Thursday, June 4, 2015
Meet me in the Men's Room
When you work in advertising you end up shooting the shit with your partner.
Discussions that start out on car shopping, can quickly devolve into football. Football chats can spin out of control, until the topic is ISIS, or barking dogs, or good falafel, or even condom machines.
Naturally, a topic like condom machines led to a Google search and an exhaustive examination of their colorful titilating decals.
If you've travelled cross country, or even been to the old biker's bar on Sepulveda Blvd. aptly named The Meat Market, you know there are thousand upon thousands of kitschy variations on the Jimmy Hat --all designed to lure the attention of some misguided drunk with last minute plans to seal the deal.
They're beautiful and have their own classic aesthetic. Is there a coffee table book waiting to happen here?
Will I be the one to traverse the country, walking into men's rooms with a high priced camera in one hand and a roll of quarters in the other?
The mission does sound adventurous though. You ladies might not know this, but in addition to the brightly decorated condom machines, the walls and toilet stalls of the Men's Room, particularly those in bars and gas stations, are festooned with homegrown wit and knowledge, the likes of which cannot be found in libraries or the halls of academia.
And sometimes the two converge in a memorable way that I will take to my grave.
Years ago, I came across a headline that to this day sets the bar and served as a North Star for my entire copywriting career. Scratched onto the facia of a 75 year old condom machine and winner of the best Graffiti Ever Found Award:
Don't chew this gum, it's awful.