody.


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