Hang Dog

On Monday morning bright and early

A new traffic lady, I’ll her Shirley

Which is not her real name

I wouldn’t like to name and shame

By Wednesday afternoon she

had endeared herself to few

She yelled across the studio “Hey you!”

When at last someone yelled back

Her veneer summarily began to crack

On Thursday morning in our email box

We found a missive full of shocks

Shirley went AWOL or MIA

Wednesday was her very last day

The consequences have been dire

She’s left her teams deep in the mire

They’ve spent the week immersed in Facebook

Without any work at which to look

However, and here’s comes the thing

She never told them anything

Now there they sit on a giant backlog

With faces well described as hangdog

Action Man

The fragile political hierarchy
Between client and crew and agency
Befuddles me
Client speaks to agency sotto voice
Agency to director in due course
Director to crew – do not interfere
Do not speak too loud or stand too near
Get a Grip on yourself
Set the scene
Mask the lights
Got Speed
And Action
The Big Mac
We stand
Our ground
As the heavens weep
And the earth trembles
To hear him speak
Behold my children, behold!
For one walks among you now so bold
Who runs with the lion and hunts the dawn
A voice thunders in the dark waterfall of night
A solitary birdsong a herald to the light

A herd of seahorse

My head is filled with bits of fluff
Cotton wool and other stuff
I stayed up until almost two
Because I had important things to do
I made an awesome robot cake
And my colleague here thought I could not bake
It’s covered with cream cheese icing in blue
And jelly tots and Smarties with absolutely none for you

A fractal, tactile symphony
It’s a mystery to me
I’m quite at sea
When it comes to post rationalizing this pretentious AV
Ignite, tonight
I just might
Spontaneously combust
Is the demographically correct poet
Literate, good looking and perfectly articulate?
I wonder if I qualify for an honorary PHD in generating bullshit?

So I’m sitting here feeling dizzy
With some marketing types in IT
In chinos, shirts and ties
Who never quite meet your eyes
I think they hide behind
Big words and catchy little anagrams
To hide the fact they really don’t understand
The animatics are fantastic
Award winning and very slick
But where is Africa catching on fire
A sure fire way to alight my ire

Now a herd of wild seahorse
Are galloping through the land
And Neptune looks on benign
His scepter in his hand
A little lost mermaid surfaces
And then dives quickly beneath
The waves, she’s no where near ready
To sacrifice her beautiful tail for a pair of human feet
While I understand the longing to waltz upon the land
Why give up the deep blue sea for an ungrateful man
So she could dance the night away
But had no voice to say
“He’s mine” and so some other girl stole him right away
And now the little mermaid has a pair of Jimmy Choos
And a handbag from Gucci so she can never loose
Her perfect composure as she stares across sea
And leaves her footprints in the sand as she
Wonders what became of her palace beneath the waves
And the pearls and pretty fishes whose company she craves

I’m taking the small boy aged 4 on an awfully big adventure
A great white steed awaits who carry will him swift and sure
I’ll carry the echo all through my life of the pure sound of his laughter
I hope his friends all liked the cake and left not a crumb
I really want to be his absolutely perfect mum
His brother aged 6 is moving out
He’s ranted and raved and had a shout
He’s going live in a tent in the backyard
I think I’ve just been handed the red card
Equivalent in small boy parenting
I’ll spend tonight in abject pleading groveling

The road to hell

Driving down the road to hell
I’m plagued with good intentions
I think this is when your friends
Are supposed to start an intervention
Basically I came to work with the purest of intents
To restrain myself from giving my art director my ten cents
Worth of copywriter creative critique
He does not really like it if I question his technique

Now the technique of teenage dating
Had not changed much in passing years
There are still notes passed in class
and broken hearted tears
The phone that never stops ringing from the time
you’ve walked in the door
They’ve chatted all day already
and now they want to talk some more!
The love letters decorated with hearts and kissing couples
That’s the kind of thing right there that gets a kid in trouble
But things would be much simpler if
as grown ups we could say, “Hello
Would you like to be my girlfriend,
please tick yes or no?”

