By Joe Fraser
Stuck on a lifeboat with a mentors (A two-parter)
The boat swayed from side to side gently, like a parent rocking their child in the crib. But this was not relaxing. Being stranded out at sea meant that I was trapped with Alex Taylor. I won’t go into detail into how this happened, let’s just say the Ginerosity had a bit more than just gin in it at the Christmas party. But I digress.
“I would have thought the sea would be more blue,” Alex said after a while. She dropped her hand down and splashed the dull, blue ocean playfully.
“There’s enough of it,” I replied, being grumpy as usual.
“Well there’s no need to go skulking in the corner of the boat like that,” she replied, standing, “you need to be a bit different with where you sit.”
“Where do you think we’re situated in the ocean? Bottom right?” I said, trying to lighten the mood.
“I fucking hope not.” She didn’t see the joke.
It was going to be a long a journey. Suddenly, an aeroplane flew into the corner of my periphery and I leaped for the flare gun. We’d already fired it earlier for a boat but it was too far, this plane was flying quite low and over us. It might see us. But before I could grab it, Alex had it in her hand.
“Quick! Shoot it,” I exclaimed, pointing at the plane.
“There’s nothing that really stands out about it,” she said.
“What – what do you – what you fucking talking about? The plane’s right there!”
“It’s not really doing much for me.”
“The plane? The flare gun? Fucking throw me a bone here.”
“The last people ignored it. It’s because it was just like all the other flares they see. Pink aura with a faltering red dot in the middle. Where’s the interest? Where’s the part that stands out?”
“You’re having a laugh.”
“You think the Silk Cut campaign worked because of the saturated black and white photographs, or the bold purple silk that ran through the art direction?”
“I – I don’t give a shit about – “
“You’re the one here to learn.”
By this point the plane had flown over and gone. As the sun set, I learned more about Silk Cut and Be the Best as three large boats and two seaplanes zoomed over. That night, I took the flare gun and looked at the side of it:
INJESTION CAUSES FATAL DISEASES
I put the barrel in my mouth. Sweet irony.
“Well, what’s your idea to get off the boat? You can’t just come up to me and say you want to get off the fucking boat can you? You have to put in the fucking work, mate, and make something and show that to me. I can come round a million fucking times and try to give you something to work with but at the end of the day, we’ve got the sun beating down at us and it’s gonna rain like crazy every now and then and no one’s gonna notice us if that fucking happens so you’ve got to convince me, the average fucking person, that we can be saved. Look, the reason I was so good at getting people to fucking notice me was because I fucking hated advertising and getting fucking noticed so what are you going to do to get people to look at you and think to themselves “fuck me, I better go down there and help those people get off that boat in the middle of the fucking ocean before they get killed by lack of food or trench foot?” Pete said.
I put the barrel in my mouth.