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

Columbine

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!

The Casualty Affair

I’ve spent a week by the deep blue sea

Enjoying some time with my family

We built fairy castles in the sand

And more then once things got out of hand

Back at my desk I must relate

The incidents that made the whole break great

First there was the time that James got washed away

A friendly surfer rescued him before he went astray

Still water logged and sandy my boy got quite a fright

So we had to go and buy him a brand new funky kite

Lexi has decided at the grand of age of almost three

Has decided that she no longer wished to be known as Lexi

She spent a happy morning practicing her name

Before Xandra Bella she finally became

The most amusing anecdote that I have here to share

Was what I fondly refer to as the Casualty Affair

We’d spent a happy day in the sea and on the sand

It was on our way home that things got out of hand

It must have been about four o’clock

That Marc apparently went into anaphylactic shock

I stood in the store stocking up on some snacks

When Marc and my mother came bursting in with the facts

A bust little bee had stung my man’s behind

Marc’s shock and Mummy’s panic instantly combined

Reminiscent of the manner in which headless chickens run

Round in circles as I stood there looking stunned

As I raced towards ER, Marc sat beside me numb

Worried about the blown-up man he was shortly to become

The learned paramedic upon learning of his plight

Was sympathetic and kindly and suggested he stayed the night

But first of all it was important that he looked upon the bum

To examine said sting upon which he was struck dumb

Would you like to hear the diagnosis? Well I’ve promised not to say

It will have to wait until another sunny day

Suffice to say it wasn’t quite what first we thought

It was instead an issue dermatologically fraught

Now here I sit and hear the shackles clamping tight

Around my ankles as I sit under the tungsten light

Catching up on all the office goings on

It appears things ran amok while I was gone

Marais was in accident and has staples in his head

While I sat sipping cocktails, he spent the week in bed

At the scene a drama played out

As the driver in question placed into doubt

Her blood alcohol limit of 1.79

Maintaining that she was absolutely fine

“But officer” she cried “Someone spiked my drink”

With a bottle of neat whiskey, I don’t think?

