Dog’s Bowl and me: there has been a meeting. Looking back on it now, I wince slightly at my forced unfriendliness. All my instincts are to have adversaries like me, and it goes against the grain somewhat not to behave as a door mat. But I must recognise, as Wise Constanza did all those years ago, that to do the very opposite of what my nature tells me must be a winning formula, since the reverse is a losing one.
I am trying to look at it as a sort of extended form of CBT, you know, act confident, become confident. That’s all it is isn’t it? Sort of first cajoling yourself, then forcing yourself, to repeat and practice until you’ve turned into something else, something good.
Years ago, when I did those sort of things, I asked my friend, who opened the batting and was always the best player on the pitch and invariably the man for the occasion when one was needed, how he did it – the sine qua non of good sport being of course the head rather than the limbs, and he said, ‘I just think that the bowlers are shit.’
It’s true that. Before I was tainted by having seen too much of real life, when I excelled, first amongst equals, optimis optimus and all that, I can honestly say that I treated my fellow pupils with absolute disdain. I just knew that they were hopeless compared with me. The evidence supported it too, I mean, it wasn’t so much that they couldn’t multiply and divide fractions, read, write, and all that; it’s more that a fair number of them hadn’t been toilet trained, or learnt how to speak properly. For it is relativism that determines esteem, and we must judge and be vicious towards those who seek to judge.
I have may have mislaid that quality along the way, but thanks to such as the retards at Dog’s Bowl (see what I did there?), I’m working on bringing it all back home. The hard part is, after years of CBT’ing in the other direction, it is difficult to tell the difference between impertinence and a reasonable enquiry. I am learning that hate is the answer. First assume that you hate them until they have proved that it’s unfair. Oh yes, I am treating the first people to have offered me paid employment in years like dogs.
With a Dickensian abhorrence for the granular in negotiations, I say just this: firstly, I am now to receive a payment in lieu of royalty, recognising that the adverts they’re running were my creations; additionally, I’ll get a fee for any in which I happen to appear; and thirdly, I receive a retainer which invites me to come up with any mad idea I like, as long as they are first to see it. I am free to approach other (mugs) with it, as long as they’ve had first look.
It may not be a fair deal, but when you move from zero to something, the increase is always by infinity, so who’s going to argue over a few pounds? I had only one real interest in it all, and that was to drive up the price as high as I could so that I could go to an agent in the full confidence that 10% or 15% was worth having as a starting fee. They might yet tell me that the deal I’ve struck is not good enough, in which case, I will go back to Dog’s Bowl and tell them that I didn’t mean to agree to it, and behave like an unreasonable arsehole until they re-write the deal. Honestly, once you decide to be just like everyone else, the stress sort of drops out of life.
Just before we bumped elbows, the effete ponce opposite says, ‘OK, we’ll have minimum weekly reports, and a face-to-face meeting once a month all routed through the Creative Director; but as we’ve been saying if it’s working, we’ll be in touch far more frequently than that. We’ll assess it at six months, on a month’s notice, and take it from there.’
To which I replied, ‘why don’t you sack the Creative Director, and pay me half his salary? He’s only processing what I send you. That way we all win.’
And he said, ‘I am the Creative Director.’
As I was saying, a lesser man might have been embarrassed at making such a gaff. The trick is, to act like you still meant it after your error has been explained to you.
Now be a good sport and fuck off will you?