Speaking of feet in mouths I empathise
I undertook for my 4 year old’s party to provide
Some things to eat and more to drink
A cake and sweets and what do you think
About it, if the cake was a robot, well?
I think it’s fab. Yeah really swell
Can you detect any rising panic there?
Of course I can do it, I won’t turn a hair
Which is why I must give thanks to Scott
Who has drawn me an awesome cake robot

I have been having a post-modernist discussion
About literature and poetry and a child’s imagination
How stories are woven from the magic of the air
To create a reality that is almost but not quite here
I realise what a privileged life I have led
With a father who read me poetry before I went to bed
The Highwayman and Edward Lear
Treasure Island and Edward Bear
Stories of heroes both alive and dead
Who never ever ever in the face of danger fled
And when the wind is a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees
And the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas
And the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor
Then I hear the highwayman come riding, riding, riding
I hear him come riding up to the old inn door
He doesn’t live on celluloid
And cannot by any man be destroyed
For he lives in my heart and every night
He gallops through my dreams in sheer delight

Beware the Jabberwock, my son

Sun came up on Tuesday morning
Hit me right in the eye without any preemptory warning
My car needs to go into ICU
To pay for the damage I’ll probably write an IOU
The email’s not working and IT won’t answer calls
They’ve stuck up a disclaimer on all the restroom walls
Sadly my biggest problem has nothing to do with mail
I’ve encountered a critical error and my PC is about to fail
Of course everyone of you who uses Apple Mac
Will be gearing up at this point for another PC attack
I beg you save it for another day
I’m not in the mood for sharp word play

The bathing ape is biding his time
Our problem child client had committed the ultimate crime
Against creativity and all things bright and beautiful
Despite all that whatever he does will turn out truly wonderful
I know he feels that his integrity has been brought into question
But now is perhaps the time to exercise discretion
Let’s make the client happy so they will go away
And come back to worry us again on some other distant day

(I’m trying not to smoke another cigarette
I don’t think its working and I’ll succumb I bet
Out of sheer frustration and general ennui
What more can you expect from a member of the bourgeoisie?)

I feel a bit like Alice falling down the rabbit hole
Veering off the straight narrow and losing my control
I cannot figure out if I should be big or small
Can I enter Wonderland or am I just too tall?
I know that I am very late for a very important date
I quite expect the Queen of Hearts me shortly to berate
I wouldn’t like to be beheaded or to have to play croquet
It’s hardly a game in which I am au fait
But I wouldn’t mind a stroll with the walrus down the beach
I’m sure he and the carpenter have a lot that they could teach
A girl like me who’s wandering off the beaten track
Or I could join the Mad Hatter for a little teatime snack
It doesn’t really matter what size I am it seems
After all I’m only a figment of the Red King’s happy dreams

Have you ever watched a lion sleeping in the sun
Ignoring the playful advances of his son
The sheer inertness of the feline form
The enjoyment of a full bodied yawn
The stretch that starts at his very toes
And moves muscle by muscle to the tip of his nose?
I want to snooze in the sun like an African king
Instead of sitting at a desk pretending to be working


Although I’ve taken serious measures in my kids’ music education
I am encountering a high degree of immense frustration
Not liking Led Zeppelin is simply not an option
They simply transcend personal opinion
Jim Morrison is another case in point
Where my six year old’s reaction was designed to disappoint
His music tastes seem more to lie
Somewhere around nineteen eighty nine

My team is going off for an extended creative lunch
I am struggling to repress the uneasy hunch
That it will once again be postponed
Or despite a collective saddened moan
We’ll have to come back before going home
I will not entertain such a gloomy outlook
I’m going to call the restaurant to book
A table for 5 and if we get out of here alive
Then we’ll order a round of Tequila or two
Bugger! I knew it was too good to be true!
I’ve just been told not to hold my hopes high
That my CD is in all likelihood going to spit in my eye
I’ve asked my team to remain at large
Until I’ve chatted to the man in charge
If lunch is out we’re going on strike
Like every other industry and demand some rights!
Barring that I’ll go postal and do a Columbine
And send the powers that be off to meet with the Divine

