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Ill go home then its war.., p.7

I'Ll Go Home Then, It's Warm and Has Chairs. The Unpublished Emails. -, page 7

 

I'Ll Go Home Then, It's Warm and Has Chairs. The Unpublished Emails. -
 


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  Finding that the current was quite strong and realising I would have to paddle back against it, I rounded the bend, pulled up against a dead tree branch sticking out of the water, and tied my kayak to it using the drawstring from my boardshorts.

  Removing my shirt and lying back to enjoy the warmth of the sun, I put in my earphones and fell asleep listening to Lil’ Jon and The Eastside Boyz yelling about “throwin’ stuff up.”

  Approximately five hours later, I woke up. Looking down, I discovered my entire body covered by several hundred mosquitos. Sitting up quickly to brush madly at my torso and legs, the iPhone that had been laying on my chest went flying, ripping the earbuds from my ears, and dissapeared beneath the algae laden surface.

  Looking around, I also discovered that the tree branch I had secured the kayak to with my drawstring, rotten from years of being waterlogged, had snapped off and was now trailing behind my kayak which had drifted with the current several kilometres down the river.

  Having no idea how far away I was from camp but knowing that I had better make it back before nightfall, I began paddling madly back up the river, pausing every few minutes to scratch at the thousands of bites.

  An hour later it was dark. I’m not talking about the kind of dark you get in cities where there is usually a vague glow from lights being reflected by clouds or pollution, or even the kind of dark where you can kind of navigate by moonlight, this was the kind of dark where the term ‘pitch’ is appropriate. I could no longer tell where I was steering the kayak or even if I was heading up the river or down. Using my lighter only lit up about a metre around me making the darkness beyond seem darker. I have read somehwere that sailors can navigate by the stars but even when told that a certain structure of stars is a ram or horse-man with a bow and arrow, I fail to see it. With no city light relection, clouds or moon, the entire sky was filled with stars. Except for a black spot without stars directly ahead of me which I aimed for - figuring it was probably another dead tree sticking out of the water to which I could at least secure my kayak and wait out the night.

  I was about half way to the object when my kayak scraped, and then wedged against something beneath it. Figuring I must have struck a shallow area near shore, I tried to release the kayak by paddling backwards and even pushing my paddle down like a gondola driver but it would not come free.

  Not knowing how far from the shore I was or even its direction or what the object ahead of me was, I did not for a second consider stepping out into the water.

  The first time I had gone camping on the river many years prior, I had let my feet dangle in the water off the side of a jetty and not two minutes had gone by before I felt a sharp pain in my toe, pulled my foot out of the water, and found a turtle the size of a dinner plate attached and unwilling to let go of its meal. I had to club it to death with a beer bottle.

  Having no option but to wait until the light of morning, I curled up in the kayak and a few hours later, fell asleep to sounds of waves lapping against the side and the whine of mosquitos attempting to find an area not already bitten.

  I awoke at first light to the cries of “Hello? Are you alright?” and “he looks like he has a million mosquito bites all over him” coming from quite close. I sat up to discover that the object I had been heading for the night before was a houseboat moored to the side of the river and was only about four kayak lengths away. An elderly couple stood on the deck drinking coffee looking at me. My first reaction was to ask, “where am I?” and the man replied “In a kayak.”

  After accepting the kind offer of a cup of coffee and calamine lotion from Joyce and Richard, and being told that Pelican Point was “approximately an hour up river”, I set off and arrived at camp several hours later due to Joyce and Richard’s wildly inaccurate approximations, to find everyone packing and quite pissed off that nobody else got to have a turn in the kayak. No search party had been sent out and two people thought I had been in my tent the whole time because I “never join in with group activities.”

  On the four hour angry drive back, I made everyone to listen to Lil’ Jon and The Eastside Boyz yelling about ‘throwin’ stuff up’ on loop.

  Dressing like a woman doesn't make you special

  There are many things to be said for working in the design industry but as they are mostly negative, especially those regarding clients, I would rather write about robots.

  If I was a robot, programmed to serve people all day, I would throw myself off a cliff. Working in the design industry is a lot like being a robot. A robot that curses its positronic brain for not allowing it to ignore the first law and attach spinning blades to its arms and take out the next human that states "that's nice but can we try it in green?" or "can you make the text bigger?"

  Actually, scratch that, working in the design industry is more like being a whore. A dirty whore who has programmed its mind to find a happy place rather than be outraged by client requests.

  There are many things to be said for working in the design industry but mostly that it is like being a dirty robot whore.

