Thursday, March 26, 2009

Everything Is Disgusting. Part 7.

"So, tell our listeners about the new campaign, you in the suit." Said the DJ. Thank God thought Eggbert. At least he was asking the suit. Suits never knew anything.

"Well, it all has to do with the intrinsic benefits of children's deodorant." Eggbert heard a "thump" as people across the country let their heads hit the table in front of them. Eggbert snatched the boards out the suit's hands, lest he by some miracle actually give away some real information.

"Mr Weatherson, we've got to-" Eggbert began. But as he began, Weatherson shoved his hand in his face in the standard shut the hell up manner. Weatherson pointed towards the door to his office. A small, round man with neatly trimmed blond hair and a skin-tight neon green vest walked in. He looked like a penguin who didn't get the memo about the death of rave music. Sitting down at the mike opposite the DJ, he opened his mouth and began to talk. But it was Weatherson's voice that came out his mouth. Eggbert did not understand.

"Yes Mark. You see I take pride in all my products, and the one's that we make for kids are especially important to me." The small round man rattled on. Weatherson slowly led Eggbert into a side room. It was small and quiet. There were two chairs, a table and not much else. It wasn't the sort of room you'd expect to find in building like Yum MacYummy Head Office.

"What's going on?" Asked Eggbert, forgetting himself and his place for a moment.

"Well, I'm sure you wouldn't want me to blurt all the juicy details of our latest ad campaign all over the air." Eggbert shook his head.

"Rod is my voice. We like to call him the metronome. Well, at least that's what the guys down in sales and distribution call him. I hear them talking about it in the bathroom sometimes."

"You bug your own bathrooms?" Asked Eggbert.

"You'd be surprised at what I bug Mr Eggbert Romel." Eggbert twitched. No one had said his surname in so long. Since he had arrived at the agency, no one had asked. Eggbert decided this was all a little bit too strange and it would be best to get the hell out of here as soon as was humanly possible.

"So what does… "Rod" do exactly?" Why, he asked himself, oh why, was he asking more questions he didn't want the answers to.

"Well, on days when that infernal DJ as he likes to call himself comes round and we do "A Day With Weatherson" he goes in there and pretends to be me. He fools everyone. He's been trained since birth to say absolutely nothing."

"Nothing?"

"Yes. Nothing. He can go on for hours about it. You could spend the whole day talking to him and learn absolutely nothing. He's great. A bit round and penguinish but great none the less."

"That's…amazing." Said Eggbert, wondering how mad this person really was. Quite mad his brain assured him.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Everything Is Disgusting. Part 6.

The secretary walked into Mr Weatherson's office carrying a silver platter with 5 live puppies on it. Eggbert didn't want to know about the puppies. Whatever was going to happen to them, he wanted no part of. The secretary came out a minuet later and told them they could go in if they wanted to. Wanted had nothing to do with it and one would have thought the stupid bitch knew this, but no. Such was not Eggbert's luck, the little that he had. Eggbert kicked the suit in the shins to wake him up. Johnny had told him to do this and it was apparently accepted agency practice. After all they were just suits, if you needed a new one, you just shaved down a monkey and taught him to take notes. A few bananas every now and again and everyone was happy. The suit got up and grumbled something about the distinct lack of breakfast on offer at this particular establishment. Realising he was in fact, not at any particular establishment, he shut up and picked up the thick pieces of cardboard holding the masterful story boards for Johnny's latest wonderful idea. They walked into the office.

Inside the office, Mr Weatherson was busy doing an interview with the radio station he owned, 7FM. Of course the journalist was trying his best to be objective and question Mr Weatherson in a manner which suggested that this was a radio station you, the public could trust but it wasn't working very well.

"Mr Weatherson, some people say your company is dumping toxic baby sealskins in children 's playgrounds across the world. You were seen by several policemen and a judge dumping the sealskins yourself, and there were cameras rolling. How do you respond to that?"

"… What toxic baby sealskins?" There was a brief and awkward silence. Suddenly the sweaty little journalist scum burst out laughing. A nervous, placating sort of laughter. The type of laugh that says "You've just said something that I'm not going to disagree with because you'll fire my ass."

Eggbert sat down in the corner of the office, quietly. Why the hell had they been let into Mr Weatherson's office if he was busy doing a live interview? As the internet would say: wtf? Mr Weatherson turned then and looked at Eggbert. Weatherson's eyes had that bore into your soul quality to them. Then he smiled. The smile was worse.