I’m off tomorrow morning to another birthday party
With another cake decorated with over a thousand Smarties
And small six year old children running riot everywhere
By ten o’clock I’ll be tearing out my hair
From the sheer effort to make polite conversation
While praying piously for some salvation
It brings to mind my mother who always had a friend
With a child just my age so mature must intend
For us to be best pals and play along just so
When in fact we loathed each other and couldn’t wait to go
You see I am so happy that my son has found a gang
But I cannot comprehend I that would make me want to hang
Out with their parents and try desperately to pretend
That because my son likes theirs we are now best friends
I will hopefully find Teresa who tends to boycott these occasions
And have a clandestine cigarette and plan evasive action

I spent year selling this beloved country
Before I almost committed hari kiri
But the brief hiatus I have been experiencing
Went up in smoke sometime last evening
I’ve received three briefs on the very same issue
All totally different and making reach for a tissue
To wipe away the tears caused by the bubbling swells of hysteria
That threaten to form a Tsunami like disaster area

The outcome of this afternoon’s excursion
Is that we shall undertake a little subversion
Come quarter to one we pack up our stuff
Say not a word and disappear in a puff
Of proverbial smoke to order that Tequila
Or perhaps a frozen strawberry Margarita!

A Sunbeam

Does Jesus want me for a sunbeam

Or to light a fire under someone else’s ass?

I tend to err on the side of the latter

As I a strike a match to light their methane gas

Kaboom, kablooey off they go

If nothing else they made a beautiful firework show

I fear the tables may have turned on me

That I may be struck down suddenly

And without warning by a flash of lightning

Dispatched in manner incredibly frightening

I know I could never work in a bank

As a sailor I’d be responsible for every ship that sank

I’d be a lousy tennis player and not a baseball star

My sporting prowess more a source of raucous laughter

So I ended up in advertising and my friends look on with pity

As I stick up billboards everywhere across Joburg city

I know what I do is trivial and not all that deserving of respect

But I do it pretty well – better than a banker would I bet!

Do I dream of something else, some post-apocalyptic skill

Like a hunter or a doctor or some vocation that will

Save the world we live in and keep us all alive

Yes, but all I have to offer now is some amusing rhymes!

I give thanks then that I married a man with all the skills I need

To hunt for food and fix my car and other heroic deeds

And if today I succeed in giving you a smile

Than at least it may stave off the end of the world for a while

It’s funny the things I take for granted

That a few years ago had not been invented

I blithely assume that everyone can use the Internet

Can email and Google and knows about GREP

I assume that everyone on my team

Backs up their work on the server, do you know what I mean?

But it turns out that that’s not what they do

And I can’t even blame them, can you?

Eskom’s load shedding often leaves us powerless

Unable to work and meet deadlines even less

Our network is a seesaw on IT’s playground

So, (and there’s no nice way to say it) we get screwed around

Which is why they save the work on their desktops instead

And take their computers home with them when they are sick in bed

Which brings me to my next topic of discussion for the day

Martyrs and martyrdom should really stay away

From my studio when they are really ill

If I get sick because of them I’ll send them my doctor’s bill

We all like to think we are irreplaceable and perfectly unique

But I can someone else to do the work – you dig?

So stay in bed and sleep, take your pills every 4 hours

We’ll handle the work and send you some pretty flowers

Marais is feeling a trifle peeved

The changes I’ve marked are not to be sneezed

at. I’ve typed them all out, I’m a little anal that way

To be sure no small error slips away

I knew he’d be pretty mad at me

Which is why I tried to get the job into DTP

Now the servers are down and I can’t get in

The mails not working and I can’t log in

It renders me nearly apoplectic

And they have no idea when it’ll be fixed!