  …………………………………………………

  From: Robert Schaefer

  Date: Monday 8 November 2010 9.11am

  To: David Thorne

  Subject: Artwork

  Hello David,

  Can you send me the artwork for our business cards you did last year. Finsbury Press has asked for the original files. I need the artwork before Wednesday so either this afternoon or tomorrow is fine.

  Thanks Rob

  …………………………………………………

  From: David Thorne

  Date: Monday 8 November 2010 10.24am

  To: Robert Schaefer

  Subject: Re: Artwork

  Hello Bob,

  I have received your email but no longer work for that agency. Due to client account management resembling that German dance where men in tights slap each other, the company was basically trading insovent and I resigned.

  While some may see this as the proverbial rat deserting a sinking ship, I prefer to think of it as quietly stepping out of a bathtub you have been sharing with four retarded children while they are busy arguing over who lost the soap.

  I would suggest contacting the agency and requesting your business card artwork before the owner swaps the art department computers for magic beans. Alternatively, if you would like me to recreate and send the files to you, I would be happy to help. I estimate this would take three hours at seventy five dollars per hour.

  Regards, David.

  …………………………………………………

  From: Robert Schaefer

  Date: Monday 8 November 2010 12.17pm

  To: David Thorne

  Subject: Re: Re: Artwork

  It's Rob not Bob and I already emailed them and they said they don't have the files and to contact you. I'm not paying you $225 for artwork when I already paid you for the artwork last year.

  …………………………………………………

  From: David Thorne

  Date: Monday 8 November 2010 3.02pm

  To: Robert Schaefer

  Subject: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

  Dear Bob,

  You paid the agency to provide artwork and I no longer work for that agency. While generally a frontline supporter of questioning logic, this support wavers drastically in the face of providing free work.

  A few years back, I bought my first four-wheel drive vehicle from a dealership. The salesman who did the paperwork was named Roger. While on a camping trip several months later with my nine year old offspring, I parked the vehicle on a dirt incline near a river and set up the tent. The next morning, we awoke to find it had rained - turning the dirt incline into a slippery mud incline - and the vehicle missing with four tyre-wide grooves leading to the edge of the river.

  Realising my mobile phone had been on the rear seat of the vehicle along with our box of food, we survived by riding a Coleman® inflatable air mat
tress down the river for two days to the nearest town. I will admit that during the voyage the thought of eating my offspring crossed my mind on more than one occasion but this was less due to hunger than his constant complaining of "Why do I have to hold on to the back while you ride," "Are we there yet?" and "I can't feel my legs."

  Making it home and reporting the vehicle as 'stolen', I went shopping for a new one the following week. I did not to turn up at Roger's front door requesting a replacement vehicle for the one I lost. While it is entirely possible Roger may have nodded, sympathised and explained patiently the structure of modern commerce, it is more likely he would have just called me a dickhead.

  Also, while three hours at $75.00 does equate to $225.00, the total cost to recreate and sent your business card artwork would be $450.00 due to the Jumping Frog fee.

  Regards, David.

  …………………………………………………

  From: Robert Schaefer

  Date: Monday 8 November 2010 3.18pm

  To: David Thorne

  Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

  You are seriously pissing me off now. I remember you from the meeting you were that idiot wearing a green Atari tshirt. Im NOT paying for work I have already paid for and 3 hours at $75.00 per hour is $225.00 NOT $450.00 - that is double. where the did you get double from and what the fuck is a jumping frog fee?

  …………………………………………………

  From: David Thorne

  Date: Monday 8 November 2010 4.46pm

  To: Robert Schaefer

  Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

  Dear Bob,

  I remember you from the meeting too (specifically your haggling over pricing and questioning why animated gifs can't be used on your business card) but no, sadly the Atari clad individual would have been Thomas the owner. Nearing forty, he felt retro t-shirts and trucker caps, like the cool kids wear, disguised the fact. Once one has seen his size 40 lower-half squeezed into size 32 skinny jeans like two parallel overflowing cake icing funnels, it can never be unseen. I would have been the other idiot wearing a tie and feigning interest in your business card requirements by appearing to take notes but actually creating an itemised list of things I would rather be doing, starting with #1. Being shot in the neck with an arrow.

  Sometimes when I am in meetings, I imagine I am a robot programmed not to realise I am a robot and if the code word 'quantifiable' is mentioned, I will explode. I never do though. Other times I imagine I am a small Indian girl collecting water for my village in brightly painted clay pots.

  The Jumping Frog charge relates to an event early on in my career when I made the mistake of offering a client a fixed price for a two hundred page website.

  Once the design was signed off and the build completed over a three month period, the client requested that each page include a frog jumping around the screen because his wife liked frogs.

