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A Copywriter’s Blog

As I’ve mentioned before, The Wife and I have been known to approach situations differently.

For example, when I moved into a room in college, I set up the bed and the internet. Everything else was optional, and was unpacked as it was needed. This meant that when the time came to move back home for the summer, there was usually a box or two loaded into the car that had never been unpacked.

The first time The Wife and I moved into a place together, I followed standard procedure. Assembled the bedframe, set up my computer in a tangle of cords and egg-crates, and proceeded to surf the web.

At this point, the reader is free to imagine The Wife standing there, clearing her throat meaningfully and tapping one foot, arms folded.

Three days later the entire place was unpacked, organized, and decorated. A mere 72 hours after getting the keys the only thing left to do was find complementary dishtowels.

I tell you all this to explain what happened our second day in the new apartment. We moved before our furniture did, so we’re currently sleeping on an air mattress, and I got the cable hooked up so that I can post this while sitting on the floor.

The Wife is working nights these days. This means she works a 12-14 hour shift, followed by an hour or more commute home, where she attempts to sleep for 8 hours before getting up, eating something, and driving another hour or more to start the next 12-14 hour shift.

You’ll not nowhere in there is there time for, well, anything. Work, drive, sleep, drive work. Repeat.

Which means there’s only one possible explanation for how, when I came home Monday night, twelve hours after we’d moved into the new apartment, the entire bathroom, fridge, and pantry were organized.

The Wife can bend space-time.

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Model Specimen Ben Levy 19, September

While shopping with The Wife today, I found a sweater/hoodie thing I liked at the Gap. The only problem was that they didn’t have the desired color in my size. Well, that’s not entirely true. The mannequin had it in my size. So I asked an employee if she could take it off ‘ol plastic nuts for me.

This required dislocating both arms and pulling them out through the sleeves. Which explains the opening line of the conversation that took place in the parking lot.

The Wife: Just make sure the arms aren’t stretched out.

Me: I don’t think they’ll be. It’ll get it’s shape back after I wash it anyhow. Plus, that mannequin’s arms weren’t much bigger than mine.

The Wife: (Patting me on the back) Uh huh. Sure honey.

Me: They weren’t!*           *Editor’s Note- I’ve been working out!

The Wife: No, they weren’t.

Me: I could take him.

The Wife: He was taller than you.

Me: Yeah, but he’s probably slow and stupid. Also, he had no head.

The Wife: Right.

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If it were up to me, there would only be two movie genres: Action and Comedy. Watching the news for 5 seconds will prove to anyone that there is more than enough horrible, terrifying, depressing shit going on in the Real World as it is. I see no reason why I should pay money to spend 90+ minutes subjecting myself to more of it in a theater. Which is why, when The Wife brought home “Hachiko, A Dog’s Story” I told her I didn’t want to watch it.

That’s because a better title for this film would have been “Hachiko: The Cure for Happiness.” Let me share with you the official trailer.

A few observations about what you’ve just seen:

1. You can tell the trailer just explained the entire story of the film. All of it.
2. It is depressing as fuck.

That was the entire film. The whole thing. I will now sum up this honey-where-do-we-keep-the-sleeping-pills-I-need-to-OD-on-them story for you in two sentences: A man’s dog loved him so much that every day it waited at the train station for him to get home from work. Then one day he died, and it kept waiting for him for ten more years.

I have communicated this to you in two sentences. The trailer has shown you all of it in two minutes (and with decent editing could have done it in one). THE MOVIE DRAGS IT OUT FOR 90 MINUTES.

The worst part was, I knew what would happen. The guy was going to die. The dog was going to be more depressed than a hobo who just discovered they make non-alcoholic mouthwash. But it doesn’t happen at first. No. The film spends the better part of an hour showing you how much the dog loves it’s owner.

At this point, you have to ask yourself if this movie is the work of Satan. Do it’s creators derive sustenance from the torment of depressed souls? If so, every viewing of this film must feed all the demons in hell for a thousand years.

And just when it’s dragged on so long that you think maybe you’ve misinterpreted the trailer in some way and the guy actually lives- he dies.

And the dog can’t understand why he doesn’t come home.

It may interest you to know that I have trouble crying. This is not a macho thing I’m making up to impress you. It’s just a fact. There have been times where I have wanted to cry, times where crying would have been appropriate, and I have been unable to do so. From the time this fictional character dies, until the end of the movie, I CRIED FOR 45 MINUTES STRAIGHT.

Forty. Five. Fucking. Minutes. I am in advertising, ok? I have written scripts with montages that had to show the birth, life, and death of a human being in five seconds. The soulless assgoblins who directed this dog-lover’s nightmare went and dragged out the canine’s heartbroken, lonely existence for forty-five minutes.

You might think the moral of the story is that the dog eventually moved on, and rediscovered love in the family it’s owner left behind. You might think this is some story about how the whole town adopted the dog as their own- how they took him in and sheltered him. You might even think that maybe it turns out there was some big mistake and the guy wasn’t dead after all he just went out to get milk and then his car broke down and his GPS battery died and he got really really lost before hitting his head and getting amnesia and hey it’s all right now boy I found you at last and we can go play fetch in the yard.

None of that happened. The guy died. The dog waited ten years for him to show up at the train station. Then the dog died.

I bet you’re fairly depressed now, aren’t you? Maybe you do what I do when something in a movie scares or upsets you- you tell yourself it’s not real. Remind yourself they’re just actors. Think about how as soon as that scene ended somebody yelled “Cut!” and everyone clapped and then opened obscenely large checks before jumping into their limos and heading off to do really expensive drugs at the wrap party. That’s what The Wife was telling me to think of when the screen went black.

Some white words appeared. They say that Hachiko was a real dog. They tell you the date he was born, and the name of his owner. They tell you the year his owner died, and how he went and sat at the same spot at a train station in Japan for the next nine years, waiting for his owner until he died. And then they show you the bronze statue that was erected in the spot he always sat in. The real statue that’s still there today. At the real train station. Commemorating the real dog.

So I hope you weren’t just feeling better about yourself. Cause everything you just saw and felt was totally justified. It was a true g-damned story. If anyone needs a razor to slit their wrists, you can borrow mine. It’s only been used once.

And when the coroner rules my death a suicide, you tell him to arrest The Wife on charges of murder. I told her no, but she made me watch that damn film. Because she’s trying to kill me.

I’m not watching another movie for the rest of my life unless it contains at least 12 explosions during the opening credits or a fat man slipping on a banana peel. Preferably both.

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I don’t remember if I mentioned it here, but The Wife is now a doctor.

Once they graduate medical school, doctors have to make it through their residency before they start making “doctor money”. So there’s no relief in sight from her medical school debts. Also, within the next six months, she has to take her Step 3 exam. Which costs $700.

I don’t know much about the costs of testing. It’s entirely possible this test is worth $700. If so, perhaps the experience is something like this…. (cue wavy transition sequence)

“Alright students, read the instructions to yourself while I read them aloud:

Please only use a #14 karat gold bar to gild your answer key. Make sure to only gild one gemstone per question, and make sure to gild it completely, without letting any part of the stone show through. Most questions will be multiple choice, and these can be gilded ruby, topaz, diamond, or jade. Occasionally you may have the option to choose all of the above, in which case you could also gild Onyx. Once you have finished your exam, please turn in your test sheet, and do not fold the tanned virgin hide it is printed on, as this may make it difficult to read your answers.”

(cue wavy transition sequence)

Yeah, maybe it’s like that. Or maybe some smarmy bastards need a #2 shoved up their ass.

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