“If you have no special talents or intriguing deformities but are still harboring a secret desire to get into Guiness World Records, here’s something you might try: March into your boss’s office on Monday morning and say, ‘I’ve been with the company for some time, and I believe my work has been excellent, and I’d like a fifteen percent pay cut … though I could settle for ten if that’s all the firm can manage right now.'”
–Daniel Gilbert. Stumbling on Happiness. New York: Vintage Books, 2006. Quote on page 151.
Yesterday my husband opened an old book he bought secondhand, and a mysterious photo fell out. The photo is one of those wallet-sized deals that used to be popular among certain parents, showing a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, young boy seated on what seems to be a white carpet in front of a flat backdrop of flowers and lawn, which is probably intended to make it look like he’s outdoors in a garden. He’s smiling at the camera and holding a plastic blue phone receiver to his ear.
Mysterious. I wonder who he is and what he’s doing now. Does he work for the phone company? Does he write ad copy for toothpaste commercials? Does he have a wife and two kids, or a husband and two dogs, or live all alone drinking whiskey in a small apartment that overlooks a freeway?