What’s Illegal That You Don’t Want To Do?


I was at work today, at the auction house, and I saw this piece of paper sitting alone in a small nook on a phone/net bank used by people who take bids via the phone or the web.  It was a rather curious thing, a small note with a few words scribbled on it.  Not unusual to find notes scribbled in these areas, the people who do this work have need to take many notes.  What was unusual was the note itself.  It read:

What’s illegal that you don’t want to do?

Maybe it’s me, but when I first read that I didn’t put any particular emphasis on any particular word.  I took it to mean, for just a moment, what do you not want to do that is illegal?  I thought for a moment and figured that the person probably meant something like “What’s illegal that you don’t want to do?  Implying that whoever was on the other end of the barb was criminal from top to bottom.

Then I thought about it again.  What don’t I want to do?  Kinda odd to even try to answer that question… Um… Die for one, but there’s nothing illegal in that. Nasty? Evil? Fucked up?  Most definitely, but not illegal.  Heroin? Ya, that’s illegal and I don’t know anyone who would want to do it, but this is an auction house.  The people who get high are (usually) the ones who make the art, not the ones who buy it ( buyers traffic the heroin? Dunno.  Launder the money made from it, hmmmm…), so it still doesn’t make sense, not to me.

I started thinking about it as an exercise in creativity (ok, call it weirdness, it’s alright,) trying to think of what kind of conversation there must have been before that note was written.  How many references to illegal activities did he or she have to hear about from people the person working the phone bank was talking to before coming up with that little note.  How many drug/murder/prostitution/money laundering/arson for the insurance money stories did she have to listen to from how many millionaires before that happy little note got scrawled?  And was it something kept to his or herself, or was it shared amongst all the bid takers?  Who was this person talking to just before?

I saw a business card from a VIP in a major financial firm near the note.

I can’t help but put the two of them together.  Ah, to be a fly on the wall there…

I thought it was weird and funny and just a little silly.

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Pic of the day:  The Reader, by Jean-Honore Fragonard

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A writer — and, I believe, generally all persons — must think that whatever happens to him or her is a resource. All things have been given to us for a purpose, and an artist must feel this more intensely. All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.

Jorge Luis Borges

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I was at work today, listening to two people gripe about the people they get to do the jobs they need done, they want people who can hang art, and whoever they were getting apparently could not do it, or such was the implication.  One of these people was my supervisor, so hearing this made me, shall I say, a bit unhappy.  I don’t like the fact that my boss is getting less than what is needed to get the job done.

Maybe 2 minutes later I get a text from my bosses boss, the guy I report to, asking me if I can work in gallery all week next week.

Gallery hangs all the paintings.  I’m the only person they’ve called in to help. In my mind I put the two together, and I begin to think that my supervisor does not think I can hang a damn painting.

I was up on the 20th floor a few hours before hanging millions of dollars worth of Roy Lichtenstein and Mark Rothko.  Is my supervisor really serious here?

Pissed me off, because I can clearly do the job.  Am I perfect?  No, but I can do the job, well.  I take more time than the guys who do the job more than I do, but that is to be expected.  But I can do the job.  I’ve had bad days where things just went wrong all over the place.  Days like that don’t happen often, but they happen. I’ve hung plenty of pieces for these people.  Dammit I can hang.

Maybe they aren’t talking about me.  But putting two and two together here sure makes it look like they are, at least from where I sit.  Maybe I’m just antsy about getting this job permanent and this is how it’s coming out of my evil head.

Ya know what though?  Let’em bitch if it really is like that.  I know I can do it, and I am working all week, so I’m happy.  If they think I suck, fine, let’em.   I want a chance to prove them wrong, if they really think that.

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

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