"You'll have to forgive me. Every now and again I invite a journalist or DJ to spend the day with me so that the buying public can see that I'm just your average sort of guy." Weatherson said.

"Oh" said Eggbert. Eggbert wondered if it was such a good idea to discuss the marketing campaign for Weatherson's new range of children's deodorant on national radio. The suit came alive.

"Mr Weatherson, we're here to show you the new ad campaign and direction for your range of children's deodorant."

"Excellent, let's talk about this with our listeners." Eggbert was getting nervous. What the hell was Weatherson thinking? Johnny would kill him if word of his campaign leaked before it broke. A journalist posing as a tea lady had once infiltrated the agency and written about one of Johnny's campaigns before it broke. Johhny had apparently hung upside down like a bat inside the journalist's bedroom for hours then swooped down and stuck a pen in the man's head. All subsequent tea ladies hired had to be able to prove that they could neither read nor write. How this was done, only Johnny and an elite team of interrogators knew.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Everything Is Disgusting. Part 5.

Eggbert sat in the drab, grey waiting room of the Yummy MacYum Head Office. Yummy MacYum owned nearly every brand in the world. If you could sell it, they did. It was a radio station (7FM - all the hits, all the time, all the slime), a hot dog factory (Puppy Delicious – More Dog For Your Bite), a Swiss watch manufacturer (Twatch – Every second is another moment) as well as several other money-making machines. It was 7am and the secretary looked like she knew it. Let's just say she was not the most helpful person on the planet. When Eggbert introduced himself, she snarled. He backed off and sat down. Her hair was a mess, a stylish mess but a mess none the less. And she had the rather irritating habit of laughing while on the phone. Not that Eggbert had anything against people who laughed. No, he was all for laughing, in fact, one might say that if there were two teams and one was against laughing and one was for it, Eggbert would be a cheerleader for the laughing team. It was laughing like a coked up prostitute on speed being beaten by her pimp that Eggbert had a problem with. Eggbert got up and paced the room. The secretary continued to laugh. Perhaps she was being paid to torture people in other countries via the phone line? He did not know. The suit the agency had sent with him snored quietly on the seat next to him with his eyes open. It was a trick everyone at the agency learned very quickly. The ability to fall asleep while listening to a client saved many heads from exploding. This suit had apparently become so conditioned to it, that he just did it naturally. Eggbert waved a hand in front of his face. Nothing. Eggbert continued to pace. It helped him think. In a few minutes time he was going to go into the office of one of the most powerful men on the planet and try and sell him evil mongooses. He ran over his strategy in his head.

"Hello Mr Weatherson. You are God. So listen, I'm from Ketch and Co and Johnny sent me over here to explain how we're going to handle your children's deodorant range. We're going to call it Plush Pythons. It'll be absolutely fucking amazing. Johnny says so."

Things seldom work out the way you plan them. Eggbert should have been more aware of this than most, given his current situation in life. But, of course, he wasn't.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In The Town of Los Angeles, 1994

And it came to be in the town of Los Angeles that an oracle did descend from the heavens and approach me one night as I lay slumbering.
And it roused me with its pulsating light that did turn the insides of my eyes a dull red colour that slowly faded back to black, again and again.
And it said to me

"Awake, Sir, for I am here to bestow upon you a mighty gift and indeed, a gift for all mankind."

And I did sit up straight and heed the oracles words.

"I can answer any question you have. I am the complete sum of human intelligence throughout history. And if the answer does not exist yet, millions of people could be thinking about it in seconds, all you need to do is ask the question. I am the greatest, most sublime phenomena since the invention of language itself and I am here for you, whenever you need me. What would you like to know? What would you like to see? Who would you like to listen to? What will be the first request you ask of the oracle?"

And I did say unto the Oracle

"I would like to look at a naked woman."

Everything Is Disgusting. Part 4.

"Did I ever tell you about the time we did the Robodeath 2399 part 2 campaign Eggbert?"
"The campaign that was so ingenious that it was banned because it was putting universities out of business if I remember correctly. Was that your campaign master?"
Eggbert of course knew it was his campaign but it felt right to ask anyway.
"Of course it was! Who else could of thought of something so… so… ingenious?!?! Anyway, so we have to animate a million electronic robots tearing up the city, as the robots do in the game. The shoot wasn't hard but then came the actual animation. We get to the fine artist we've paid to do the animation, turns out he's never heard of a computer so he wants to do the whole thing by hand, never mind the fact that we had to be on air the next day, so I say fine, do it. I sat with him the whole night while he animated that ad and you know what happened Eggbert?"
"No master"
"We ran out of red. It was 2:30am and we had no red. You know why we had no red Eggbert? Because of all the bloody blood in the ad. So you know what I did Eggbert?"
"No master"
"I cut my wrists and we used real blood Eggbert. I cut them with a butter knife because it was the only piece of cutlery that dirty hippie owned and we smeared my blood over page after page. By the end of it, I was nearly dead and the hippie wasn't talking to me. And do you know what I said after that Eggbert?"
"What master?"
"I have no idea. I was checking if you knew. Anyway, take the Plush Pythons idea over to the client and tell them that if they don't buy it, they can start looking for a new singing dancing monkey because this ape won't tango anymore without their sign-off on the Plush Pythons masterpiece."

