He’d been fishing for days, far from where everyone else fished.
He went further than anyone else dared.
He knew there was an idea there, a big idea, he wanted it.
He wanted to prove he could still do it, come back with the big idea.
And he’d got a big idea, the biggest idea he’d ever had.
The biggest idea he’d ever heard of.
He struggled with it all night, but finally he had it.
It was a big beautiful idea, he knew it was the best idea he’d ever had.
He knew he must stay awake to make sure it survived in one piece.
But that night they came.
First it was the account men, they came singly, then in pairs.
They began taking bites off the idea at one end, he tried to fight them off.
But as he did, the others took chunks off the other end, he couldn’t fight them all.
When dawn came, lumps had gone from his big, beautiful idea.
But he convinced himself it was still big and beautiful, and he stayed awake to protect it.
But that night the planners came.
The planners were fast and they came singly, one at a time.
Dashing in and out, taking more bites out of his big, beautiful idea.
Chunks disappearing each time they came in.
He fought all night, but he was growing weary now, too weary to fight the way he’d been fighting all these years.
He dozed, and as he dozed, media swarmed in and began chewing away at the big, beautiful idea.
The water boiled as they ripped away much of what was left.
When he woke, he looked at his idea and his heart nearly broke: “My big, beautiful idea, what have they done to you?”
But still they weren’t finished, fast approaching he could see a shape.
A shape that terrified all the others, it made straight for what was left of the idea.
It was a huge, powerful client.
The client quickly took what was left of the big beautiful idea in a few bites.
Until all that remained was the head, the tail, and the spine.
“My big, beautiful idea, what have they done to you?” he cried again.
But he knew he had no choice, he had to bring in the remains of the big, beautiful idea.
That was his job, that was the way it was.
As the sun came up he came ashore, he left the head, the tail and the spine, on the beach and he said “I’m sorry my big, beautiful idea, I could not protect you, I am too old, too tired” and he went home to sleep.
People asked what was this rubbish that the old man had left on the beach.
“He claims it’s a big, beautiful idea” said one.
“The best he’s ever had” said another.
“The best we’ve ever seen” said a third.
And they laughed, even the dogs didn’t want the remains of the idea.
Someone swept it up and put in with the rubbish.
“The old man’s gone mad” they said.
“Yes, if he thinks this rubbish is a big, beautiful idea”.
But the old man didn’t hear, because he was in his bed dreaming.
He was back in his hut in a deep, exhausted sleep.
And he dreamt of the world when he was young, when he was strong.
When he could fight for a big, beautiful idea.
When he would make sure a big, beautiful idea stayed in one piece.