It was one of Mohammed's favourite things to say when creatives showed him work that was below par. That, and 'BOLLOCKS'.
I remember the day I joined Enterprise Nexus. I was 21, had spent a year in advertising and had never heard of the man. My CD at the time couldn't believe it. 'You haven't heard of Mohammed Khan? Have you had your head in the sand all these years?' he asked incredulously.
But in a way, not knowing anything about him made my life easier. I wasn't scared of Mohammed, I never got nervous about showing work to him and I didn't tremble in my seat whenever he walked by. I hadn't heard the stories about how he reduced senior, award winning art directors to tears or how he once tore a layout and scattered the shreds of paper from the second floor landing to the level below. I still don't know what truth there is to these stories, perhaps no one other than Mohammed does.
I learned a lot about MK in the two years I spent at Enterprise. That to receive praise from him was like nothing else. (He once blew kisses at me over a layout and called me a genius. Bliss) That to have him sigh in disappointment over your work was much worse than to have him yell at you. That he could be avuncular, flirtatious, witty and scornful all in the span of half and hour. That you could spend all week painstakingly writing headlines for a campaign but he could whip his pen out and write 4 headlines in 5 minutes that you could spend a lifetime trying to craft and not come close to. That writers must use proper pens and write on beautiful paper. That poor grammar and typos showed that one didn't care about their work and there was nothing worse than that.
They weren't all good moments. I have to admit there were times when I hated him. When it was 3am on a Saturday and I was at work writing lines while I imagined him tucked in bed sleeping soundly. When he made me rewrite an entire campaign only to decide afterwards that he liked the original one better. When he made me write down a recipe that his cook dictated over the phone for one of his friends . I really did hate him that time.
While I still do the occasional bit of freelance I have moved on from advertising. But Mohammed's rules of writing still stay with me today. I write all my first drafts long hand with a proper pen on nice paper. One can and must edit, edit, edit and edit some more. One can always do better and must strive to. And most of all, that one must enjoy writing.
Enjoy retirement Mohammed.
(Errors noted, and corrected.)