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Everything Is Disgusting. Part 3.

"I've got an idea for a TV ad for…for… Plush Pythons… yes, that's what we'll call them, Plush Pythons, fucking brilliant Ketch, genius. I know Johnny but I couldn't have done it without you. You're too much really…"
"Sir-" Eggbert began.
"What did you call me Eggbert?!?!"
"I mean Master"
"What is it Eggbert? If I forget this TV ad before you've written it down, society as a whole will blame you for the downfall of modern civilization and I will take it on as my personal responsibility to make sure you wind up writing headlines for the local high school newspaper, do you understand me Eggbert?"
"Yes, I-"
"Yes "what" you snivelling bag of festering vomit?"
"Yes, master I'm sorry, I must have forgotten myself."
"Forgotten yourself? Forgotten…forgotten… Dear Jesus christing fuck , I've forgotten the TV ad, I'm going to kill you Eggbert, I'm going to flay you alive and serve you to the client service department as starters, then have them shit you out and eat you again as the main course."
"You've got the words "TV ad is all about stinky mongooses that the snakes chase away" written on your notepad, could that have anything to do with it?"
"Fucking brilliant Eggbert, fucking brilliant, we'll have stinky mongooses that attack the kids and then the noble Plush Pythons will chase them away, leaving the kids smelling new and fresh, like a car!"
"Thank you master but-"
"No, no buts Eggbert, you're the man for me, you're hired, when can you start?"
"Actually I already work for you master, you hired me last week after I balanced that seal on my nose for half an hour."
"That's amazing. And I did all this with no help whatsoever?"
"Did what exactly si..master?"
"Built this advertising agency from the ground up. Won every prize and award there is to win for creative brilliance."
"ummm… Yes."
"Now what did you want me for Eggbert? Can't you see I'm busy?"
"But you called me master."
"Are you calling me a liar Eggbert?"
"Heavens no master, it's just that-"
"Stop your lies boy and write this down. The child is with a friend, perhaps another child, they're walking through some sort of enchanted forest. There are birds everywhere. They go "tweet". Suddenly, out of the blue, a heard of restless and ruthless mongooses storm the castle walls, yelling "Bad smell good! Bad smell good!" The children cower in fear. They are along and afraid in this stinky world. But lo! What's this? A team of X-treme Plush Pythons parachute in from their apache helicopter, they land and "SSSSS" the mongooses, destroying their stinky ways. The children are euphoric. They dance, joyfully and celebrate their victory by drinking the blood of their enemies out of skulls. Actually forget that last part, children can't dance for shit."

"Yes… master."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Everything Is Disgusting. Part 2.

"Phlush!" screamed Johnny, wetly spitting the fish out his mouth.
"What?" said Eggbert, putting down the bucket of fish and scrambling to get out his notepad and pen so he could write down Johnny's creative gem.
"Plush you fool! Plush!" Eggbert wrote down the word "Plush" hoping this was an actual idea and not another game Johnny was playing.
"We'll make the entire range into plush toys! Kids love plush! More fish Eggbert!" Eggbert threw another fish at Johnny, missing hopelessly, he scribbled down the words "Entire range made out of plush."
Eggbert hoped that at some stage, Johnny would tell him exactly what it was they were supposed to be brainstorming.
"It's a new range of children's deodorant. Children smell like shit ergo children's deodorant. We'll make the new bottle out of plush and give them character and personalities. Maybe a bunch of snakes or other creatures who go "SSSS" when you apply pressure to their heads."
"Genius Johnny"
"Superb"
"I'll get on the horn to the suppliers immediately."
"I'll set up a brain storm to work out what other creatures we could use."
Johnny thought things and when he did, people ran to make sure they happened. Such is the job of a creative mastermind.
Eggbert spent the rest of the morning briefing the designers on what to scamp up for the client. "Snakes you say?" said Bradley, the lead designer, picking up his marker pen and sticking his tongue out. "Yes, snakes. Friendly ones that go "SSSS" when you apply pressure to their heads. I've worked out some names for them but I think right now we should just present the concept."
"mmmm…Ok." Bradley walked slowly back to his Macintosh, tapping his pen as he walked going "SSSSS"…."Friendly snakes"…."SSSS"…
"Eggbert you fool! Get in here!" Johhny yelled across the studio, Eggbert dropped his coffee all over the sandwich lady and ran towards Johnny's office. "Yes master?" he said.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Everything Is Disgusting. Part 1.

