Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Pez Murder

Once upon a time there lived 10 graphic designers toiling in a small room with the door shut. We had seasonal KEEP OUT signs taped to the door. The empire we served had global offices, and we edited and drew for a couple of shifts until we passed the gigantic overbaked Powerpoint files off to Tokyo or Toronto or wherever there was capacity. Capacity. That meant women sitting doing graphic designerly stuff not related to Powerpoint presentations. Lots of emergencies, plenty of overtime. We were excellent designers, fast and creative and easily bored with the same ol' same ol'. One Easter season, teeth-gritted with files delivered to inboxes that weren't the right version, requests to fit a 200 pg. edit into the schedule, guys in ties standing over our shoulders pointing at monitors, I flipped. I threw my rabbit Pez against the wall of my cubicle, breaking its neck. Wo, I said, I just murdered my Pez dispenser. Silence in the room, then the sound of drafting chairs rotating to the center, designers making eye contact. Then a swelling swish and click of overworked artists on a drawing toot. I stuck my exacto knife in the back of the rabbit's neck and printed a police tape. The printer queue was scrolling printing 1 of 2, printing 10 of 12. Vicki printed a blood pool and a bloody glove. Beckie printed a chalk outline, bloody paw prints heading up the wall of the cubicle so we then knew how the killer escaped. All the kitschy cutesie stuff on monitors got shoved up to the police line, including Marian's picture of her cat. Beckie printed a wanted poster of the empire's VP, who later came by to see what the commotion was about. She used his smiling mug picture from the annual report, which was brave and briefly terrifying while he held it, read WANTED: NICK THE THUMB. He didn't fire any of us. We were able to figure out who ratted to Nick and worked out a long, long season of thwarting his every move. We kept The Pez Murder going for weeks. I'll be posting the pictures here, remembering the spontaneous fire of creativity in a small room with a KEEP OUT sign on the shut door.

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