Archive for July, 2009

Getting a Leg Up

July 6, 2009

Bursting into the Drowning Sorrows Tavern for his nightly troll, Thurston spied a likely prospect sitting next to his usual stool at the bar. When the lady in question, a middle-aged brazen hussy with platinum blond hair and turquoise eye-liner, winked in his direction, Thurston stepped up to the firing line and ordered a double for himself and another for her. Half measures would avail him nothing tonight.

“Hi, my name is Thurston, but everyone around here calls me Thirsty.” Despite looking like an aging fire hydrant in a cheap suit, Thirsty had, until recently, been a Big Dog in the financial world. Markets rose and fell with his every howl, but more recently his fortunes had waned substantially. Now, far from being a Big Dog, Thirsty was just another wan cur on his way to the pound.

“My name is Jennifer June, but you can call me J-June. Everyone else does.” Once a top advertising executive, J-June had run afoul of the backlash against Bully Broads. After two stints in anger management rehabs and several failed comeback attempts, she now sought company in the nether regions of Greenwich’s café society.

“Speaking as Greenwich’s pre-eminent career counselor, you look like a man desperately in need of a really good job,” J-June said, deploying her most successful opening gambit.

“You got that right, lady! I was making big money before they accused me of reporting false profits. Picky, picky, picky. Even Bush said that profits are just opinions, so I’m entitled to mine, right?”

“No man is a prophet in his own land,” she said, “but that’s just my opinion.”

“And it appears that I have missed all the good bubbles. What’s a guy to do?”

“Thirsty, you’re in the right place. It just so happens that my specialty is stiffening the resolve of job seekers so they can cut the mustard in this new world of ours. You’ll be back on top in no time. Perhaps you have read my book, “How to Get a Leg Up in Today’s Dog eat Dog Economy”?

“So sorry I missed it, but please tell me more,” he cooed.

“You need a brand new shtick, slick, something that combines your ability to spin a plausible tale with your talent for producing short change. In cases such as yours, I normally recommend becoming a Professional Quant, but it seems that you have already exhausted that route.”

“Sadly, yes. For years I received high praise for being a Professional Quant, but when those same people see me now, the only thing they can say is ‘See You Next Tuesday.’ Somehow, that lacks the same caché.”

“Not to worry,” J-June said. “I know of a very big hole right here in Greenwich that needs filling immediately. The job is yours for the asking.”

When J-June leaned close to whisper in Thirsty’s ear, several patrons spontaneously called out, “Get a room, for crying out loud!”

Unable to resist the force of an idea whose time had come, J-June and Thirsty repaired to Thirsty’s apartment, conveniently located above the tavern, where they spent the evening writing a new self-help book, “Barking up the Tree of Success,” soon to be published by Dogwood Press, a division of J-June Enterprises.


Fence Sitting

July 2, 2009

The only thing you will gain from sitting on the fence is a barbed-wire wedgie.

Speaking While Inhaling: Why the Passive Voice Sucks

July 1, 2009

The primary purpose of the passive voice is to obscure who took the action in question. Since the objective of expository writing, especially in college admissions essays, is to demonstrate your initiative as well as your ability to take responsibility, and hence credit, for your actions, using the passive voice is diametrically opposed to your own best interests.

Using the passive voice is like speaking while inhaling. It will attract attention for all the wrong reasons.