Jail Cell Research
Sitting fireside in a leather wing chair, Biggy at my feet, dressed in a satin smoking jacket and velvet slippers, reading my leather bound original copy of Tale of Two Cities, it hit me. It all became clear. “Paul, history doth repeat itself” (I tend to talk like that when I have my smoking jacket and velvet slippers on). Only by putting our problems in the perspective of history can we see our way clear of them. If you have been reading my blogs of late, as I’m sure you have been, you know the current running theme is adapting to this new economy. “Re-invent yourself”, one friend told me. “Get a real job”, said another. If we think that the interior design business has suffered during this changing economic time, just imagine, if you will, how the millinery business must have suffered during the French Revolution. Talk about a shrinking customer base! Not only could their customers no longer afford a new chapeau, they had no place to wear it and worse yet, no place to put it.
We have all done the homes, apartments, yachts, and airplanes of our financial clients. Now we will have the opportunity to do their jail cells. This will open up a whole new market. With the large bonuses they are getting along with their sentences, the budgets should be open-ended. Soon there will be a whole new specialty in the design world: interior, contract and now, penal designers. This in turn will generate new reality shows like Project Prison and Extreme Cell Block Makeover. The biggest blockbuster will be Alcatraz Island Show House. Each week a group of designers will be picked to do their own jail cell. At the end of the show, everyone will vote and the loser voted off the island shall be made to swim home.
Michael Smith may have pulled off the biggest coup—the Obama job, but I am ready for the next one, Bernard Madoff’s jail cell. Cindy Allen, my favorite editor-and-chief, can be the first to publish my before and after Madoff decorating presentation, a demonstration of restraint. One has to be sensitive to the possible jealousy of the surrounding inmates—penal envy (sorry couldn’t resist that one).