October 21, 1931
Dear Investors, Board Members, Employees, and Friends
As you know, we recently made the decision to invest the entirety of our advertising and marketing budget in the Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali. The idea was controversial at the time and many of you opposed it. I think I might even go out on a limb and point out that ALL of you opposed it. Especially since Floppy Clocks had not yet been thoroughly developed and a prototype hadn’t even been successfully made.
But my mind was made up and I made the decision to give Dali the money.
I am pleased to inform you, gentlemen, that our investment has paid off in SPADES. This morning, Dali has shown me the fruits of his labors. It’s a painting called The Persistence of Memory and it’s a beauty. It shows four of our Floppy Clocks in a barren landscape. One of them is draped over a dead branch on a dead tree. Another is perched on the edge of a counter of some sort. Is it going to stay there? Is it sliding off? WE DON’T KNOW. It’s all very exciting. A third is draped over a still, possibly dead monster of some sort. This one may represent Dali himself. I’m not sure. It’s pretty weird.
A fourth is not all that floppy for a Floppy Clock but—get this—it’s absolutely crawling with ants. Think about that! What do ants crave? Honey! So Dali is saying that this Floppy Clock is so sweet even the ants can’t wait to get to it. (Side note: maybe we should make a Floppy Clock with little magnetic ants you can stick all over it! Cute!)
The background image is bleak. Some of us might have wished for happy couples cavorting with the Floppy Clocks on a beach somewhere, smoking cigarettes in long holders and swilling gin, but I think the hellscape can work too because you really notice the Floppy Clocks and that’s what it’s all about.
Some news that surprised me: Mr. Dali has insisted that he retain control over the painting and he’s forbidden it from being used in any kind of marketing campaign. I won’t lie to you, that was a disappointment, especially since we had given him all that money. But I actually think this is a great idea. Dali is an ARTIST. Think of the credibility that goes along with that. That’s credibility money can’t buy. But we bought it anyway! Think of it that way, it’s a bargain!
Of course, gentlemen, now the hard work really begins: building the Floppy Clock. Mr. Dali’s fee was sizable and I’m afraid I had to seize the research and development budgets and add them to the advertising and marketing budgets. This meant dismissing the scientists and engineers we had hired. Without them, I won’t lie, Floppy Clocks will be hard to build. Some critics of our effort have even said it’s impossible. The gears won’t turn properly, they say. The parts won’t hold together. The hands won’t rotate. The winding mechanism will fail. Others have said there’s no market for a Floppy Clock and that it would be a weird and gross thing to carry around. They’ve worried that it would have a mucus-like feel to it. And it may, I just don’t know.
But I do know two things. One, Floppy Clocks are the future of timepieces. And two, this is one hell of a painting.
Bertram “Mr. Floppy Clocks” James
National Floppy Clocks Corporation,
formerly United Amalgamated Drippy Watch Concern