Marais’s trusty little blue Renault

Is now officially what one could call a no-go

My battled-scared rock staris back at work

Ready for the studio to go totally berserk

Let’s see how the day pans out as the seconds tick on by

I swear that in my head I can still hear the seagulls cry

Today so far I’ve had to find red dungarees and find the time

To complete a feedback form on an erstwhile colleague of mine

It’s hard to find politically correct and complimentary terms

To list the inefficiencies and the things she needs to learn

I think I did a pretty good job of it all things considered

Thinking about all the issues on which she has erred

The most fabulous thing about my day so far

Is that I found on my desk my new Vanity Fair

Packed with articles most enticing

And a cover that calls to me most inviting

I’ve had some news both happy and sad

My Jules is following in the footsteps of the lad

She plans to marry in the future near

Which means she will no longer be here

But our loss is certainly Cliffy’s gain

And I’ll toast to her engagement with fine French champagne

She’s shopping today for some sparkly thing

To adorn her finger, but not a ring

She’s never been one to stand on ceremony

And I hope she finds something with very very many

Beautifully cut diamonds, a girl’s best friend

Or barring that, a shiny new Mercedes Benz

I can empathize with the woman who thought who her drink was spiked

That feeling that you’ve been raped at some point during the night

My client just sent through a debrief that renders me dumb

Even Wayne maintains loudly that we’ve been done up the bum

Our beautiful illustrations have been reduced to microsize

Apparently the public isn’t interested in the prize

We have to use some clipart that should be rendered highly illegal

Oh how I wish I was still swimming with the seagulls

I think my laptop is fatally flawed

And shortly will have to be interred

In the bowels of IT for a full format function

Or I fear it and I are that junction

Where we may have to part on a permanent basis

Of course I will mourn my poor PC’s passing

But take strength that my grief will not be long lasting

I shall erect a monument to stand the test of time

For a laptop who has endured much

In the years it has been mine

Now I’ve spent a trying hour in my latest crusade

To find a new domestic or in plainer terms, a maid

For those of you who may think this is not a difficult task

There is a pressing question then that I must surely ask

Have you ever had to pay R3000 on your phonebill

Or replaced your entire wardrobe after a particularly nasty bleach spill

Or lost an antique dining room chair

I don’t know where it went, God only knows where

I hark back to the days of my faithful family nanny

Who although quite terrifying was undeniably canny

She outsourced our ironing and made dinner every night

If I overslept in the morning she would give me quite a fright

She never had a moment’s doubt that she was absolutely right

And organised every single aspect of our lives

On Saturday mornings my Dad and I

Would try to sneak out of the house on the sly

To avoid a breakfast made as the sun dawned in the sky

But that by 9am would make any gourmet cry

No matter how quietly, silently we snuck

She caught us every time and stood by to watch us tuck

Into congealed scrambled egg until we could finally escape

To Stephanie’s at Hyde Park for a double thick chocolate shake

Oh damn I had forgotten I have a job to do

To find an alternative line or two

About African horizons and opportunities new

And so my friends I must bid you now adieu

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

The view from on high

Scott said something this morning off the cuff

His words rang true and were fair enough

“All great work pisses someone off”

They look down their noses and scoff

At anyone else’s thoughts on the matter

It doesn’t do any good to listen to their chatter

The sad truth is that

We listen to their crap

And even though we see through the bluster

We walk away believing we don’t pass muster

AH HA a moment of truth has arrived on the job

The buxom lady admits she’s too much of a snob

To make conversation with those beneath her

There’s no getting around it I have to confer

Her head’s held so high

The world passes her by

And one day she’ll realise it’s past her

As a result of this sad attitude

She has earned my eternal gratitude

For speaking to those she had shunned

I had a tremendous amount of fun

In her eyes that probably means

I have sunk in her high esteem

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh me. Oh my

I’m so upset I just might die!

I’ve heard the funniest thing

Our ECD George is really a King

Let me give you a little background

We had a client in studio jackbooting around

So George walked up with a friendly greeting

And said “You’re the last creative I’ve had the pleasure of meeting”

“Oh no,” said the client, “I don’t belong here”

“I know,” Said George, “now GET OUTTA HERE!”

Rose has fallen amongst the thorns

It’s time to take the bull by the horns

The general consensus is to let Madam run

And watch as she falls flat on her bum

The thing about karma is that it’s a bitch

Eventually it’ll knock you flat with a pitch

Fork. So, we’ll let this one be

And for the moment let the Queen Bee

Do her thing and make some buzz

Give her the space to do what she does

Best. And then at the eleventh hour

We’ll all do ours and reestablish flower power

Marais feels cheated out of something

Because I’ve got in the habit of simply CCing

He needs a more personal touch it seems

And feels I’m coming apart at the seams

When it comes to being what he calls his “work wife”

I think he’s walking upon the thinnest of ice

Just in case Marc peruses this blog

“Work wife” does not mean we go the whole hog

What it boils down to is logistical issues

Making him coffee and passing him tissues

When the rigours of work become too much to bear

And then I send home to his real wife’s tender, loving care

I’d like to mention a good rule of thumb

Calling creatives at lunch is supremely dumb

What do they think traffic is there for

If not to listen to some suit-clad bore?

And don’t start apologizing for interrupting our meal

When you patently don’t feel

Sorry at all you insensitive heel!

Just leave us alone to eat in peace

And my productivity may yet increase

Now, this one poor client service chick

Is about to beaten over the head with a stick

You see there is a creative evolution

From artwork to DTP to client presentation

So, now she sits in an awkward position

As the work is nowhere near completion

I recall that great fundamental saying

about assumption and mothers and fuck-ups

leading to outcomes most dismaying

I think perhaps she needs reminding

Or barring that a bloody good hiding!

It’s getting to that time again

When I start thinking about putting down my pen

And wondering whose going to fetch the kids

And losing interest in BRRR bottle lids

Trying to think about what to have for dinner

If I didn’t eat anything I probably be thinner!

I’m gonna shoot the whole day down!

How best to start a Monday morning

Then by running a tub and jumping in without warning

To a bath filled with melt water from some Artic glacier

You know what? I’m going back to bed, I’ll call you later

There are only two ways this day could go

It could get better or it could just blow

Scott’s making stuff purple ‘cause he can

I’m logging onto to Facebook to find a hit man

I’ve only got access between one and two

Man, oh man, you haven’t got a clue

Just how irritating it can be

When you’re then interrupted by your CD

I’ve got another one of those briefs you know

The type that make you grunt and groan

To write a call to entry for some competition or other

God knows how you enter, ask your mother

You may will a prize of some sort or not

I haven’t a clue, but you’ve missed a full stop

Stop! Stop! Stop! I’m losing my head

I knew I should’ve stayed in bed.

