31-May-2019

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31-May-2019

Creativity Know No Bounds!

(And this guy has no boundaries)

The woman behind the desk blinked, then leaned forward. “Will you say that one more time please?”

I straightened and took a breath. “I’m looking for funding to make the largest sticky note mosaic in the world.”

She cocked her head to the side, her red curls following. “And you want to do that where?”

“On the north side of the Empire State Building.”

My answer met with silence, and I knew she was processing. The sheer volume of the idea was so big that most of the people I’d approached to help had been unable to comprehend my vision.

The folder I had provided lay before the woman, and she flipped through it with glazed eyes. “Uh, why?”

This was a stalling question. I knew it and she knew it. She needed time to think, so I gave it to her.

“As it states in my opening proposal, I feel that the world record for the largest sticky note mosaic should reside in the country where they were invented. I feel we owe it to the inventors and makers of the sticky  note.”

I pointed as she flipped through. “As you can see, even if someone here tries to break the world record before I am finished, there is no way that they will beat my numbers. That page shows the breakdown. Almost seven million sticky notes.”

Another moment of silence passed before the woman cleared her throat. “Have you spoken to the company that makes sticky notes? Can they provide that many for you?”

“I have.” I beamed, thrilled that she had started problem solving. “They can make the number I need per year and ship them to the job site if they are paid half up front.”

“And there are custom colors?”

“No. Just the standard colors they make now.”

She turned to the next page. “Five years to complete?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“How do you plan to keep them from coming down?”

I leaned forward and turned to the “Execution” tab. “I will have rolls of plastic mounted to the building. When a four-foot square section is completed, then I will seal it with another layer of plastic.”

“You’re not worried about the hot summers and cold winters?”

More problem solving. I checked the woman’s left hand. Too bad she was already taken. “The plastic is rated to sub-zero harsh climates as well as boiling water.”

“I see.” She looked back down and continued to flip.

My stomach clenched as she stopped on the page with the design. I watched her eyes as she took it in. Perhaps she was picturing how it would look.

“What made you decide on this particular design?”

“Well, I figured that any real person would be controversial—dead or alive—and I didn’t want to start any sort of political statement or adversity. I thought about natural landmarks—maybe one from each state—but they wouldn’t be very clear, and someone in every state would be angry about what I chose.”

“And so you chose to make a mosaic of sticky notes of the Empire State Building on the outside of the Empire State Building.”

My heart leaped. I came out of my chair. “Exactly! It’s brilliant!”

And it was. I knew it. She knew it. I could see it in her gleaming eyes.

I went on. “The bold colors would highlight the building, while bringing more warmth and life to it!” I pointed. “The orange. The blue. The green. All of it!”

She stared up at me in awe. Finally, someone understood. My heart galloped in my chest, and I wondered how secure her marriage was, because I would devote my life to this woman…after the mosaic, of course.

“Mr. Erickson.” She slowly, reverently, closed my proposal. “This is a bold undertaking.”

I bounced on the balls of my feet once.

“So bold, I’m afraid we can’t help you.’

The balloons that had begun to pull me off the ground popped, and suddenly I felt every gram of gravity pulling me down. I stared at her with my mouth agape. I didn’t know what to say.

The door behind me opened, and a set of heavy footsteps came in.

“Officer Newton will escort you out.” She picked up my proposal and offered it to me. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to find somewhere else to break your sticky note record.”

“But…there is nowhere else.”

She smiled. “A creative man such as yourself can surely think of something.”

The tattered threads of my heart latched on to her encouraging words. No. More than that. She wanted me to find something bigger. Better to do.

I held out a shaking hand and took my proposal. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

A beefy hand gripped my bicep hard, but I ignored it. Instead, my mind began to reel, and I wondered what this lovely woman had in mind for my next idea.

Bigger. Better.

I could do that.

***

You have no idea how many things I had to look up so that my engineering brain would quit poo-pooing this story. How tall is the Empire State Building? how wide is it at the bottom? How big is a standard sticky note? Where could people see it from the best?

At least I cracked myself up!


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