A couple weeks ago, I was back in the City I love after a too-long hiatus.
Of course, my clients don't appreciate how much I love New York. How I like to walk aimlessly and see the unseen and hear the unheard.
They know only that they want this that and the other in less time than any of those should rightfully take. That's one of the reasons clients come to me. They know I'm about as reliable as the tides.
During this particular sojourn in the city, however, I was feeling particularly aggrieved. I was meeting friends for lunch and also had meetings set up on either side of lunch.
Very little is less human than having a thousand or so of your day's 1440 minutes spoken for.
I was meant to be walking into a restaurant while wrapping up a call and starting a call probably while I was calculating a tip.
I rushed into lunch like a jockey five minutes late for his horse. If I were an animated character, beads of sweat the size of ballistic missiles would have been flying off of my forehead.
One of my two lunch dates was already there. Practically without thinking of the imagery and by way of saying hello, I said to her, "Just because you work for yourself doesn't mean that you don't have a fish-hook in your scrotum."
A fish-hook in your scrotum.
I know that's vulgar.
But think about it.
Think about the have-tos, the musts-dos and the or-elses.
Think about the kids' college tuition.
The healthcare you need.
Retirement that doesn't include filth and indignation.
Think about the crap you have to do for no reason other than someone wants to make you do it. Think about the 37 revisions. The capricious boss who changes although to but because doing so makes him feel big and makes you feel small.
Or think about it another way.
Think about the cost of money--big money. When someone wants you for something that sounds incredible and demanding and something that could help you pay for things you only ever dreamed about and never thought yourself deserving of.
That's a fish-hook in a scrotum too. Even if said hook is made of platinum.
Robert Riskin knew about it.
So did Frank Capra.
So do I.