Simon sat at his desk. His boss Michael walked in.
”It’s approaching the holidays.”
”You mean Christmas?”
“No, we can’t say that.”
“Because we don’t want to offend other religions?”
“We don’t want to offend large groups of consumers, yes.”
Michael sat in the sofa and looked over the art for an upcoming campaign.
“Sales are down.”
“How bad is it?”
Michael raised his hand. “No, I don’t have the numbers. But I can feel it. We need to do something right away. We can’t sit here and do nothing. “Michael looked at the merchandise on the table. “This is not pretty enough.”
Michael held up the prototype for the new doll for Simon to see.
“She’s not pretty enough. Her waist needs to be smaller, her eyes bigger, her face widened. And also have a darker tone just beneath the cheekbones to accentuate… Are you even listening to me?”
“Yes, to accentuate.”
“What are you working on?”
“A Christmas poem.”
“A poem? No one reads poetry, are you kidding me? I told you to write something snappy. Two sentences, tops. Something with less than 140 characters. Give it here.”
Michael took the sheet of paper. Simon had drawn hundreds of tiny snowflakes on the side of the text. While Michael started reading, Simon looked out over the city. Shops were closing for the night. Puddles reflected the neon lights.
“Consumerism is the new idol for which to put our faith in… What the hell are you writing?”
“It is made-up scenario. A dystopia. Nothing to care too much about.”
“Five feet from a beggar asking for coins stands a father buying plastics for his son… to avoid a conversation? This is.” Michael looked up at Simon who still looked out. “This is very radical, Simon. If I show this to Mr. Duncan, you’d be fired.”
“Come on, Simon. Something snappy. You used to be so good at this. Make me laugh in a few words.”
“Why not buy a house? It’s never too late to live in the present.”
“Ha-ha! Yea that sort of thing. But we haven’t got a broker on contract right now, but let’s reach out to a couple of brokers and try to sell them that. Come up with something for this doll, would you? I’ll write down a new prototype and we can send it back.”
Michael smiled on his way back to his office. Simon drew another snowflake and crumpled the piece of paper, threw in the trash can and started his computer. He hated the computer.
Every last bit of humanity was stolen by the IT-revolution. The monitor is a giant impenetrable shield for every asshole with a keyboard.
The computer started and he opened the program.
Something about a cute doll. Doll…I’m selling a drug. While it’s destroying the girls’ self-esteem they can’t get enough. Must have the new and cutest doll. Thinner waists, bigger eyes. The doll has breasts! Nothing comes. They must have. Desire… Something with popularity. She’ll be your friend. No, terrible. I can’t do this. How do I sell something so repulsive…? How do drug dealers sell? Get one for free, trying new stuff and so on. But that’s for exclusivity not for millions of dolls.
Simon stood up and sat down a couple of times. He walked around the office.
The prettiest girl you’ll ever know. Can I work mirror or reflection into this? Something about… You can look as pretty as the doll if you just buy it.
Simon sighed. He reached down the trash can and wrote his resignation letter on the back of his poem.