Will Write for Drugs

Just read through an employment ad for a writer. A marketing company is looking for writers who specialize in “Niche Diseases.”

I’m not such a writer, but the thought of niche diseases almost makes me want to apply. Niche disease. I realize “niche” has been used to define particular markets for years, but every time I hear it I think of artistic snob appeal. So there’s a funky, semi-twisted ideal in my head as to what a niche disease could be.

Immediately I thought back to when I worked at a university several years ago and we hired an artist (forgive me, it was an artiste) to create a wall hanging. He stood waiting for the dean, refusing to sit on the furniture, and explained to me that his niche was in creating 3D symbolic representations for worlds that have none. Apparently a law school, in his private universe, was such a world.

He pulled up both corners of his upper lip and stretched out niche to the point where spit bubbles formed between his teeth. Thank god I was only in young mode and not young-and-stupid mode. I only smiled and blinked at him, somehow not blurting out a snarky comeback like “I specialize in shitting in symbolic representations of toilets.”

And now niche diseases! Yikes. I mean, how pretentious can a disease get? I’m picturing people in chic black hospital gowns leaning at awkward angles on white furniture in a white, minimalist room. They probably speak with (fake) European accents and smoke cigarettes. Maybe even a few are wearing berets or black, round glasses. They are woefully bored with the whole concept of being alive, which is the root cause of their affliction.

Diagnoses would be made by a doctor who looks suspiciously like Freud and speaks haltingly with a (real) German accent. Notes on his clipboard say “they should immediately stop taking themselves so seriously.” Then he will pass out prescriptions for the birth control that makes you giddy happy as you chop off your bangs and blow bubbles while fully clothed in the shower. (Have you seen that commercial?)

Pharmaceutical marketing is just getting weirder and weirder. I’d love to know what kind of drugs their writers are taking. Obviously something is keeping their imagination revved up and in full swing.


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