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Edition of 5671 of which 300 copies are signed 1-300, 26 are signed A-Z as artist's proofs, and three sets are signed as progressives. One dedication copy is signed to George Arthur.

March 24, 1986 10 colors 17" x 24"

Art direction: George Arthur

Client: Consumers Union, 256 Washington Street, Mount Vernon, New York 10553. Telephone: (914) 667-9400 A-Z: Artist's own use Progressives: One set to George Arthur; two sets to Thackrey & Robertson Gallery

We went to the Sacramento County fair, me and my dad. Near the midway, we came upon a good-sized crowd of men and women standing in a circle watching a huckster demonstrate a miracle product that he said would prevent glass from fogging up. All you did was rub it on the glass (he rubbed it on the middle of a piece of glass) and then polish it with a dry cloth (he polished it with a dry cloth) and no matter how much steam or fog was around it wouldn't fog up (he held it over a tea kettle and sure enough, it didn't fog up where he'd rubbed the stuff on). He demonstrated again on a pair of eyeglasses, and they didn't fog up either. The creamy paste came in a can like shoe polish, with a twist-off top and a handy scrap of towel inside.

"Only two dollars! It could save your life!"

Some people forked over, and looked pleased with themselves. He passed a can around so we could all admire it. My dad looked at the open can and smelled it and said, "It's just soap."

We walked away and my dad explained. "You take some soap and rub it on dry glass and polish it with a dry cloth and the glass won't fog up. It's printed in the Farmer's Almanac, and occasionally in the houshold hints column of the newspaper. Sometimes in cookbooks."

This is useful information. This is actually two kinds of useful information in one, and I've remembered them both. Don't believe everything you hear, and especially don't believe anything that has the word "miracle" in it. The miracle will turn out to be that you paid two bucks for two cents worth of ordinary soap. Also, when you're in the bathroom and somebody is taking a shower and you're trying to shave, you can keep the mirror from steaming up by rubbing your soapy shaving brush on the glass and then polishing it off with a dry washcloth. Miracles are for suckers.

Every now and then things get completely out of hand. I should have reflected, when I took this commission, on just exactly what these people do for a living. They tear things apart and criticize them and make suggestions is what. If I thought for one minute that I was going to be able to bring my usual high-handed approach to designer/client relations to bear on this particular job I found in no time at all that I had another think coming.

So I did a design that they didn't like a bit, and another that they didn't like, and then they sent me some suggestions that I didn't like, and finally I took the bit between my teeth and I said to myself by God I'm going to get this job done if it kills me and I'm going to do exactly what they want to boot. So I said, "tell me what you want" and they did and I drew another design that was exactly what they wanted. But the exchange did not, of course, end there. Finally, we were actually discussing the length of the fingernails on the hand at which point I realized that I had not designed this poster at all. They loved it.