Sunday, October 7, 2018

Day 3209

I always learn something new on my way to the gym. I was listening to an episode of This American Life where Julian Koenig's daughter was talking about how her Dad became increasingly bitter toward the end of his life. Julian Koenig, if you're not in the ad biz, was one of the greatest copywriters of all time. According to his daughter, he was mad because he thought that George Lois, his art director partner, had stolen his ideas over 40 years ago. He was convinced that he never got credit for ads that were really his. It didn't matter that he was one of a small handful of writers inducted into the Copywriter's Hall of Fame and had been a role model to young copywriters like me, he was still pissed at George.

George and Julian were still working when I started out in the business. They were legends. Hearing Julian's daughter describe the giant egos that inspired shows like Mad Men brought back a lot of memories. Everyone who works in an ad agency creative department thinks that their ideas have been stolen by somebody. Maybe it was their boss who stole them. Maybe it was a co-worker. Often it is the client who is guilty. It's all so petty and yet it is very real. It's not like you're curing cancer when you come up with a clever headline. You get to think that trivial things are important.

Ultimately Julian Koenig regretted going into advertising at all. He was proud that he was considered the best in the business, but he concluded that the business itself was worthless. His daughter said that at the age of 88, he wished he had become an environmental scientist instead. I'm glad I don't obsess about my days in advertising like Julian did, but I understand his sentiments. I kind of wish I had become an astronomer instead of pursuing a career in advertising. I've had ideas stolen too, but I didn't lose a lot of sleep over it. Maybe I was angry for a week or two, but I can't imagine brooding for 40 years. Jeez. I can't even remember what I did 40 years ago. When I look at my old portfolio from the 1970's, it seems like someone else wrote the ads. I'll have to admit, they were pretty good though. I must have written them.

Sometimes I think that Dash has ESP. Even though we started our day exactly the same way we always do, Dash seemed to know that Janet was going to be gone today. He followed her around like glue this morning and wouldn't take his walk at the regular time. He wouldn't even eat his breakfast. When Janet left for the Golf Tournament, Dash moped around the house for at least an hour. Then, when I was right in the middle of my own breakfast, he decided he was OK again and headed for the back door. I put my breakfast aside and quickly got him suited up to walk. You've got to seize the moment with Dash.

I waited until Dash was taking his morning nap before I left for the gym. It's safe to leave him for an hour or so, just not all day. When I returned, Dash was still sleeping in exactly the same place on the bed. He never even woke up. I wish I could sleep like Dash. When he wakes me up at night, he's back asleep a few minutes after I take him outside to pee. I'm usually wide awake, staring at the ceiling while I listen to him snore.

Hershey is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day