"I'm not feeling creative enough yet, Eggbert. Throw another Koi in the tank." Eggbert picked up the bucket of fish and tipped another of them into the sensory deprivation chamber which held his master. If Salvador Dali ever made soup, this is what it would look like. A mixture of exotic rubber ducks, an eel, three Koi and a blow-up doll floating around in the dark water, occasionally bumping up against Johnny Ketch, creative mastermind and ruler of the advertising world. Or so, many thought. Those who worked for him at least. And one or two people he made a point of telling on a daily basis. His girlfriend, for example. "I am a creative mastermind and ruler of the advertising world!" he would say.
"Yes" she would say, "Sure".
"Hmmm" said Johnny. "It would appear that perhaps I've overdone it with the ducks this time."
"Would you like me to take some out?" Asked Eggbert, preparing to get into the bright orange wetsuit that Johnny had told him to wear whenever he got into the tank. Apparently, if he didn't wear the suit, Johnny might mistake him for a rogue idea and wrestle him to the bottom of the tank where he would choke the life out of him and rise to the surface with his prize in-between his teeth. At least that was what Johnny had told him. Eggbert was not a small man by any means and there was more than a slight chance that he could take Johnny in a fair fight. Johnny, however, never fought fair. The fight might start out fair, in an empty room, with locked doors but by the end of it, the poor bastard who had challenged Johnny to the alleged fair fight, would find himself strung upside down with Christmas decorations, an apple in his mouth and the strange desire to visit Cuba for a long, long time.
"No Eggbert, it's ruined, I can no longer be creative here. Prepare the Dawn Wing."
"Yes Master." Eggbert was a junior copywriter. He had taken this job in the hope that he might learn something from the great Johnny Ketch. So far, he had learned that 7 rubber ducks in a sensory depravation tank was too many. That and Johnny had a thing about being called "Master".

The Dawn Wing as described in the "About Johnny Ketch" book Eggbert had been given, involved hanging Johnny over the edge of the huge Ketch & Co Advertising Agency building by his feet and throwing fish at him. Catching the fish in his teeth would inspire him, as the theory went, and result in the most creative advertising campaign ever imagined. Eggbert flip-flopped the fish into the bucket and wondered weather he should use the live Koi or get some new but very dead fish from the grocer down the street. Live fish were probably more creative he surmised and so he took the Koi over to the side of the building where Johnny was waiting in a pink batman costume.

To Know

We’re having the warm rains the Summer brings to the Eastern Cape right now and this evening they brought a lightning storm with them.

I’m smoking a cigarette when I notice the first drops of rain and decide to walk through the garden while it rains, which has a telephone pole in the back corner, behind some shrubs.
I’m right next to it staring up at the night sky when the most brilliant flash of light I’ve ever seen fills my vision followed by the sound of a thousand Coke cans being opened at once.

Suddenly, every little piece of information I’ve wanted to remember but can’t, that’s been on the tip of my tongue, flows into the forefront of my brain and I can see exactly how everything relates.
Every big decision in my life is made at the same time and I question nothing. I know exactly what I need to do.

And there is the smell of burning flesh.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

On Tattoos

The thing you've got to remember about tattoos as well, when it comes to "will this still have meaning/relevance in my life in 50 years time" is that it doesn't really matter when you get that old anyway because at that point you're far more concerned with whether or not you've shit yourself.

More importantly, like any word that you say often enough loses its meaning and becomes just a noise, tattoos become photographs of where you were in your life when you got them, more than the original meaning. It's not surprising that psychologists have found that people get tattoos during turning points or periods of upheaval in their life and this had held true for all of mine. I don't so much see a flammable symbol on my arm as I do my last day of college and the night after I got it.

I will add that tattoos are in fact, the only scars you get to choose. Although actual scars still do make for better stories.

As I said to my mother "Yes, I know you believe my body to be the Temple of God, so just think of it as me changing the wallpaper."