It's not easy after literally a lifetime in the business to give up working in advertising. To be clear, the idea of finally hanging up my spikes came to me suddenly.
When I was summarily dismissed from Ogilvy on January 14th of this year because my salary presumably took dollars away from the seven or eight digit salaries of the Holding Company c-suite (these salaries are paid in-perpetuity, btw. Martin Sorrell still earns more than $500,000 from WPP) I never thought I'd give up the ghost.
In fact, as the sole proprietor of my own business, GeorgeCo, a Delaware Company, I was doing more than well. By April of 2020, I had surpassed my pay for all of 2019 and by July, I had more than doubled it.
Many years ago when I started seeing Owen, my psychiatrist of over 25 years, my internist who recommended him said, "Owen is amazing. He helps you find your way. If he thinks you'll be happier running a florist shop on the Upper West Side, one day, you'll be running a florist shop on the Upper West Side."
I somewhat scoffed at that.
If scientists had contrived to construct a person suited to the advertising industry, they'd be hard-pressed to build someone more adroit than I.
For one, I have the gift of the quip. I can come up with a line--a dozen lines, in no time and as this blog attests to, I can spin out a piece of copy like nobody's business.
But last Friday night, a week ago, I had a dream about the famed New York bagel shop H&H, and that I was to open my own version up here on the Gingham Coast of Connecticut.
Quickly, I had three names that I liked for the shop. I ran a poll on Twitter and in just 24-hours had received over 32,000 votes.
They promised a raft of legal troubles that would make Donald Trump's penis quiver in fear if I--I quote here--"infringed upon their bastion, their name, their trademark." I was advised to cease and desist before I had even begun to uncease and persist.
So, I chose the name which finished second in the polling: "From Schmear to Eternity." I gave that name to my friend, typographer and designer Jennifer Sterling who had graciously agreed to help me with a logo.
Meanwhile, my ever-loving wife had contacted one Lisa Genovali, a realtor of some local repute, and in short order had secured (with 12-months rent in a hot market) a three year lease at 75 Main Street, right in the heart of Old Saybrook's bustling (but quaint) central business district.
If all goes well, I should be opening around mid-October. In time for Old Saybrook's impossibly famous "Fall Flanken Festival"--a Brisket Bacchanal that routinely draws crowds from as far away as Westbrook.
Also at opening, in homage to the film's great director, Fred Zinnemann, I will introduce to this littoral community the Cinnamon Zinnemann--part bagel, part strudel and all tribute to the Austrian-born auteur and 66-time nominee and 24-time Oscar-winning director.
This area, lovely as it is, has been bereft of a really fine bagel emporium since "Holey Moley" flooded after Hurricane Sandy. If the early buzz in the community is any indication, I encourage you--out of a sense of neighborliness and amity--to reserve a table or two (black-tie optional) for our Grand Opening gala, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, October 17th at 8:30PM.