The Second Charlie said,
“Sounds like a great idea to me,” as he
reached for my wrist and turned my palm upward.
“I’m in for ten.” Then he walked away.
I stood there with my head cocked in confusion
and a ten-dollar bill in my open palm.
Had Charlie not understood that
I was suggesting he should do it?
Then it hit me. Charlie had understood perfectly,
he just wasn’t accepting the handoff. I wanted Charlie to
write a short message each day and record it on an
answering machine. Charlie was a famous morning man
on the radio. He was always saying interesting things and
he had a recording booth available to him.
A daily recorded message from Charlie
would be a gift to the public.
“Sounds like a great idea to me. “I’m in for ten.”
I woke up in the middle of the night every day
for 2 and ½ years, wrote a short message to
share with the world, recorded it on an answering
machine and then did my best to spread the word
about the phone number; my little morsel of bread
cast upon the ocean of mankind.
Charlie didn’t take the handoff.
And thus began the journey that would lead to
the Monday Morning Memo, the New York Times
bestseller list and a happy career in advertising.
Charlie put a monkey on my back with
that ten dollars and I’ve carried that monkey
for 34 years. We’ve seen some sights together.