Virgil Winston: Marketing Guru

Anyone who knows me, even a little bit, knows I am a big fan of the HBO comedy, “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” The title sums up my feelings about almost everything except marketing and promotional products and the curmudgeon in me celebrates the show’s creator and hero, Larry David, and his daily struggle to live life on his own terms. For those of you who don’t subscribe to HBO, read “Entertainment Weekly” or watch “Seinfeld” reruns, David co-created the mega-hit sit-com, “Seinfeld” and is one of the most unlikely likeable characters to grace the small screen since Archie Bunker. I suppose part of the reason I enjoy the show so much is that Larry makes me look good. As grumpy as I am, Larry is worse. I despise the “stop and chat” as much as he does, but I don’t say so out loud. I would be appalled if a guest helped himself to the contents of my refrigerator but I probably wouldn’t get into an argument with the perpetrator. I am more likely to give a stern look than verbally assault wrong doers but boy oh boy, do I understand the impulse. Larry says aloud what I think (and write) and I love that he makes me look like a sweetheart by comparison.

He is also a study in contradictions. While he mainly acts in a self-serving manner and appears to care only for his own comfort and well-being, he drives a Prius (even before it was popular) and contributes large sums of money to environmental organizations. One could argue that his former wife influenced his altruism, and while that may be true to an extent, I don’t think Larry is really as bad a guy as he appears to be. After all, he did undergo surgery to give his friend a kidney, so he must have a heart in there somewhere.

I couldn’t help but think of Larry when I saw one of Rush Imprint’s newest items, the Art Glass Quill Set. The pen and ink set is meant to be given as an award and can be engraved with the recipients name—it contains two beautiful art glass quills and ink and is prefect for a writer, publisher or artist. It is a gorgeous set and I am secretly hoping my editor reads this so he knows what to get me for Christmas, but I think this is exactly the sort of thing that Larry David would hate. I can picture him opening the box and exclaiming, “Oh, it’s a pen! Why’d you get me a pen? I don’t even like pens, I write with pencils. And who uses bottled ink? It’s messy…and isn’t this…” He has an innate inability to appreciate a simple gesture and I must admit, part of me loves him for it.

Fortunately, most people love to receive a thoughtful gift that shows sincere appreciation for their contributions, so if you know of someone who deserves kudos, give it to them. And don’t forget to put their name on it!

I’m off to my monthly “Curb Fanatics” fan club meeting so I will leave you with a few words from the man himself. “Sometimes I like to pretend that I’m deaf and I try to imagine what it’s like not to be able to hear [birds]. It’s not that bad.”