|"Hmmm not bad. Hey Jack was this one Goose or Duck or...Do you remember?" I asked of my cubicle neighbor Jack Reyes.
" Penguin." He grumbled as he remained locked in a writers trance with his keyboard and monitor.
"Ha ha... that wouldn't surprise me. Really, is this something new?" I questioned.
"Yeah its a whole new line. Thermal Steel The Impenetrable Emperor Down." he added as he finally unlocked and acknowledged my presence.
" Wait. I thought you were kidding. This is really penguin feathers?" as I shoved my hands into the fur lined pockets.
"Yup" and back to his screen and one fingered keyboard tapping.
I gathered the lower corners of the jacket, locked together the slider and pulled the tab upward. Then I headed for the walk-in to test the qualities of this new product line. We call it " The Fridge." It's a commercial freezer normally used by resturaunts to keep food preserved over long periods. Here at L.L. Bean we use it to test the thermal qualities of the products we sell. I unlatched the handle to the magnetically sealed to keep in the cold. I typically stand inside for a period that ends when my bones feel the cold and start to chill my bones. That's my litmus test. It may not be very scientific but I think it works.
I'm a ad writer for LL Bean a well known and highly respected apparel retailer that specializes in outerwear for " Outdoorsy Folk." Do I aspire to do more in life? Yes. I'm also hard at work at writing a fictional novel about an FBI informant who has the ability to turn a hotly contested political race on its heels. Timely huh? The problem is his information will destroy the candidate that we wants desperately to win. But I digress and should get back to my paying job and until you get published, if you want to be a writer, you better find one. So for me its witting ad copy for LL Bean. It pays the bills and I have the finest collection of Barncoats, Insulated Underwear complete with trap doors, Gortex hiking boots that are guaranteed to resist snow and water to a depth of two feet, Tents, Mittens and on and on.
The truth is that I don't actually work for L.L. Bean. My employer is McGrath and Dunn an ad agency that is contracted by Bean to write copy for the catalogue. We're based in Miami Florida. I rent a condo in a high rise just minutes away from the beach. I don't think there is a thermometer in this town that's ever seen a number below 60. I believe that's the record set back in January of 1958. I sit here in my Bermuda's, puffing on a Cuban and extol the virtues of a garment is the official boot of the Royal Mounted Canadian Guard and I've never experienced so much as a live snowflake.
Maybe this job is the ultimate test of a fiction writer. After all, I make just about all of this stuff up! I've thought about putting all this stuff onto an online auction, cashing in and buying a surfboard but it would be disingenuous and in all honesty I need to have it close by. I would be lying if said I didn't dress occasionally like a hiker about to embark on the mountains of Patagonia just to get into character. I'm so tempted to walk the streets of Miami in my "Beanwear" but I cant quite muster the courage.
Brrr... that enough. Wow, I've been in here for 70 minutes. That's by far a record. Hail to the Emperor. The new King of Coats!