Sales Order Processing; or, how to occupy the hours between the time of the bell which calls me from sleep and the temporal quantum, unmarked by sound, after which I can leave my work (part five: new life, new worlds, new-duh women)
I have drawn a cartoon figure. I have created life. It is a little man - could be a woman - with bird-like limbs, and a torso made out of a speech bubble. 'I hate you - child!', the creature is saying, in capital letters. Am I the child that is hated? Or is the figure supposed to represent myself, hating someone who may or not be an actual infant? It strikes me suddenly that I have no infant friends.
I discovered at an early age that eyebrows are the windows of the soul, and the cartoon's eyebrows are therefore particularly expressive, the expression they express being the expression of anger and also that of frustration. A mixture of incompetence and insufficient forward planning has ensured that the figure's eyes appear to be glaring at my right shoulder rather than directly at me. This gives the impression that the figure is addressing a character located on the page, rather than the fourth wall, insofar as two-dimensional paper can have a 'fourth wall'. In fact paper only has one wall, this being the back wall. Nonetheless I believe that all walls are the fourth wall, for there is always an audience. I keep this in mind as I progress through my daily duties.
I was inspired to create this cartoon figure by the phrase '128MB DRAM' which I have written further up the page. After drawing a box around the words I decided to highlight them further by drawing over them again with a biro. I feel that the creative possibilities of biro have barely been touched upon. By varying the pressure with which I stroke biro against paper, I can create a gradient of colour. By passing the biro rapidly back and forth I can create accurate straight lines, albeit that they are fuzzy. By drawing all over my thumb and then pressing my thumb to the paper I can create interesting textures. I cannot think of any great works of art created with biro. Several have been rendered with pens, their motion fuelled by mescaline, and many important documents and treaties have been written in ink, but artists and leaders alike are united in their rejection of the biro. I am both an artist and a leader, and I have a biro. I do not reject it.
Whilst highlighting the '8' in '128MB' I strayed and created a spurious loop. Adding a second loop produced a pair of eyes. I then added some eyebrows, for there are no eyes without eyebrows, notwithstanding the example of womankind who remove their eyebrows, only to replace them with pencil. I do not follow the example of woman, certainly not whilst at work. I cannot take a path which I cannot see. At this point I tried to turn the upper half of the '8' into a nose, rather like the nose of W. C. Fields, although the end result does not resemble any natural-born human being alive or dead of which I am aware.
The defects and abnormalities which afflict the developing foetus may well have resulted in a child which bears the likeness of my cartoon creation, but such a freakish visage would never find favour in Hollywood, except as a cheap special effect (witness the sad life and film career of the late Rondo Hatton, a contract actor for Universal during the 1940s, invariably cast as a villain on account of the worsening acromegaly which eventually killed him. He remains a cult, tragic figure to this day.)
Yes, or rather no, the unexceptionally ugly do not have a place in Hollywood. A certain degree of craggy-facedness is desirable for character actors who are supposed to exude wisdom and experience - neither Tommy Lee Jones nor Samuel L. Jackson are by any measure handsome men, yet they continue to find work - although this does not apply to female characters. Indeed, there are very few roles for wizened or experienced female characters in Hollywood films. Having said this, there are very few roles for wizened or experienced female people in real life, and in this respect Hollywood is merely reflecting and amplifying reality, albeit that the 'reality' of everyday life for a Hollywood producer does not resemble that of the target audience for his films. With perhaps the exception of 'Wall Street' or 'Rogue Trader', very few films are aimed specifically at the kind of people who, in the UK, would work in the Square Mile.
If I had a cat I would be tempted to call it 'Maushrek' or 'Mausfaust' or something similar. 'Panzerkatze'. But I would not go so far as to use this name because it would be extremely contrived and 'zany', designed purely to show off my inflated opinion of my own cleverness and also to draw other people into asking me what the name means. I do not need cheap gimmicks to cause others to engage me in conversation; people flock to me without me doing anything at all. Sitting here at work I have talked to a dozen people or more, albeit that they are far away, and that our discussions have mostly concerned parts orders and/or incomplete deliveries of sofas and chairs to Land of Leather.
They were not social calls, indeed I do not believe there is such a thing as society - individuals, families, groups of friends perhaps, beyond which I do not owe anybody anything unless they provide a service - but they were nonetheless human beings and contact was made.