I’m waiting to pick up my new business cards, and I can’t stop thinking about Bret Easton Ellis and “American Psycho“. It’s on Netflix, and if you haven’t seen it, I would reluctantly recommend it. The blend of black humour, social commentary and violence is a potent mix, it’s a biting serial-killer satire. If you don’t mind seeing a chain saw wielding Christian Bale wearing nothing but Nike sneakers, and chasing after a prostitute, then you’ll have a good time. As I get older, I feel less and less capable to view such films. In fact, not even when I was young. I read part of the book in my early twenties, and it was so frightening to me, that I had to put the book in a closet, between towels. But this isn’t to say that this film isn’t rife with some very funny moments. There is one scene in the film where he and a few others exchange business cards. Patrick Bateman, the murderous narrator stews with rage when he sees that others have “better” cards. But to the outside observer, it’s the difference between bone or eggshell, and different variations of black ink. If memory serves, I’m pretty sure the guy with the best card doesn’t live much longer, but apparently I’ve blocked those details. Suffice to say, no one is safe around this man.
Why did I get business cards? Well, for the blog…because people are not quite catching the name when I speak it. I don’t love having to act it out Margaret Mitchell didn’t have to act like she was being hit with a strong gust while trying to explain “Gone with the Wind”, why should I be like “It’s like a pin up girl, picking up a pen?“. Or worse, writing the title on a crumpled napkin, scrap piece of paper, that shit just ain’t classy. And here at a ‘pin up girl who is picking up a pen, don’t forget the name and please read my blog’, we are all about class.
The day I decided on the title, when I realized that the impossibly clever “Blah, Blah, Blog” was thought up by no less than a million people before me, it just felt so right. Still, I don’t think I said it aloud to myself, or said it six times fast, like a tongue twister, which is kind of liking buying shoes without walking around in them first. And now, I’m shouting “it’s like the pin up girl is picking up a pen to write-pin up picks pen up, what is the issue? Why don’t you understand me?’, which really alienates your readers. But some thing’s look better in print. I have a number of visible tattoos, five altogether on my arms. It’s all writing, quotes and poetry and song lyrics. And I hate saying them aloud. I hate when strangers ask to read them. I didn’t really think about that when I got them done, that people would literally grab your arm, and read aloud from your body. It was an issue while waitressing, patrons would try to read it from across the table, and then you’d get “Walter-Walter–what does it say?”. Then my tattoos are then misquoted by mouths full of partially masticated meals, and the whole affair feels far less poetic than intended.
And so, fueled by the desire to not mime picking a pen up, while pretending to wear garter belts for the rest of my life, I popped by a print shop, made a connection, discussed the details, and emailed the guy the information an hour later. He sent me a few drafts, and within twenty-four hours, the cards were ready to be picked up. And that was how I came to be playing this scene from “American Psycho” in my head.
BATEMAN: New card. What do you think?
(McDermott lifts it up and examines the lettering carefully).
McDERMOTT: Whoa. Very nice. Take a look. (He hands it to Van Patten).
BATEMAN: Picked them up from the printers yesterday
VAN PATTEN: Good coloring.
BATEMAN: That’s bone. And the lettering is something called Silian Rail.
McDERMOTT (Envious) Silian Rail?
VAN PATTEN: It is very cool, Bateman. But that’s nothing. (He pulls a card out of his wallet and slaps it on the table).
VAN PATTEN: Look at this.
(They all lean forward to inspect it).
PRICE: That’s really nice.
(Bateman clenches his fists beneath the table, trying to control his anxiety).
VAN PATTEN:Eggshell with Romalian type.(Turning to Bateman) What do you think?
BATEMAN: (Barely able to breath, his voice a croak) Nice.
PRICE: (Holding the card up to the light) Jesus. This is really super. How’d a nitwit like you get so tasteful?
Bateman stares at his own card and then enviously at McDermott’s.
BATEMAN: (voice-over)I can’t believe that Price prefers McDermott’s card to mine.
PRICE: But wait. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet. He holds up his own card.
PRICE: Raised lettering, pale nimbus white…
BATEMAN: (Choking with anxiety)Impressive. Very nice. Let’s see Paul Owen‘s card.
Price pulls a card from an inside coat pocket and holds it up for their inspection: “PAUL OWEN, PIERCE & PIERCE, MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS.”
(Bateman swallows, speechless. The sound in the room dies down and all we hear is a faint heartbeat as Bateman stares at the magnificent card).
So, if I’ve learned anything from “American Psycho” is that what your business card looks like says everything about who you are, and who you hope to be. And I’d like to be a professional writer and have nice legs. While waiting at the printers, I was trying to wrap my head around how I would go about giving away 250 cards with a pin up girl holding a giant fountain pen. I’ve since given them to friends, my parents got one each, my husband has one, there’s even one on my bulletin board. But I have given very few away to people who haven’t yet read the blog. Which I think is the idea. There’s even been a few times when I’ve met people, told them about the blog, but didn’t have any on hand because I had given them to friends. That was a rookie mistake. When out in a pub after the Sun Peaks concert, I laughed with these fellows, all of us drunken and foolish. Before we parted ways, I dropped a few cards on the table. One fellow glanced at it and said ” I don’t get it…what’s your business?”
“It’s not really a business, it’s a blog”.
“Ah…” he reexamined the card, frowning slightly.
I suddenly felt very foolish for busting out business cards for a not-quite business.
“She’s hot…it’s a good card”.
Not exactly bone and silian rail, but they’re certainly to die for.