Ward Snavely stood in his boss’s office, rooted to the floor, shoulders slightly hunched, arms held rigidly against his sides, fists clinched; he looked like a reporter covering a hurricane, leaning into the wind to avoid being blown off his feet. He was being thoroughly chewed out by the senior partner of the advertising company for which he worked.
“Snavely, you’ve had two weeks - two weeks - to come up with a new poster for the Obama campaign, and this crap is the best you can do?” Mr. Glotz picked up a computer-generated picture from his desk; it showed Obama in jeans and work shirt, sleeves rolled up to reveal almost Popeye-like forearms, a shovel over his shoulder, all against the background of what appeared to be either a blood-red dawn or a nuclear explosion. “What’s this, Snavely? Socialist Realism? Great idea! Why not just paint a hammer and sickle at the top, while you’re at it? And I really love this one!” Mr. Glotz picked up another poster prototype. It featured a regular photo of Obama in a dark suit, but had been touched up to show him holding a lightning bolt in one hand and a basket of puppies in the other. The image left him speechless, but seemed to boost the energy he needed to rip the thing into a hundred pieces.
“Snavely, you either get me a workable idea for a new campaign poster before the end of the day or you’re fired!”
Snavely somehow found his way out of the senior partner’s office and began staggering down the hall to the bathroom. The session with Mr. Glotz had almost pureed his bowels, and he felt a keen need to ensconce himself in a bathroom stall for a few minutes.
He entered the bathroom, lurched toward one of the stalls, and opened the door; all of a sudden, it was if the world around him had ceased to exist, except for that one, altar-like object in front of him. Inspiration had come upon him, at last!
At five minutes to five, he marched proudly into Mr. Glotz’s office with the finished product.