A thinly disguised Fred Goodwin had appeared at my door to commission visuals for his new banking venture. Normally he wouldn't have made it across the threshold but on this occasion I liked the cut of his chequebook.
'Mr. Smith,' as he insisted on being known, turned out to be a demanding client. Phone calls were scheduled for midnight each night, when he would outline the nature of the work I was to undertake during the subsequent hours of 12-6. There was to be no deviation. Electric light was forbidden but candles were acceptable. I asked about my twin monitor set-up and he reckoned that was ok.
It was a tough, gruelling assignment. After two weeks working nights I was starting to feel like every other graphic designer in the world.
Sir Fred was taking no chances, but each night he let his guard down a little further. One conversation was particularly revealing. Amongst details of brand guidelines and Pantone references, Goodwin hinted at the reasons for the downfall of his previous banking venture.
"You see," he began in a soft Paisley brogue, "there are those who say I went too far. But my problem was I didn't go far enough. I was just too reasonable."
I took this as evidence he was a complete radge, but he wasn't any worse than Spore or my other lowlife clients.
"That's why, this time around, I have enlisted some of the biggest twisters ever known to man to create a joint banking venture that will one day conquer the world."
Ok, I don't recall Spore ever mentioning conquering the world. But I let him continue.
"Soon you will be contacted by my associate, who is sadly detained at this moment in time. This contact will be made by letter. Which normally takes 5-7 working days."
Before he rang off, Goodwin concluded: "It may or may not surprise you to hear that the name of the contact will be.." He paused. "Bernard Madoff."
I didn't much care, so long as he paid his bills upfront.