Theo’s had enough, he’s gone home with the flu

Christina should really be doing that too

She lost her MAC – been essentially downgraded

Bitter and twisted she’s feeling quite jaded

Marc sent me a pic of a wee little house

For a sweet little lady and her sweet little spouse

It’s cute – maybe a little bit twee

Not so sure if it’s really me

I get where they’re going and it’s pretty cool

If you toned down the pink and added a pool

It’s a tad overpriced in my estimation

But a nice little spot for a family vacation

Is my meeting tomorrow at 1?

Or Wednesday at 3 when I’m on the run?

It depends who you talk to

If its false or if its true

Well babyshoes, I’m leaving it up to you!

Marais is having a complete breakdown

Approval processes are getting him down

Timing schedules the stuff of nightmares

We don’t have time to start splitting hairs

Just sort something out and get out of here!

I must update you on our proud peacock

Today he got one hell of a shock

You see the company cat has illusions of grandeur

If I spoke cat I might have tried to warn her

That taking on a bird of that size

Is really quite frankly not all that wise

Then again the bird is perfectly dense

And he flew right into the electric fence

Now I’ve written some utterly fabulous rules

If they can’t figure them out they’re a royal bunch of fools

I’ve done my very very best

And now I’m taking a well-earned rest

Having a smoke and a cup of tea

Basically, what I’m saying is… That’s me!

Black & White

Scott is wearing a funny hat today

We’re celebrating Women’s Day

Apparently I was supposed to wear white

So I forgot! It slipped my mind alright?

I also forgot the twenty bucks entrance fee

And I’m wearing all black which looks like some bourgeoisie

Attempt to defy authority

Which it is not!

Christina and I did a quick cash run

Across the road in the bright bright sun

The ATMs have gone on the blink

Run out of money or run out of ink

So I stood in a queue and filled out a form

And waited around which is kinda the norm

In that type of place.

It turns out the drilling in my parking bay

Is transforming it for women’s day

Which is cool but then again not

If it fucks up my parking spot

After all as I have been heard to say

Someone died to give me that parking bay

Women’s Day. Ja, whatever.

I’ve escaped to hang out with the guys and drink beer.

Got a goody bag though filed with free stuff

Fabric softener, tampons and some other fluff

Oh and the best of all a Viagra pen

So you can write with it again and again and again

It was sweet of the gals to arrange this deal

Not all that sure about the woman abuse spiel

A bit depressive for an upbeat day

Basically why I chose to run away

Pea-Duck

I’ve just been crowned the Queen Bee

Scott left a crown on my desk for me

Frank bought me a snack for lunch

Definitely time to have something to munch

Christina ordered pizza, Sarah went on a date

Lunchtime ends at 2, better not be late

The date was apparently no oil painting

But Sarah’s not really complaining

He picked up the tab and let’s face it

In this day and age that’s pretty cool innit?

Theo’s got his work cut out

I knew I heard Dino shout

Marais looks like he could use a mug

Of strong black coffee – he is a bit of a drug

Addict when it comes to caffeine

Without his next hit he gets pretty mean

Then we can go for a smoke in the sun

Watch the peacock make another run

At the ducks. As beautiful as his tail feathers are

He just doesn’t get that a peaduck is just too damn bizarre!

Footnote:

Now my foot’s gone to sleep so I’m limping along

And I have to write some short catchy song

For a website that’s destined to shortly go phut

I really need a big kick in the butt

To stimulate some awesome creative idea

But all I can smell is Bacsa’s pizzeria

Moo Moo Madness

NASA

A day in the life of Brand Activation

Is like the launch desk at the NASA space station

Everyone talking at the top of their voices

Like a JSE trader making his choices

The tap tap tap of keyboard keys

Great ideas cut off at the knees

The sickly smiles of client service AEs

Do they even know how to put in their briefs?

Each day that we sit here, we silently turn

Into characters from some Harry Potter rerun

I’ve propped up my broom on the back of my chair

My crystal ball’s gone in for repair

Marais thinks he is the creative shit

Cutting down Dino with acerbic wit

Scott’s drawing cartoons of the dumb things we say

Wayne has simply disappeared for the day

Christina’s just become the comeback kid

And Theo’s looking at everyone’s tits

The rest of the country is out on strike

But here we are working all though the night

Marais reckons we motivated by passion and love

It can’t be the cash ‘cause there’s never enough

He just might be right, for I haven’t a clue

Why I write some of the lines that I do

Why we do what we do and we are what we are

We all might be mad when viewed from afar

Have a nice day now, don’t have a cow

Scott’s got some moo moos if you need some to chow

Theo and Dino are boxing clever

I think we’re stuck here forever and ever