We’re in Receipt of One or More Epistles

Rapid Fire Zone!

with guest shooter John Cook

Phat Albert writes from Wash., DC, USA:

Dear RFZ c/o CN,

I guess you could call me a professional influencer. Not to blow my own trumpet, but the evidence does point to my being pretty good at my job.

From my earliest years on my family’s tobacco farm, I was expected to know how to make folks hand over legal currency in exchange for lung cancer, which may sound hard, but isn’t as easy as it sounds.

When that challenge wore off I went into politics. On an average day I might have to, say, convince Americans to re-elect Bill Clinton to the Oval Office—which, despite recognizing the name Bill Clinton, they actually did, thanks to my initiative in going ahead and inventing the ’Office Sex-perverts Should Get Four More Years’ law-and-order platform.

After retirement I wanted a change of pace, so I decided to sell something easier: the science of climate urgency.

Everyone said it would be a piece of cake, especially for the youngest person ever to drop out of Vanderbilt’s Masters in Preaching program, having surpassed my Rhetoric professors by the end of sophomore year.

Everyone said the promotional video I made for my climate-prevention company, Generation Investment Management, could be cut in half and still win an Oscar.

Everyone said I’d have the carbon debate in the bag by intermission.

Well, 13 years later, I think you can guess whose advice I wouldn’t piss on if it was at increased risk of once-in-a-century extreme temperatures: everyone’s.

Long story short, from a peak brand approval of 49% we’ve made literally zero headway in over a decade. No matter how sad and angry I get, people just prefer not to sign up anymore. How dare they?

When I do cold calls these days, it feels like 51% of the time, they don’t even want to be talked into subscribing. You can’t say the word ‘carbon credit’ in mixed company any more…

[Blah blah blah, woe is me, a few swears for good measure—eds.

It goes on like this.]

….serious thought to selling out and getting back into the respiratory-malignancies game.

So I guess my question is:

What’s the #1 WEIRD tip that can TURBOCHARGE my climate-insurance sales and save up to 200 HOURS of impotent frustration/week? That’s more than I pay for coffee.


Stop preaching to the unconverted.


As Sun Tzu says, pick your battles with a view, whenever practicable, to avoiding suicide. A surfeit of Anzac spirit is all well and good if your only ambition is to have an Australian cookie recipe named after you, Phat Albert, if that really is your name. But nobody ever wrote a book about the idiot who charged at a wind turbine—they were too busy trying to identify the resulting mince from dental records.—J.C.

Well, Rapid Fire has outdone itself this time, mereckons you’ll agree.

Because you asked for it.

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