Just don’t think of elephants!

After visiting jail last week, I’m have to write brochure copy about it. We have some great pictures to work with, and hours of good quotes caught on CD. I have an idea for how the images and text will work together. But I don’t think the client will like it.

Picture the first panel. A rough-looking muscular guy with a shaved head stands next to some welding equipment, his tattooed arms crossed. Superimposed over the image: “No toaster.” The next panel is similar, perhaps with a guy next to a sheet metal cutter: “No razor blade.”

Inside, somehow, the connection is made: “I’m not disposable.” I wanted to say, “I can be fixed,” but the sexual connotations screw it up.

Work and skills training are critical for rehabilitation of people who want to improve their own lives. Not everybody wants to “be fixed.” But there was a strong and repeating theme among the inmates, the sense that jails are seen as the trash cans of society. In this day and age, we recycle.

Elephants? Try to Not picture them. There’s the power of the word.

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