Pulling It Off

Truckers Don’t Be Fooled. You Are Not Down Yet.

If you’ve traveled Interstate 70 through Colorado, you’ve read that before. Driving out of the mountains — east on I-70 — from, say, a dip in the hot springs near Steamboat, you first come upon a warning about the steep grade ahead. Soon come the “suicide ramps,” the wacky roadside paths where truckers whose brakes have failed are supposed to ditch their runaway rigs. After a tense few miles, the road plateaus, everybody relaxes and speeds up and then:

The Sign.

Man, I’ve never looked so often in my rear-view mirror as I did for speeding trucks in that second drop-off headed into Denver.

What brought this nightmare back to mind was actually a rousing success. Typecast Press had been asked to produce the printed materials — menus, napkins, coasters, favor boxes — for a magazine’s photo spread on seasonal entertaining. Great PR opportunity. But, we had only one week to brainstorm themes and materials, design the forms, get plates made, gather all the stuff, print it and add the fussy finishing touches. I mean, we’re talking handmade boxes, sealing wax, grommets, ribbon, wire, gold ink, scissor-cut acorn medallions … the whole 27 yards.

Well, there we were, finished. Just after midnight. The stuff wouldn’t be picked up until the next afternoon.

Shop Boy sighed, then relaxed.

Mary: “OK, get out the art paper. We need the same color paper as the gift boxes.”

Shop Boy: “What for? I thought we were done.”

Mary: “Oh, just one more little thing. Remember I told you (No!) that the house they’re shooting in has a chalkboard? I know I told you we picked a quote for them to write on it.”

Shop Boy: “OK, I remember. But we already gave them that.”

Mary: “Well, we’re going to do a paper chain to go around the chalkboard. You know the kind they do on Christmas trees? We need to cut paper — how many little segments do you need for a 6-foot chain? Then we’re going to punch holes in the medallions and weave them with this string through the loops. You’ll love it. We’ll be done in no time.”

Must … get … to … suicide … ramp …

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