Read My Lips

Jumbo Mumbo Doll

“Read my lips”, was the instruction.

As always, my earplugs were deeply inserted into my ear canals as I tried to block out the unwelcome background noise on my early morning Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne to Sydney.

The air-hostess, dressed impeccably in her swish fashionably styled Virgin Australia uniform was making an announcement on the PA. I heard not a word, but I understood everything that she said. Yes, I was reading her lips.

A few minutes later, I pondered why? Then it dawned on me. It was her intensely bright red lipstick. Yes, I was fixated on those lips! It wasn’t the form, nor the shape of her mouth, it was the colour. This was the beginning of a theory that needed to be tested further, and I was the man for the job.

That day, I focussed on trying to read the conversations permeating from those around me, what influenced my interest and receptivity in how they delivered their words. You will be pleased to know that I was very academic in my research. I ensured that my analysis environment included a vast number of different types of cafés, restaurants, office foyers, and a rich and random selection of outdoor locations where a full range of men and women (some nude lipped, others lip coloured) were talking. I racked up a long list of expenses on my corporate AMEX card as testament to my investigation, just in case some yet unknown university wanted to continue my research at a later date.

That night, as I sat exhausted in my lush hotel room in Darling Harbour, I collated the copious notes that I had taken throughout the day. After what seemed like hours of intense analysis, the solution became all too clear. The key was in the lipstick colour, the winner, most definitely being bright red.

Now, there is a learning here for those working in the corporate office. Should you want your colleagues to listen to what you say, or to read your lips (should they be audibly challenged, or not really paying attention), then make sure that you wear bright red lipstick as it is the visual reader’s colour of choice.

Although diversity is indeed a requirement in business, I’m not suggesting for a moment that my male colleagues adorn the bright red lipstick (Note to HR: yes, I know, not unless they want to), but a bright red pocket hanky will suffice just as well.

Yes, embellish your body with red, and you will be seen, and most definitely heard.

The Floor of Discovery

Zero Gravity

I arrived late in the afternoon at my Darling Harbour hotel and walked up to the check-in desk with what was obviously a public look of tiredness on my face. After all, I was rather exhausted after meandering through the endless Sydney traffic congestion for the past one and a half hours in a hire car that promised a five star driving experience, but disappointedly only delivered half a star at best!

At the check-in desk, a stunning young woman, with a smile that instantaneously vaporised any prevailing thought of exhaustion, immediately greeted me. Her name was Renee, and she was dressed impeccably in her modern Finnish designer blue and white hotel business attire from “Marimekko”.

Renee, who must have had a sophisticated and well-trained version of ESP (which would explain her esteemed management position of “Manager of Greet”) said, “Relax Mr Cramer, we know exactly what you need and have the perfect room waiting for you”. Renee then gave a subtle and deliberate “nod” to Vanessa, The Hotel Manager, who was also dressed in a slightly more grand and colourful fashion outfit that just exuded that look of “perfection and wow”, as befitted her seniority. Vanessa responded with a corresponding smile of understanding and then made a surreptitious phone call, which gave me the feeling that a strategic, and well-planned course of action had now been quietly implemented.

Renee then handed me the card-key to room 1026 and said, I have allocated you a special room in our newly built “Discovery Floor”, and you will be our first guest to use and benefit from the experience. I gave Renee a “surprised and inquisitive” look, to which the reply was “trust me, all will be good”. How could I doubt, nor resist the honesty of that smile?

I took the card-key, politely thanked both Renee and Vanessa, and then caught the hotel elevator up to the tenth floor with a strong feeling of anticipation, and might I say, a slight fear of the unknown!

A few minutes later I arrived at a large and most impressive, solid wooden door with the silver embossed numbers 1026 positioned centrally above it. I cautiously opened the door, but momentarily stopped before entering as I listened to what seemed like a quick rushing of air. I entered the room and encountered a small and totally pristine white reception area. Once inside, I heard the main door to my room close and yet again the distinctive sound of air movement prevailed.

