I have decided to come out today.
After many years I have decided to admit that I am a serious addict. I have been for a long, long time. In fact, it started when I was around 5 years old. I had a serious Coke addiction. As a child in the 70s, I was vulnerable. I watched a commercial with the catchy tune “I’d like to teach the world to sing” and I was hooked. I needed more. A daily fix. I started watching television religiously. Not for the shows but for a glimpse of the peace-on-earth-singing hippies with long hair drinking Coca Cola. My addiction was further fuelled by the environmentally conscious spot featuring an Indian looking out over Manhattan and crying for what we had done to his homeland.
Years went by and I dove deeper and deeper into my advertising addiction. I scribbled ideas and storyboards all over my desk at school and my work suffered because of it. I couldn’t wait to get home. I would stare transfixed at the television until bedtime, flipping channels endlessly on the converter. I sank each evening into a zombie-like state. “Ancient Chinese Secret”, “Where’s the Beef?”, “Hold the pickles hold the lettuce…”. If TV wasn’t available I would flip through magazines for a quick fix. I discovered that I could feed my head with billboards and a subway car was the equivalent of a crack house. By high school I knew where I was going and what I had to do. In order to seriously feed my addiction I had to take it to the next level. I had to graduate from addict to pusher.
Upon graduation from ad school I sank to the lowest level in an addict’s life, I’m ashamed to admit it but I whored myself to dealers around town for free to feed my addiction. Hope was just around the corner. I had a large dealer offer to take me under his wing. He brought me in and showed me the ropes. I became a full-time pusher. We usually stayed up until the wee hours of the night, sometimes for weeks, preparing our product until it was ready for the street. Times were good. People were getting hooked everywhere. The computer brought it to a whole new level. It was so good that a new breed of addicts were easily becoming pushers and coming on to the scene. Competition hit us hard and my mentor left town. Last I heard he moved out to California and set up shop to push on a much grander scale. I moved up the ranks, pushing for some big dealers. They were usually just as hooked as I was although I have met some over the years that had enough and left to get clean, or they were persuaded to do so because their addiction was so strong that they forgot about their families. As of 2 years ago I realized that if I went solo I could provide the same product to the masses at a much cheaper rate. I feel that the guys running the game today are getting too big and greedy. Sometimes when they aren’t paying attention I move in and sell to their clients. I’m hoping they’ll deal with me exclusively. Maybe eventually I”ll take over the neighbourhood and become a kingpin. An addict can only dream.