The Pussycat

The bane of every parent’s life has to be snack day

When you have to provide food for every kid for the day

Of course it slipped my mind

I never remember that kind of thing in time

I rushed off to the supermarket

In double-quick time to find it locked

I had to wait until opening time

And then stand in an enormous line

So the Princess has a feast for all her friends

And I bought them all chocolate to make amends

In a moment of divine justice coming true

I’m going holiday with the flu

Do you know what I don’t really care

I may be sick but I’ll be breathing sea air

I’m not at all sure that we’ll all survive

3 kids in a car on a seven hour drive

The thought that will sustain me throughout that grief

Is that soon it will be over and I’ll be in the sea

As for today in the studio

Marais has surpassed even Romeo

Today he sees himself as a pussycat

With the super sharp reflexes that come with that

As much as I am looking forward to

A week off without crises and much ado

I have to admit that I’ll miss the guys

The lows and highs that fill my hours

The nod of approval at the clothes I wear

The opening of doors and the pushing in of chairs

I’ll even miss the ribald remarks

For which Theo gets full marks

A whole week without them seems pretty dire

God I hope they don’t start a fire

Or give my desk to someone who they’ll love more than me

I’d never forgive them the infidelity

No matter how far it is I wander

Absence will make the heart grow fonder

Who knows they may even miss me too

Who will give Marias ten cents, I ask you who?

Christina will have to make him coffee all day long

And tell him that he’s got it all wrong

That the words are the most important thing

No-one gives a damn about the illustration

I don’t think she will though she’s an art director too

They gang up on pencil pushers in uncanny déjà vu

Is this your dagger I see before me?

One thing they do not teach in advertising schools

Is how to gladly suffer fools

Of course advertising is my entire life

And I’ll happily cancel my plans for tonight

Don’t worry about my family holiday

I didn’t really want to go anyway

I’m deeply sorry for your pitiful life

But if you take away mine I’ll take yours with a knife

My ass is yours from 9 to 5

After then you take a nose dive

Down my list of high priorities

Right down there with other minorities

The next little rant I think stands true

No matter what type of job you do

There are those, with thanks here to Shakespeare’s vision,

Who can smile and smile and be a villain

Who while seeming friendly are on another track

Just waiting to put a dagger in your back

The sad thing is they lack the courage

To say their piece right to your face

They are quite lacking in social grace

So some today I shall venture down there

And ask this young lady her issues to air

I know we’re heading for a showdown

It might become a bit of a hoedown

But harking back to what I said yesterday

Karma’s a bitch when she’s out to get paid

Am a cynical, control-freak bitch?

I’d rather be Glinda the Good Witch

With sparkly red shiny shoes

With magic powers so I can’t lose

I’d wave my wand and make it so

Like a Star Trek captain off I’d go

Next week I’m off to the sun and the sea

For long sweet cocktails and time for me

My phone will be off on a permanent basis

I’m going to spend the week in stasis

If you’ve got a crisis call 911

Don’t call me, I’ll be on the beach having fun!

I’ve been stuck meetings all day long

If I don’t fall asleep I won’t take a step wrong

I’m tired of hearing the same old thing

I’ll copy and paste your next BIG thing

You want a cherry on the top

A Tangerine, pop pop pop?

I think I’ve reached a critical mass

And lost my cool in this morass

Of crazy briefs with timing lines

Based on a quantum physics guideline

Where all things exist at the exact same time

I’d better shut up if I’d got nothing to add

And smile and nod as if I’ve gone mad

Glad, sad and bad bad bad

It won’t change the world it’s only an ad

I can’t sell things that just aren’t there

I can sell ice to Eskimos, but not empty air

All the creative in the world just won’t cut it

If you don’t have the actual physical product

I’ll tell you what, let’s approach it like this

We’ll put in PowerPoint and then discuss it

Ad bloody nauseam. You write the agenda

I’ll put in the final addenda

So, what we are going to do for PR?

It turns out she hasn’t a clue thus far.

Don’t panic that we’re seeing the client tomorrow

I’m sure there’s some other strat we could borrow

To cover our asses and make her smile

So we can buy ourselves some time.

I love the woman I sit next to

She loud and proud and her name is Tsepho

Here’s her catch-phrase in case you care

“That’s some schizophrenic shit right there!”

It’s almost time to get on the road

If I meet Buddha I’ll let you know