Three seconds later (although the time seemed like an eternity), another door from the small white room opened. As I walked in, I sensed my feet starting to feel rather strange and awkward. I tried to stop moving, but couldn’t, as the forward momentum pushed me onwards, but I eventually stopped and noticed that I was about two metres above the floor. In what I could only state as an impression of absolute disbelief, I saw that my bed was floating, as was all the items in the room. Yep, I was in a room with zero gravity! So this was what Renee was talking about!

After about thirty minutes acclimatising to my new sensation of weightlessness, I realised I was indeed most relaxed. All stresses previously experienced in my day had been replaced with this new found “Room of Discovery”, and I was thoroughly enjoying it!

The following morning after having a most amazing and unique nights sleep, I again saw Renee as I checked out of the hotel. She smirked at the shaving cut about my top lip, to which I replied, I didn’t quite master the bathroom “discovery experience”, but everything else was just superb!

And yes, I will be most definitely staying at this hotel again! As I left, I recalled that this hotel had eleven floors, and pondered what other discoveries awaited those who had mastered Floor 10? Next time, I thought!

Exploits of the “Paid Gentlemen”

Spy vs Spy

It was indeed a masterful, and strategically well executed plan in which the “paid gentlemen” (and I use the term “gentlemen” quite loosely let me assure you), had finally found what they were looking for after ransacking the Melbourne corporate office they had stealthily entered in the early hours of the morning precisely thirty minutes earlier. Dressed in the latest Australian Vogue approved designer fashion espionage dark clothing, with matching matte black soft kangaroo leather gloves so as to leave no fingerprints, and wearing matching black sound deadening yachting boat shoes, they systematically searched all potential hiding places.

To find the treasured item they were seeking, absolute darkness and silence was a non-negotiable prerequisite. Any search equipment illuminating light, such as torches, mobile phone screens, or audible communication between the “paid gentleman”, would make finding their objective impossible, as it would immediately, and permanently, disrupt its purity thereby making it worthless. As this was a risk they were not willing to take, specialist and custom fitting Ray-ban infrared goggles, together with some rather spiffy complex hand signals were the “paid gentleman’s” search accessories of choice.

To their great excitement, and might I say massive relief, they finally found that what they sought in a very sneaky and rather cunningly clever hiding location. The item was packaged in a lead lined small wooden red box. The “paid gentlemen” then placed this precious red box into a small attaché suitcase and locked it decisively using the twelve-digit lock combination that they would only divulge on receipt of their exorbitant $500M payment from the unscrupulous buyer.

Following a highly tense sixty-minute flight from Melbourne to Sydney, a surreptitious rendezvous with the seeker of the valuable item was arranged at a secret location in a prestigious hotel in Darling Harbour. It was there that the private exchange took place, upon which the now well “paid gentlemen” slowly departed the scene with a sense of relief and a new feeling of personal affluence.

The new illegal, and rather thrilled, keeper of the item quickly went up to her penthouse hotel suite on the ninth floor and swiftly bolted the room door. All lights were turned off; all window blinds were drawn to ensure complete darkness. She hurriedly unfolded the piece of paper on which the well “paid gentlemen” had written the twelve-digit code, and one by one the numbers were accurately entered until the small wooded red box was revealed. Her heart was now thumping so loud she thought her eardrums might explode with anticipation! Her trembling slender fingers toyed with the box latch and she opened it slowly. As the box opened, what seemed like a burning green gas hissed loudly upon release, followed by a large explosive pop. The startled woman quickly opened the box to make sure that the contents were OK and noticed that there was nothing inside apart from a small typed yellow parchment. She speedily grabbed her metal-rimmed spectacles and read out loud the following words: “Innovation is not something you can buy or steal. Innovation needs creativity!”.

In a fit of temper, combined with a rich and complex range of choice expletives, she heeded these words, and with a sense of “innovation and creativity”, she picked up the red box and attaché case and threw them straight out an open hotel window and then burst into tears with extreme disappointment and massive financial loss. Seconds later, these two hurtling objects landed with decisive and heavy force upon the unprotected and fragile heads of the soon to be very dead “well paid gentlemen” as they gleefully walked out the hotel with their unscrupulous financial gains.

With justice done, the small red wooden box bounced a couple of times on the footpath awaiting the next potential seeker of innovation and creativity!