Back when I was just 6 years old, daddy boarded a boat headed for London, England where he would re-enter the music business after a decade long sabbatical – and find himself a new wife while he was there. By the time I was 8, my parents had divorced and mom was faced with raising her two kids pretty much alone (though my maternal grandparents lived just 3 miles away).
Without a full parental scholarship – and not really the housewife type – my mother took her Columbia University degree (Barnard College, actually) and scored a job at an advertising agency – soon to become a copywriter by trade. I wasn’t really clear on what mom did for a living at the time. I just knew that she hired a housekeeper to cook and clean for $42 a week while she herself earned but $85 weekly – minus what it cost to take the LIRR to work in the big city. Clearly, my mother wanted a life besides the one she had at home with her two brats. Can’t blame her for that.
The old girl used to talk shop to my brother and me. Most of it didn’t register initially (until I got older and actually understood what she did for a living). But I did notice she used the word “client” constantly. To me, a client was just a pretentious word for some entity that hired my mother’s boss to handle their advertising in the hopes that expert advice on the subject would earn the entrepreneur more sheckles than if he tried to manage those affairs on his own. But to me, advertising seemed like a hustle…and the word client emblematic of the ruse.
Well anyway…I grew up to go nowhere near the word until voila…I got a job at Action magazine. And suddenly, we were calling the whores who advertised with us clients. And the whores themselves were calling their tricks clients as well! I had to laugh. Talk about a euphemism! To me, whores were whores and tricks were tricks. And neither was a “client.” Really?!?! A client! Talk about putting lipstick on a pig!
Now I’ve exited that life (regardless of what New York State thinks) and in its stead, have embarked on a volunteering mission. And guess how the people with whom I work refer to those who would stand in line for free pantry. You guessed it! Clients. In its three aforementioned incarnations, all those “clients” did have one thing in common. They spent money for a service. But now, the meaning has been stretched to the point where the client doesn’t even have to do that! Oh well!
I guess everybody has to get above their raisin’ nowadays. Let’s see. I’m not a blogger. I’m an author! I’m not a tax cheat. I’m a protester against the injustices of injudicious governmental spending. So let’s call a spade a spade. A whore is a whore – not a client. Likewise for a trick. And I’m a wannabe writer and a tax dodger. And soon, unless luck (and justice in my view) intervenes, I’m gonna be a fucking prisoner – not a detainee.