Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve, 2008

Today at 1:39 PM, the Great Recession finally reached me.

No, I didn’t lose my job. I lost a half-eaten roll that was sitting on the bar at the Bar Room of the Oyster Bar in Grand Central.

A homeless man walked through the seasonal crowd, spotted my roll, made a Citizen’s Appropriation and kept walking. The bartender, a young woman, watched in horror. “What the hell are you doing?” she asked him.

“Eating a roll” he answered logically as he sauntered out and into the Terminal.

“I’m so sorry,” she said to me, mortified, and then proceeded to put a fresh basket of bread in front of me.

Then it was my turn to be mortified. Mortified that I was feasting on oysters when this guy stole my roll. Mortified that I didn’t run after him and offer to buy him lunch. Mortified most of all that I still had an appetite when all was said and done.

It's the season of giving, and giving takes many forms. The Talmud distinguishes 10 different kinds, and rank-orders them to boot. I don't know enough about my own religion, or the one that celebrates Christmas, to know if inadvertent giving even counts.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How not to be right for the times.

If you had to choose between filling a prescription and filling your tummy, wouldn't this cover make the choice ever-so-much easier?


Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I hear their hooves, I feel their hot breath.

Yesterday the New York Times reported hocking its own building for cash, the Tribune Company filed for bankruptcy, ad spending was predicted to decline 30% next year and an editor friend found out her editorial company was closing up shop December 31st.

Bad mojo all around as the year slides into solstice darkness. I am incredibly thankful that our agency is healthy but the Four Horsemen of the Ad Apocalypse—Recession, ROI, DVR and Online Search—are approaching.

Before they get here, our agency’s holiday card is a propos: