Captain, the shields are at full power!

Being the glimmer in someone's eye

One common trope in ads for things like beers or good times or fun nights out on the town is to show two large glass beer steins held by two guys having a great old time, and have them clonk their glasses into each to perform a “cheers” ritual, in such a way that there’s a big splash of beer that comes out of both glasses and flies up into the air and then spills over the sides of the glasses.

Presumably when you’re filming video ads or producing stock photography you want to sort of get the most extreme and hyperbolic version of whatever emotion you’re trying to convey with the thing, and I guess through that lens something like “holy shit those guys are having so much fun that they just clonked their things and beer flew out all over the place!” Might be a reaction you’d think people would have to that imagery. Because of the prevalence of this trope, I’m going to assume that it works effectively and gets people to buy more of the stuff that you’d buy if you were excited about beer splashing out of glasses. This must be stuff like beer, beer glasses, dinners, nights out on the town, sports cars, fun times, old friends, bad habits, fast women, sharp tools, etc.

(Total side note here: I’ve seen this trope done with wine glasses too, which is just totally bonkers. You’d definitely break your wine glasses if you clonked them hard enough to generate a splash of wine out the top, right?)

Anyway, when I see that overflow-style cheers’ing happening in these ads, I don’t think about good times and fun adventures, I think like, man, that’s going to be annoying to clean up. Those guys are going to be covered in beer, they probably got some on the people around them, there’s probably a bunch on the floor. If you were having a party at your house and two guys did that, you’d probably ask them to leave. If multiple groups of people were doing it, you’d call the fire department and shut down your whole party.


Living in sin, living for today, living it up, letting it out

Many spy-themed action films have a main character who maintains a “go bag”, which is generally a small to medium sized bag in a hidden room or closet or bunker or something, and it contains things like multiple currencies, fake passports, guns, ammo, wigs, hair dye, trucker hats, small knives, etc. The implication here is that this person might need - on very short notice - to grab this bag, totally drop their current identity, get out of the country quickly, and be prepared to reset their life as someone else in a different place.

I have this suspicion that assuming a fake identity is probably harder in real life than it is made out to be in these films, but I can let that go. What I do think is probably happening … and without giving away too much as to whether I personally am or am not in this specific group of highly prepared and well equipped individuals … is that I suspect there are a lot of people who have the right combination of a relatively boring lifestyle, some disposable income, and a certain sense of humor where they might do something like this — and what they are doing is they are creating their own go bags, and they are leaving them in their closets.

For some people who do this, the desire to show their spouse or family what they’ve done to get a quick laugh out of the joke is going to be very strong, and it will be only days or weeks that go by before the existence of the go bag is revealed to others. For a smaller group of bag preparers though, they will either have an incredible amount of patience and be willing to wait for a long time for their family to discover their go bag, or they will be content enough with having made the joke by themselves and for themselves, and won’t need to have it go beyond that. Of course what’s going to happen is some number of these people are going to die before they’ve revealed their go bag joke to their family, and then when their spouse and kids are going through their belongings someone is going to find the go bag in the closet, and that family is going to have a completely insane conversation amongst themselves as to what the dead person had been up to, because they won’t be certain if it was a joke, or if dad was delusional and thought he needed a go bag, or if dad actually was in the service of an intelligence agency and legit might have to leave the country on short notice.

I think you’d go through a really solid range of emotions with that discovery.


Let's not rush into this

When an artist or performer gets to a certain level of fame and commercial success, they typically delegate the handling of their bookings and such over to a talent agency, and the role of their agent or manager is to serve as a business buffer between them and the people who might want to buy their time or presence at their event. This is useful because some number of inbound requests are going to be not really worth it, and it’s always nice to have someone in place to be rude and say no to other people on your behalf. It’s also useful because the person you put in this agent role is probably better than you are negotiating your fee.

I think this style of interaction probably happens fewer times than it’s discussed, but there’s a scenario where an interested party contacts the agent and they have a conversation about the talent, and say things like:

Buyer: Yes, hi, I’m interested in having Matt Jankowski come keynote my event.

Agent: Yes yes, excellent, do you want him to do the talk about the spiders, or the talk about the forest?

Buyer: Right, well we’re a conference for spider people so lets do that one.

Agent: Great, he loves doing that one. What’s your budget?

Buyer: Well we can cover airfare and hotel and meals, and then we have a $5000 honorarium for our speakers. We can probably do $7500 for keynoting.

Agent: Are you kidding me?! I am so insulted right now. Matt Jankowski doesn’t roll over in bed for less than twenty five thousand dollars!

[Agent slams phone]

Sounds like a pretty tense interaction, right?

I suspect that some of these conversations happen on conference calls where the talent is present and needs to be involved with discussing the exact nature of their booking, while leaving the compensation and scheduling details to their agent or assistant. If the agent really slammed the phone at the end there, the talent would probably want to hang up as well. Otherwise you'd have to either apologize for your agent's words (which they probably don't want you to do), or you'd have to resume negotiations on your own, which you probably are self aware about enough to know you shouldn't be doing that. What this means is that unless you immediately go and call your agent right away after this call, those words would be the last you heard from them until the next scheduled call.

I could see a scenario where the talent overhears that conversation, and then the next morning when they wake up and are in bed and they’re about to roll over they remember the discussion and realize that they’re going to need someone to pay them a lot of money before they can do that. If they don’t have their phone near them to call someone about those funds, it could be a pretty long time before they are able to roll over.