Friday, June 06, 2003

The Kill Fee is My Favourite Kind of Fee

For those unfamiliar with freelance writing, a kill fee is the payment you receive from a publication when they decide not to run your article. It is usually a portion of what you would have been paid had it actually been inked, stamped and pressed. I pitched Saturday Night on a chart, and this is as far as we got into the process. Enjoy the following $200 worth of unpublished splendor.

In 1998, the Canadian Museum of Nature established the Nature Discovery Fund to finance the exploration of relatively undiscovered areas in Canada to uncover different species of insects. To help raise money, the NDF will name an insect species after anyone who donates at least $500. Unfortunately, the response has been a little underwhelming. Thus far, only 16 people have elected to get their own insect, and the only famous person of the bunch is the late Carl Atwood, father of Margaret. Strangely, his Metamasius atwoodi, a large red and black weevil, hasn’t been enough to spark much interest in the project. So Saturday Night has put together a chart of six Canadian celebrities we think would raise the profile (and thus, the bank account) of this worthwhile project.

The Celebrity: Arsinee Khanjian
Reason For Selection: Latin insect name and real name nearly identical, and both are impossible to spell correctly. Also, insect language and Arsinee Khanjian language are nearly identical.
Endorsement Opportunities: Hubby Egoyan will no doubt be amenable toward inserting insect cameo into his next film.

The Celebrity: David Suzuki
Reason For Selection: No true environmental spokesperson can feel complete without an insect to call their own.
Endorsement Opportunities: Nature of Things special devoted to new insect is a no-brainer.

The Celebrity: Rex Murphy
Reason For Selection: His close physical kinship with insect world.
Suggested Insect Counterpart: Something prickly, like the praying mantis
Endorsement Opportunities: Could provide the voice of insect for inevitable computer animated film, like Woody Allen in Antz. (Will hold distinction as only children’s film character that scares both kids and parents, albeit for different reasons).

The Celebrity: Diana Krall
Reason For Selection: Jazz and insect chirping share atonal similarities and affinity for crooning shared by both Krall and crickets.
Endorsement Opportunities: Given Krall’s ability to find car sponsorships, getting her to plug her insect will be a snap.

The Celebrity: Pamela Wallin
Reason For Selection: She would get mad at us if we left her out of this chart. Also, only honour left unbestowed upon Ms. Wallin.
Endorsement Opportunities: Will undoubtedly write book about her insect namesake, a la The Comfort Of Cats.

Other suggested spokespeople:

- Douglas Coupland (he’d also write a book about insects, or make art about it, so it would be him or Wallin).
- Rick Mercer (both Mercer and insects bite and get under your skin)
- Mike Bullard
- Sook Yin-Lee
- David Cronenburg
- Jann Arden

Chart Template:

- The Celebrity
- Reason For Selection
- Suggested Insect Counterpart
- Strange Human-Insect Synergy
- Endorsement Opportunities