Why Creatives Shouldn’t Get Married To An Idea. (As explained in an original one-act play.)

Oh, metaphors, I love you so much.

“3 A.M. CALL TO THE PLUMBER.”

(Curtain rises)

WE OPEN ON A CLOCK ON THE WALL. IT’S 3 IN THE MORNING. WE PULL BACK TO REVEAL SLEEPY PLUMBER ENTERING A BATHROOM AS THE CLIENT HOLDS OPEN THE DOOR.

CLIENT: It’s in here. The sink is just totally clogged.

PLUMBER: No problem. Sounds like a hairball. It’s almost always the U-trap.

CLIENT: I’m pretty sure it’s a problem with the toilet.

PLUMBER: I thought you said the sink is clogged.

CLIENT: Oh yes, that is the problem. But I think you reeealllly oughta work on the toilet.

PLUMBER: ______

CLIENT: See, most of the guys in the office say the same thing. The toilet.

PLUMBER: Ummmmmm, okay. But …. okay…. but in order for me to work on the toilet, I’mmmmm… gonna have to go in through the sink’s U-trap.

CLIENT: Ooookay, you’re the “expert.” But I’m pretty sure the hairball is in the toilet and that’s  the problem with the sink.

THE PLUMBER GOES UNDER THE SINK, UNDOES THE U-TRAP AND COMES OUT HOLDING A BIG UGLY HAIRBALL.

PLUMBER: Heeeeere’s your problem. Like I said, it was a hair…

CLIENT: Fine, whatever, now if you will please put that hairball back in the U-trap and check the toilet like I asked.

PLUMBER PUTS HAIRBALL BACK INTO SINK, THEN DECONSRUCTS THE TOILET, WHERE IT’S CLEAR THAT THE TOILET IS IN PERFECT WORKING ORDER.

PLUMBER: Well, it’s like I said. Listen, it’s a little late, and so if you want that hairball out, I can do it now or just leave.

CLIENT: I hate it when you plumbers act like you know alllllll about plumbing.

PLUMBER: Sir, I’m sorry but… I’ve been doing this stuff for goin’ on 25 years and I’m tellin’ ya, it’s a hairball in the U-trap.

CLIENT: Fine. …. Fine…. Just get it out.

PLUMBER GOES BACK UNDER, UNSCREWS U-TRAP, BRINGS OUT THE SAME BIG UGLY HAIRBALL.

PLUMBER: See? This is your hairball. From the U-trap.

CLIENT: (Appraising the hairball, looking at it from 3 different views) Good effort….but that just isn’t quite the hairball I was looking for. I was seeing something more in a spherical shape or more like a capsule shape, you know, sort of like a big pill.

PLUMBER LEAVES

CLIENT: Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE your hairball, it’s a great start. But if you could just show me three other hairballs, I’m pretty sure I’ll know it when I see it.

PLUMBER DRIVES AWAY

CLIENT: (Calling out the front door to the departing plumber) And did your hairball have to have a wedding ring all tangled up in the middle? I mean, what’s that about? Is your hairball married?  Wait’ll Mrs. Hairball hears about this!

3 Comments

  1. Timing is everything.

    Reply
  2. That was hilarious! Or, as they say in nowadays, LOL, ROLF…Do you have more such stuff? Luke, I think your next book should be a satire on the ad industry. I’d be the first in line to buy it.

    Reply
  3. Sorry, that should be “as they say nowadays” (damn, should have joined that typewriting institute right after college… should have listened to Dad).

    Reply

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Luke Sullivan

Author, speaker, and ad veteran available to recharge, reinvigorate, and refocus marketing, advertising, and branding firms.

I give a hugely energetic series of presentations on innovation, creativity, branding, and marketing. I spent 32 years in the trenches of advertising (at agencies like Martin, GSD&M, and Fallon) and I’ve put everything I learned into my book, Hey Whipple, Squeeze This. But for me nothing beats taking the message out and speaking to living breathing audiences at clients, agencies, and conferences. You can book me on the button below.

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