A Copywriter’s Blog
A Universal Truth Ben Levy 11, April

I’ve had a ton of stuff to bitch about recently, and I’d like to think that I have bitched about them in artful and varied ways. In comparison, moving to a new apartment just didn’t seem like that big a deal to me. After all, it’s not everyday that someone gets laid off. But moving? Everyone’s gone through a move before. Whatever.

But no matter who I spoke to, or how casually I said it, everyone who learned I was moving immediately offered their most effusive, heartfelt sympathies:

“Ohmigod I’m sorry. Moving is the worst.”

“Dude, that sucks.”

“Someone once told me I wouldn’t have to move if I stabbed my own Mother, and I actually had to sleep on it for a night before declining their offer.”

Which was when I realized that moving really does suck. For everyone.

And then I realized- this is it. This is the single piece of common ground we’ve all been looking for. This is the shared experience that will bring about world peace. In every culture, on every continent, people from every walk of life can agree on this one thing- moving blows.

Every international arms treaty should open with a conversation about the last time both parties had to move a couch. Could you imagine? The Cold War would have lastest a week:

MODERATOR: Would the speaker for the USSR like to begin?

USSR: Nyet. American dogs do not respect us. Is nothing to say.

US: Like I’d listen to anything you commie bastards said anyway.

USSR: You are not coming over here to say that!

US: Don’t try me, Ivan!

MODERATOR: Gentlemen, please! Now, I understand the representative for the United States just moved into a third floor apartment last weekend. Is that correct?

US: Yeah. Third floor walk-up.

USSR: You did this thing yourself?

US: Damn straight. Three flights with that stupid bedframe. At least the couch was a sectional.

USSR: This is, how you say, small miracle? Mine was not. Carried up stairs, only to learn does not fit in door.

US: You’re kidding!

USSR: I never kid. Had to take back down stairs, then carry up to outside patio, push in through window. Was -30 degrees.

US: Stuff like that is why I’m using a moving company next time.

USSR: In Soviet Russia, company moves you.

US: Yeeeees… isn’t that the point?

Obviously, there would still be some bitter debates. Who carried the heaviest thing the furthest? Whose friends were the least helpful? Is it worse to move in the dead of winter or the height of summer? But I think just acknowledging that we all share this one thing in common will usher in a new era of discussion and understanding for the world.

We may not see eye to eye on everything, but on this point we can all agree: Moving fucking sucks.

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Between a Doc and a Hard Case. Ben Levy 26, December

Unless I have a split personality no one’s told me about, I’m just one guy. So I find it entertaining to see how I’m received in different social circles.

The Wife is a doctor, which means we have many doctor friends. They tend to marry early, start families, and be super smart. They have fun, but their parties are rarely broken up by the cops. And the thing about doctors is they marry other doctors. So when we show up to doctor parties we’re walking into a room where it’s all smart, stable people. And me. The weird creative guy. The Wife’s husband. “Have you heard? He works in advertising. And he’s an author. Yeah he’s the one who wrote that dick book. Yes, that one.”

Understand, on more than one occasion I’ve walked into a room full of these people and they’ve all congratulated me on being a writer. It’s absurd.

In advertising, the exact opposite is true. I’m married, which is bizarre. Half the people in advertising never get married. And if they do, they sure as hell don’t do it at twenty-four. I can count on two hands the number of parents I’ve ever worked with. My co-workers are all people who have traveled the world twice and jumped out of planes and off buildings. They drink on a near daily basis, and are fascinated by the fact that I don’t. Also, I’ve got this weird religion thing going on. And “What do you mean he’s never had a friend bail him out of jail at 3 am?”

Last week a few of my co-workers coined the term “pulling a Ben”. It means to do something surprisingly responsible. Like leave the bar after one drink.

In one world, I’m considered mildly interesting. Which is even more ridiculous when you consider that everyone else in that world saves lives for their living, and I sell stain-remover to middle-aged housewives. In the other, I’m a competent but boring guy who reads too much and is already (faint look of disgust) married.

They’re probably both wrong right the truth.

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Truth. Ben Levy 10, April

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