The other night I went to a good friend's house for dinner and within minutes complimented one of the guests on his shirt. It was one of those crushed linen shirts that wrinkles just right - a bad boy shirt with a banded collar that makes you think of dissolute expatriates who write features for hometown papers.
What about my pants, said the guest.
Chinos? I asked.
No, he said. Canvas.
Eight ounce weight?
Ten, he assured.
In that moment I realized how much I missed copywriting. I had the desire to sell this man's outfit as if it was spring merchandise and I was once again the diligent copywriter hawking softgoods for Macy's Department Store. "Canvas," I murmured, "but canvas that has surrendered its toughness and moulds gracefully to the human form." I could visualize the headline. "Canvas? Yes, canvas! Reborn. Repurposed. Resplendent." These trousers say, "I'm expensive but worth it. See how the pockets are finished with a wide edge? See how the legs end in an impudent narrow cuff? See how the color is not camel or beige, maybe closest to the third tier of sediment in the buttes of the Kalahari?"
I wanted to also write an ad for the dinner but the seductive mushroom risotto, glistening, earthy and aromatic overtook all my senses.
Being a copywriter is a wonderful profession. It demands that you celebrate the most insignificant thing: a baby's undershirt, a bathroom shelf, a rug, a camisole, a Panama hat. If there are any theater producers out there, let's do a musical called "Copywriting."