It wasn’t much of a job. Two quid a week less insurance, and commission– if you could get it. After the first fortnight I gave up all hope of getting it myself. For one thing it was the wrong time of year: Easter just over and the summer not begun; all the big boarding houses down by the seafront closed until the season started. Then again all this talk of war put prospects off. You’d think women’d jump at the chance of having their carpets cleaned buckshee, but no: even demonstrations were hard to get those days. We’d start out canvassing at nine in the morning and be lucky if we finished teatime with four or five apiece. You were supposed to get fourteen. A hundred calls, fourteen dems, three sales. That’s what they taught you at the school. But you didn’t have to be in the game long before you found out that was all a lot of cock.
Excerpt: Julian MacLaren Ross, Of Love And Hunger, London, Allan Wingate, 1947.
Note: If you haven’t yet discovered Of Love And Hunger, you really should. Reading it allows you to jump into Julian MacLaren-Ross’s extraordinary talent and disordered life at their career zenith. Penguin republished the novel several years ago and Paul Willetts and Black Spring Press in the UK continued the work of recreating the life, legend and oeuvre of this fascinating writer and man. I fully expected that by now Johnny Depp would have undertaken a J M-R biopic and there’s still (a little) time for him to do so. Should this transpire, I hereby offer my services. I can handle calls, dems, sales and litigation.