‘I no longer ask for anything except what I can’t have.’ – Colette, Break of Day
Published: Nov 20, 2014
THE WEEK IN REVIEW
Anne Lamott: Small Victories
Denis Johnson: The Laughing Monsters
Muriel Spark: The Driver’s Seat
THAT TIME OF YEAR: The annual holiday gift list launches next Wednesday. But starting Monday you’re going to see something unheard of in this space. It’s called Marketing. This year, I decided not to rely on word of mouth to sell my gently abridged, freshly illustrated edition of A Christmas Carol, so I’ve made a video — directed by a 16-year old student at a New York arts high school — and launched it on the new Head Butler channel on YouTube. I’ve also created tasty ads now running on a few sites. The video and ads link to Butler, which means we’ll have strangers showing up, blinking and wanting directions. And that guidance — brief and linked to the “Christmas Carol” page — will be right here. Until Christmas. For all I know, it may even encourage a few of you. Because, I’ve heard, this Marketing thing works.
WEEKEND CLASSIC: No, make that Winter Classic. And as winter seems to be here for most of the United States, it’s time for coats and mufflers and hats. And Chapstick and hand cream? Not in Butler’s USA. We’re professionals. We use the best. And, for a decade now, this is the champ.
There’s really nothing "magic" about Egyptian Magic.
The ingredients are olive oil, bees wax, honey, bee pollen, royal jelly and bee propolis. And — so it says — “divine love."
With the exception of the last “ingredient," you could whip it up yourself. But you couldn’t improve on the original.
If there’s a skin problem this stuff can’t deal with, I can’t find it. We swab it on the kid’s wounds at night; in the morning, she’s well on the return trip to flawless.
Burns, scrapes, skin irritations, diaper rash, sunburns, eczema, psoriasis — it’s the go-to cream. Dry skin? When an exceptional moisturizer is needed, we open the Magic. Some use it on their hair, as a conditioner. As an anti-wrinkle cream, it’s a comparative bargain. After surgery, it’s said to reduce scarring.
And, of course, it comes with a story.
In 1986, Westley Howard, a water filter salesman, was enjoying a meal at a Chicago diner. An elderly gent came over. “Brother, the spirit has moved me to reveal something to you,” he said.
The stranger called himself Dr. Imas. He did not offer a first name or announce what kind of doctor he was. He did have a need to reveal the formula for a skin cream. But it was the same cream found in ancient Egyptian tombs.
Westley Howard became LordPharaoh ImHotepAmonRa — and the cream became Egyptian Magic. [To buy Egyptian Magic from Amazon, click here.]
In the early ’90s, LordPharaoh ImHotepAmonRa started trading the cream for food at an organic market in Washington, DC. Some jars got to Hollywood, with predictable results — Madonna is said to be among its devotees.
Now it’s everywhere. For a simple reason: Egyptian Magic works.
We’re doing something new with the abridged version of “A Christmas Carol.” It’s called…Marketing. For Head Butler, that means putting a toe into the video universe. Read about the book and Kindle here, and gawk at this baby step….
You were lyin’ there with nothing on
But a goofy little grin and a platinum blonde
I can’t believe you’d do that on our bed
I got a pistol and I got a bullet
And a pissed off finger just’a itchin’ to pull it
The only thing keepin’ me from losin’ my head is…
I hate stripes and orange ain’t my color
And if I squeeze that trigger tonight
I’ll be wearin’ one or the other
There’s no crime of passion worth a crime of fashion
The only thing savin’ your life
Is that I don’t look good in orange and I hate stripes
If you watch it, you will download it.
“Happy Hour” — written, produced and directed by Guest Butler Gretl Claggett, narrated by Julianne Moore and funded in part by Head Butler readers through Kickstarter — is an official selection at the New York No Limits Film Summit on 11/20 and the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival on 11/21. Awards are likely to follow — “Happy Hour” won the “Award for Excellence in Cinematography: Short Form” at the International Festival of Cinematic Arts in LA and has been an official selection at a number of festivals around the country, garnering nominations for three Maverick Movie Awards.
From Paul Zengilowski
My children will turn 19 and 21 in a few weeks and the birthday gift choice falls to me. My wife and I bought them books by the bushel when they were young — some they chose, more often though, we exercised our parental prerogative. That stopped as they entered their mid-teens and felt more confident in their choices than in ours.
I’ve not bought them books in years — with two exceptions. The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need, by Andrew Tobias, was a high school graduation gift. Knowing that having the money talk with them would be fruitless, I passed on to them my financial bible. I’d read it when it was first issued and it has served to keep me mostly on the financial straight and narrow over the last 30 years.
The second exception is their birthday present for this year: The 100 Essentials. Should they read only those two books, I’m confident they’ll enter adulthood with important and foundational knowledge that will serve them well.
You recommended Queen’s Gambit to me when I asked for the most grabable book you could think of. I loved it. It’s difficult to articulate precisely what the dark magic of that book is, but I found it fascinating — the characters, all of them, were like no others I’ve encountered. The relationship between Beth and her adopted mother was so subtle. I love that Tevis never capitulates to cliché or sentimentality. Elegant. Thank you for urging me to read it.
Obligatory Blog Roll
- Andrew Tobias
- New York
- Manhattan User’s Guide
- Show Biz
- Roger Friedman
- New York Social Diary
- Jeffrey Rubin
- Designer Previews