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Be alarmed. Be very alarmed.

Written by

Andrew Millar

Date

March 29, 2007

I missed posting a mid week Bleat this week (not that you all noticed) because we were travelling the twisty highways of Pitch Land. And even though we have mobile roaming, communicating with the outside world during these journeys is often difficult.

They are tough to get through. They are exciting. They are depressing. They are frightening and the learning curve is so steep its handy to have the skills of a Himalayan mountaineer to call upon to scale their icy slopes. But the view from the summit is fantastic. It was all over by late Thursday and we descended to the valley floor once again.

However, the previous Saturday was one of those days that proved to us that the way we physically structured Black Sheep was working.

3 of us had gone in, to further develop a few ideas. It was a beautiful sunny autumn day so the air conditioner was given a rest and the windows were flung wide open. (Actually this is also a cost cutting measure as our unit is the size of a Kombi Van and costs about as much to run.) The phones didn’t ring, so you could fully explore your thoughts. The lights were off and the reduced glare lessens the tension – somehow the world seems calmer without fluoros.

Small birds singing in the trees outside could not have made it more perfect. It was ‘quality time’ personified.

Except for the car alarm.

Just a few metres away in Synagogue Lane a piercing screech seemed to be coming from a little Suzuki Scrotum with an oxidised red patina. We know it was the culprit because its indicator light flashed in sync with its staccato squawk.

We have no idea what set it off. Perhaps it was just lonely and was crying for its owner. Perhaps it was attention seeking behaviour – lashing out at the world in anger to compensate for its inferior size. Or perhaps the ancient rusty Valiant station wagon that tried to squeeze into the hopelessly inadequate space in front of it activated its alarm by trying to physically push it out of the way.

It was certainly loud enough to annoy the Valiant driver as he drove off quick smart. His ears were obviously offended.

And it was loud enough to bring us to the window – the first time.

By the tenth outburst, we were over it for this alarm would stop after 60 seconds, then start again some ten minutes later just as you relaxed back into a creative mode.

And so on… and so on… for 4 hours.

Eventually I decided I had had enough and resorted to the aggressive and confronting action of putting a note under the windscreen. Stinging rhetoric. However Simon had beaten me to it as I could see an orange A4 note already under its wiper. (First rule of retribution: Don’t do it on letterhead.)

At one stage we could hear several other car alarms whooping in other parts of the city – like the midnight howling of neighbourhood dogs. It was quite unnerving. (“It’s alright, they’re just establishing their territory and trying to attract a mate.)

Anyhow, mid-afternoon the owner returned, screwed up the note, threw it in the car, and drove off, without mass apology for the noise pollution his car had been responsible for. And we went back to work without permanent damage to anything but the overall mood of the day.

However, in the presentation, I did detect a faint ringing in my ear while presenting certain elements of our creative.

Andrew Millar
Creative Director

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