Friday 2.26.10

Things that bug me. Ready for a total rant post? Well here you go…

Work. Perhaps it is an economy thing, perhaps a winter thing but things – things are kinda slow. Last week a guy came in to get some random labels for his car. He has a Chevy so why not make sure everyone really knows extra easy that this is a Chevy by sticking the word CHEVY on the front window. While we are at it, why not stick a Chevy bowtie on the back window as well, in case someone missed the front window. Can do. Done and done, 50 bucks. No eyes batted, no flinching, whip out the wallet and boom, paid.

Since the economy took a huge shit, work like this has for the most part dried up. I completely understand. This is the kind of stuff no one needs to ever spend money on. Really, that 50 bucks could have gone towards rent or your cell phone bill or for food. You really did not need to spend 50 bucks to make sure that everyone knows that your Chevy is in fact, A CHEVY. Over the years I have relied on income from stuff like this. It has always been like the extra sauce on the other stuff that I do. Jobs like this are quick and easy, they don’t require a lot of thought or materials. The profit margin is pretty good. Why people think that they need to spend money on this kind of stuff baffles me sometimes.

Having done this for about 22 years or so I’ve run into a lot of what some people may think are silly ways to spend a few bucks. Bug shields used to be a bigger deal when they were still one flat piece of plastic sticking up from the front of your hood. Lots of message space there. In recent years with a more aerodynamic design, there is less space to letter things like:

Lil’ white maggot

Lil’ Outlaw

Grampa’s Lil’ Toy

Sperm Bubble

Redneck, Redneck woman, or Git-R-Done

Anything to do with hunting, fishing, Nascar, Sports teams, your wife, his wife, dogs, cats… you name it, someone does it and wants it to be known on their car or truck.

All of this is different than lettering that is actually needed on a vehicle… license numbers for trucks, advertising for businesses. That type of work can be more easily justified than cutting some dude’s current girlfriend’s name for the passenger door. In this economy, in this area… some of this has gone away for a while.

But then there are those regular jobs. Real signs for real businesses, real letters for real trucks and other vehicles that really need them. Last fall a local guy came in to have some work done. I’ve done work for him for a few years. I was to letter a truck the day after Thanksgiving. That Friday morning I woke up puking my guts out and was out of commission. I did know that I had work to do but was having a hard time peeling myself away from the toilet. The guy came to the house wondering where I was… I told him I was not much good for anything that day but would get things ready on Saturday. I can’t remember if I lettered the truck on Saturday or Monday, but it got done. While we were at it, the guy added a duplicate set of lettering to go on another truck. All was done and he had the bill in the truck when he picked it up that night.

The bill was 350.60.

Weeks went by, I decided to call to see about payment. I called instead of just sending another invoice because I’ve had issues with slow pay before with this guy. I got a crapload of responses and excuses… I’ll be in tomorrow, My accountant does not come home until 5:30 to write a check, my dog got hit by a car and the vet bill was 3000.00… and I was going to use that money to pay you, I just deposited all of my checks and the bank does not open again until tomorrow morning, I will see you then…

He did manage to collect a check for $200.00 from some guy who must have owed him some money… he wrote the check over to me and it was good.

$150.60 remained. He stopped answering or responding to any calls from the shop so I decided to call from home. Not knowing the name or number, he responded right away, probably thinking it was work. Surprise… it was me. More excuses.

A recent discussion with my daughter (she knows the guy) revealed her surprise that this guy could not pay the bill… they happen to be “facebook” friends and according to her he was mostly on facebook talking up trips to a casino and other snowmobile adventures as well as recent other adventures here and there. There were some lovely bar images as well.

So, this morning I decided to check that out. After, I called him from the house. He once again called me right back. I told him it was me and that I wanted to get this bill paid today. He informed me that he was out of town. He also told me he was “strapped for cash” and just did not have it… sorry. Pretty much the end of the conversation.

Then I did something I don’t normally do, I sent him a message on facebook quoting a couple of his recent (yesterday and Wednesday) entries.

He actually responded: (as is, copied and pasted) “…because my truck looks like shit and not paying for a job thats not finsh u went cheap on my tail gate and u over charged me like everytime i come in ur price gets higher fuck that i wikl never come to again.”

Wow. First time I had heard anything like this about any of this work. Quite different from my dog got ran over… Why the hell didn’t I ever hear about this in the 3 months that I’ve been asking to get paid?

So there’s that. I guess that this is where it will stay. I won’t work for him anymore, he won’t come in for work. That’s ok. Sorry things worked out like this. Negative advertising is a shitty thing and it works for all of us.

So what else can I bitch about today? Ahh, I do know. Model photography! I know that I ranted about this particular topic before but I have noticed more and more of this in a lot of portfolios… examples here have been cropped.

“I’m pulling my panties down.” Yeah, lovely. When we can’t think of anything else to pull out of our bag of photo tricks, there’s always “I’m pulling my panties down.”  I guess that with any type of image that has been done, or tried to be duplicated time after time, the goal is to do it better. In my opinion, most are not. I recently looked at a portfolio where the female model was shown in a very good quality (for maybe a senior portrait type image) photograph wearing a lovely colorful top that was pulled down to reveal one breast. Why? What was the point of this image? I suppose so we can see a tit. We like tits. Perhaps the pulling down of the underwear is because we like to see ass and crotch, or think that we will in the next image in the series. Or maybe it tells us she or he (I see this in male ports as well) is daring and playful… willing to go the extra step to show us something bootylicious or crotchylicious. Perhaps the photographer suggested it. “You know, that looks great just like that but it would be extra special if you just go ahead and pretend to pull your panties down.” Hey, I’ve sort of done this, so I kind of know.

In the end, it is just some gratuitous trick that does not come across as mucho classy. Hey, if you are going to take that shit off, just do it. If you want to show your pooter and your cooter… don’t toy with me, let’s see it. Fact is, I would rather have you not wearing this at all if I’m shooting nudes. I don’t want to have to remove your panty line skin indentations. Or… keep that stuff ON and we’ll shoot your swimsuit, lingerie, fashion stuff the way it fits. There MUST be a pose that is still attractive and alluring without you pretending that your britches are made of boiling acid or shards of glass and you must remove them as swiftly as possible!

Once in a while while watching the news there will be some story about some local person. Perhaps they are in trouble, were in an accident, were arrested for extreme clubbing, were caught in an affair with a golf legend, are suffering because they did not learn how to read, have had 8 babies at the same time, are reminding you that St. Patrick’s day is just around the corner, were involved in some incestuous ménage à trois with Uncle Elmer and the old guy from across the street resulting in an investigation into paternity, or maybe your stupid dog got run over by a stupid car and instead of paying me the $150.60 you owe me for sign work, you instead paid the vet $3000.00 and then when asked about it later told me that there were no broken bones or anything but the dog was still kind of moving slow so what the fuck did you pay $3000 for?… who the hell knows…

Every time I see one of these stories, they plaster some picture of the person on the screen. In the more in-depth stories, there is a voice over as you look at the image floating around or twisting into view closer and closer as they play some ominous music in the back ground.

Do you really want this image to be your “I’m pulling my panties down” image?

No, probably not. Unless, of course, this is the best example of pulling your panties down for no apparent reason that has ever been shot. Then, we are all good.

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