  Purchasing a frog from the local pet store and filming it by holding a camera above and a cigarette lighter behind to persuade it to jump, I spent the next two weeks incorporating it into every page of the website. A few days later, the client described the addition as "very annoying" and requested it be removed and replaced with a 3D animated frog jumping onto the screen, holding a thumb up, and speaking the words "jump on down and grab a bargain."

  After providing a quote for this, I was informed that the amendments would be made "under the original fixed price or no payment would be made at all." The next day, their home page was replaced with a single image of a frog giving the finger and a voice bubble stating "I jump for cash, bitch."

  After fifteen years in the design industry and realising the only difference between sitting in front of a computer facilitating client's requests and kneeling on the urine soaked floor of a truck stop bathroom giving five dollar blowjobs to men named Chuck, is the amount of urine on the floor, the Jumping Frog fee has evolved from insurance against post-project client suggestion to client incentive to have somebody else do it.

  Regards, David.

  …………………………………………………

  From: Robert Schaefer

  Date: Monday 8 November 2010 5.09pm

  To: David Thorne

  Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

  You have until 10am tomorrow morning to send me the business card artwork or you will hear from my lawyer. I am sick to death of dealing with you designers. Being able to draw and dressing like a woman doesn't make you special. You've got no idea who you are dealing with.

  …………………………………………………

  From: David Thorne

  Date: Monday 8 November 2010 5.37pm

  To: Robert Schaefer

  Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

  Dear Bob,

  That may be so, but the label "some guy who wants free shit" does not require CSI profiling and while I am no lawyer, I question whether testimony comprising entirely of "I paid an agency to provide me files, I lost the files, I now demand some guy who used to work there give me new files" would have much legal standing but best of luck with that.

  I also question your dissatisfaction with the price I have quoted as I believe the original charge for your work by the agency was around eighteen hundred dollars. While the actual process would have consisted of ten minutes on iStock.com for the background, two minutes pretending to consider a typeface other than Helvetica and ten minutes putting it together, this is standard design industry practice and listed under ‘Direction, Design and Build’ on the invoice.

  I do understand your objection to the established system of exchange of money for services though, and personally envision a utopian future where it is replaced with interpretive dance. We agree on a particular style that seeks to translate particular feelings and emotions into movement and dramatic expression in exchange for groceries or business card artwork. And we all own jetpacks.

  In a moment of stupidity, I once agreed to design and build a website in exchange for yoga lessons. Contrary to what they would have you believe, you cannot actually embrace the sun as this would result in severe burns and your arms would need to be over one hundred and fifty million miles long. My favourite yoga move is the wriggly snake. Unfortunately, until I can pay my rent with mantras and expressions of emotional intonations through grand eloquent movements and wide swooshes of the arms before spinning and dropping to the floor while wearing spandex, I will need cash.

  Regards, David.

  …………………………………………………

  From: Robert Schaefer

  Date: Monday 8 November 2010 5.44pm

  To: David Thorne

  Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Artwork

  Ok. Send me the completed artwork tonight with an invoice.

  …………………………………………………

  From: David Thorne

  Date: Monday 8 November 2010 5.49pm

  To: Robert Schaefer

  Subject: File attached:

  Understanding science Part 1: Biology

  Ten reasons I probably shouldn’t be alive: being stabbed

  There is an old saying that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives. If this was true, I would be friends with Brad Pitt and he would buy me lots of presents and take me shopping. Probably for expensive watches and boats that have lounge chairs in the back.

  There is usually some form of bond between relatives, but I never felt it with one named Christopher. I didn’t have a lot to do with him as a kid and while family gatherings demanded some small interaction, for the most part we kept to ourselves. My interests centred mainly around reading and drawing while Christopher’s one fixation was the World Wrestling Federation. His bedroom walls were covered with posters of some guy wearing a kilt named Rowdy Roddy Piper. The one above his bed had the words 'Hot Rod' emblazoned across it in a lightning shaped typeface. He was a little slow but not in t
he Forrest Gump kind of way, more the 'patiently explaining instructions twice before doing it yourself' kind of way. It was a common rumour that he wore a nappy until the age of eight but I have always suspected this was due more to laziness than anything else as he was a fairly fat kid.

  After I left home to attend University, I didn't really have much to do with him. He lived at home until his late thirties so I would, on occasion, catch up with him at family events but as his interests only expanded enough from wrestling to include pornography, we did not have a lot to chat about. Mentioning anything about art and design was met with statements such as "designers are poofters unless they are the kind who design custom graphics for Harley Davidsons" and "I’ve got tons of naked chicks on my computer, that's all the art I need."

 
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