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Moby Dick for kids

BY LesOverhead / Uncategorized / 0 COMMENTS


I don’t know if you’ve ever read Moby Dick, but it is one whale of an epic tale and I heartily recommend it. Over the weekend I came across a children’s version of Moby Dick at the Sylvia Beach Hotel in Newport. It has all of 11 words (with humorous illustrations for each word). I love simplicity and this is as simple as it gets.

SPOILER ALERT: if you haven’t read the book and don’t want to know the ending, stop reading NOW! And now, here is the condensed kids’ version of Moby Dick – 11 pages and 11 words long.

“Sailor. Ship. Captain. Leg. Mad. Sail. Whale. Chase. Ram. Sink. Float.”

Bravo. I doubt even Herman Melville could improve on that. I know I couldn't.

Random Uncounters

BY LesOverhead / communication, crazy, Creative, Homeless, humor / 0 COMMENTS


Bucket Joke

I learned something the other day about homeless people. They’re not afraid to laugh.

I was hurrying back to work after lunch. While crossing a Portland street I met a downtrodden man with a blooming, cauliflowery beard who stopped in the middle of the intersection and stammered out a few words in my direction.

“Excu, excuse me, can you,” I knew he wanted money and I stopped him dead in his tracks. “Sorry,” I said, and kept going. I didn’t want to stand in the middle of the street and listen – so I cut him off before he could say more. His weary sigh said it all – damn, I can’t even get out a question before this guy blows me off.

As I walked on down the sidewalk, I looked back and saw him across the street standing still. He was carrying a rolled up tarp and a big pack on his back. In one hand he held a large plastic bucket with a lid on it. He just stood there.

Feeling guilty, I jay-walked across the street and went up to him. “I didn’t hear your question before,” I said. “What did you want?” He lifted his eyes to mine and asked if I knew where the Portland Outdoor store was. Somewhat surprised, I said sure, it was on the corner one block over. “I’m going that way, I’ll show you.”

We started walking and I asked, “What’s in the bucket?” He replied, “Now that’s a funny story.” He started laughing and said, “A cop asked me that same question once. I told him the bucket carried sailboat fuel.” He guffawed and went on, “Sailboat fuel! The cop got mad and said he wanted a look. When he took off the lid there was only air inside!” Through his snowy whiskers came an avalanche of laughter. I grinned but didn’t laugh. It was obvious I didn’t get the joke. He explained, “Sailboats move on wind, not fuel! There’s no such thing as sailboat fuel!” He about fell over laughing.

I lied and assured him I thought it was funny as hell. But in truth, I wasn’t sure I could muster a laugh if I were in his situation. We continued walking. “So what’s the bucket really for then?” I asked. He sighed and said, “Waste management system.”

I realized that despite being homeless and carrying his own personal outhouse, he was a free man of independent means. A man who knew about sailing, laughed a lot, and had more control of his life than I gave him credit for. I doubt he would say the same for me.

Les Overhead Public Service Message

BY LesOverhead / communication, crazy, Creative, humor, Roadtrip, Videos / 0 COMMENTS

Signal 30

Memorial Day Driving Tips

As a public service, Les Overhead provides the following message and song – by band Public Service Broadcasting. Drive safely this Memorial Day weekend. And watch out for morons who are driving recklessly. This video shows how to do it.  Be careful out there.



20 Odd Years In Business

The true, sober story of Les Overhead.

Alt Text

I was leaving to buy a keg for a party in the mountains outside Missoula when the phone rang. I picked it up in a hurry. A woman asked if I had recently applied for a job with a radio station in Whitefish.

“Uh, yeah, did I get the job?” I replied, anxious to move the conversation along.

“Not yet. Are you available for an interview?” I wondered if she was in town and wanted to meet right then.

“Not for the next 24 hours,” I said. "To be honest, I'm on my way to buy beer for a party in the mountains."

“I meant next week," she said. She no doubt heard me hit myself in the head with the phone. Well, I blew that I thought.

But I was wrong. I somehow landed the job and showed up for work two weeks later, shaven and sober. After a couple years punching out radio copy on a Smith Corona and doing odd jobs like radio play-by-play for donkey basketball games I headed west.

Eventually, I ended up in Portland where I caught on with a series of ad agencies. I got into everything: print ads, brochures, radio and TV spots, creative disputes… Many words were exchanged. Nobody got hurt.

One day in the shower a hair circled the drain and it dawned on me. I should use my head and get off this manic ad agency merry-go-round. Go to work for myself and provide creative help to anyone with a good company or cause.

That day Les Overhead was born. Freelance Creative Director/Copywriter. A man of his word.

Contact us

Les Overhead and Tom Vandel would both enjoy talking with you.

Would it be coolto work together? Duh.

The best way to reach Les Overhead is by email (tom@), by phone (503-505-4723), or by banging on the door of his office at 208 SW Stark, Suite 306, Portland, OR 97204. You're welcome.