No pain, no gain
I’m not the kind of wordsmith to wave tales of fame and fortune around willy nilly. If you like stories of sanctimoniously earned success, go jump on the bandwagon. You won’t find any mention of marketers in my stories.
I’ve never chased money. As a bonafide failure, I’ve never felt the need to. All my financial assets are tied up in puns. Why? According to Mark Twain, money is twice tainted. ‘Taint yours and ‘taint mine.
There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Unless of course, you’re a butcher’s dog or an M&M.
My mother used to tell me that if I worked hard every day, the hard work would pay off and I would eventually reap the benefits. A bit like a prostitute at a retirement home. My father taught me that to be a successful stalker, you must do the following. What my parents lacked in humor they made up for with good, solid advice.
The other day I caught up with my friend Phillipe. He grew up in the poverty-stricken streets of suburban Paris. He was brought up by his mum’s sister, who was always cross. According to Phillipe, she was a bit of a cross aunt.
Determined to escape the baguetto, Phillipe discovered he was light on his feet. So what if he likes a bit of coq-au-vin! A somewhat valuable attribute that appears to have held him in good stead.
From humble beginnings and with nothing Toulouse, Phillipe founded the summer shoe brand ‘Phillipe’s Follopes’. Phillipe now shares the secret of his success as an online marketer. You know the type, the kind that writes insightful and thought-provoking stories about how to make money online.
Phillipe is as debonair as Gérard Depardieu, as captivating as Claude Monet, as dashing as David Guetta, and as inimitable as Inspector Clousseau.
“So Phillipe,” I say, “be franc with me, what drives you to write so many stories about making money?”
“I do it for ze Monet,” says Phillipe in a thick French accent. Let’s say the accent’s stereotypical, but leave it there, so as not to trigger any unnecessary claims of racism, in this ironically named age of ‘woke’. Incorrectly pronounced French words? Oh please, so quiche!
“Phillipe, I can’t believe you have the Gaul to make money from stories that tell people how much money you make!”
“Zis is possible for you too! You ‘ave zome ‘idden talents?” asks Phillipe.
“At school, I was voted most likely to succeed in 3 things. Bad jokes and math.
“‘Ave you got any advice for ze people, stories that you can make zome money from?” says Phillipe.
“Funny you should ask Phillipe, I once told a friend ‘if at first, you don’t succeed, try and try again.’ He’s now addicted to gambling.”
“Lee, what is your passion? Iz it art? Iz it music? Iz it literature? Can you write?”
“Corsican,” I said.
“I ‘ave it! You could write satire!” exclaims Phillipe.
“What would that involve?” I ask.
“Well for hors d’œuvre, it would require you to have a certain je ne sais quoi with words. You would need to know ze difference between punctuation, a participlé, and a petit pois. You would need to learn the difference between a synonym, a simile, and a sacré bleu. And you will also ‘ave to learn ze craft of satirical storytelling, so ze satire lays on a foundation of implications, not insults. So Lee, are you up for ze challenge?”
“Eh! Actually, as Nice as it sounds, l’amour you talk about it, the more I don’t want to do it. It just sounds like too much hard work to me!”
I use the word ‘beaucoup’ when speaking to my French friends.
It means a lot to them.
Originally published in Medium publication MuddyUm, 10th January 2020.