The Gift of Gum


20b “The Gift of Gum” Alan Smart Zeus Cervas, Erik Wiese, and Dani Michaeli Zeus Cervas & Erik Wiese (directors)

Sean Charmatz, Chuck Klein, Dave Cunningham, Marcelo Souza, Janice Tolentino, Maureen Muscarina, Monica Tamova, Ted Seko, & Brad Vandergrift February 19, 2007 5574-439 N/A

{{L|Mario|How it feels to chew 5 Gum.}}

{{L|”[Patrick’s rock opens up and a giant ball of pink gum rises up from the ground and Patrick is holding it]”}}

{{L|Patrick|Best Friends Day. Best Friends Day. Best Friends Day. Best Friends Day. ”[giggling]”}}

{{L|SpongeBob|Patrick! Happy Best Friend…whoa.}}

{{L|Patrick|This chewing gum is my most beloved possession, and I’m giving it to my bestest friend, on Best Friends Day.}}

{{L|SpongeBob|Patrick, I am truly honored and… ”[cries]”}}

{{L|Patrick|What’s wrong, buddy?}}

{{L|SpongeBob|You got me such an amazing gift, and all I got you was…that. ”[a robot comes out]”}}

{{L|Robo 2.1|Greetings. I am Robo 2.1, your personal robot servant. I am proficient in providing over 250,000 creature comforts. Would you care for a pastry? ”[shoots a pastry into Patrick’s mouth]”}}

{{L|Patrick|Yum. Sweet, hot, and juicy. SpongeBob, this is a great gift.}}

{{L|SpongeBob|Well, thanks for your appreciation, Patrick, but it’s no giant, old, used ball of gum.}}

{{L|Patrick|Aww, don’t be so hard on yourself, SpongeBob. I love my gift. In fact, I’ll go play with it right now. Come on, Robo.}}

{{L|Robo 2.1|Coming, Master Patrick.}}

{{L|Patrick|Oh, SpongeBob, you don’t mind if I say good-bye to Gummy, do you?}}

{{L|SpongeBob|No, not at all.}}

{{L|Patrick|Thanks. Good-bye, Gummy. You be good to SpongeBob, you hear? ”[pokes his finger in the ball of gum and it squirts out water on Patrick]” I love you, too, Gummy. ”[hugs it]” Well, he’s all yours.}}

{{L|SpongeBob|Oh, majestic and much masticated Gummy, although I am not worthy to be in your presence, may my humble abode please you. ”[struggles to push the giant ball of gum in his house. Breaks his arms in half in the process]” Oh, you sure a re a big boy, aren’t you. Ooh. Hey, I know how to handle this. With a little karate. Hyah! ”[rolls the giant ball of gum into his pineapple. Crawls out using his legs]” Ooh. Oh, Gummy, what a beautiful centerpiece you make. With your dirty sock and used toothbrush, flies, and moldy pizza. ”[sniffs and almost barfs]” Get a hold of yourself, SpongeBob. It’s not so bad. After all, it is a gift from Patrick. ”[a pair of underwear come out of the gum slithers onto SpongeBob’s cringing face]”}}

{{L|Underwear|”[raspy and demonic]” You’re…not Patrick. ”[SpongeBob screams and runs into another room]”}}

{{L|SpongeBob|I’m sorry, Patrick, but your gift has got to go. ”[cut to SpongeBob taking the ball of gum out of the garage and holds it up]” Good-bye, stink ball. See ya never. ”[throws it on top of his garbage can]”}}

{{L|Patrick|Hey, SpongeBob, whatcha doing? ”[Robo is carrying Patrick on a mattress]”}}

{{L|Robo 2.1|It appears that he is throwing Gummy away.}}

{{L|Patrick|What? Is that true?}}

{{L|SpongeBob|No way, Patrick.}}

{{L|Patrick|Well, how do you explain this? ”[points to Gummy on the garbage can]”}}

{{L|SpongeBob|Well, you see, I liked Gummy and I decided to dress him up. ”[puts the garbage can top on Gummy]” Isn’t this a cute look?}}

{{L|Patrick|Hmmm. Bold yet understated. Brilliant idea, SpongeBob. Keep up the good work. Come on, Robo, let’s find more belly button lint. ”[cut to SpongeBob digging a giant hole]”}}

{{L|SpongeBob|”[looks around]” Okay, no sign of Patrick. Better make this fast. ”[drives a bulldozer]” Get ready for your dirt nap, Gummy. ”[laughs then stops when he sees Patrick on the bulldozer]”}}

{{L|Patrick|SpongeBob, what are you doing? I’m waiting.}}

{{L|SpongeBob|Uh… I was digging a hole so I could get a better view of Gummy because he is so attractive and… Allow me to demonstrate. ”[gets in hole]” See, Patrick, the view is beautiful down here.}}

{{L|Patrick|Yeah, he does look rather dashing from this angle. Be that as it may, Gummy must be displayed properly and proudly. And I know just the place. ”[puts Gummy above SpongeBob’s door]” Isn’t he breathtaking? All right, SpongeBob, we got to go. I’m gonna learn how to use a fork. Right, Robo?}}

{{L|Robo 2.1|It will be my pleasure, master.}}

{{L|Patrick|By the way, your house looks a million times better. ”[the old sock falls from the giant ball of gum and onto SpongeBob’s nose]”}}

{{L|SpongeBob|Thanks. ”[cut to later]” Oh, what am I going to do, Gary? It’s hideous.}}


{{L|SpongeBob Thief|Wishful thinking, Gary. What burglar would want to steal that thing? ”[sneaks off and dresses up as a burglar]” Shhh. ”[Gary zips him mouth and his eyes. Cut to night where SpongeBob sneaks around his house, looking back and forth at Patrick’s rock to make sure he is not awake. He struggles to get into the ball of gum but does. A fish digs his way to where SpongeBob is]”}}

{{L|Fish|Who are you? Where did you come from?}}

{{L|SpongeBob Thief|Uh, up there.}}

{{L|Fish|Oh, thank Neptune. Hey, guys, I found a way out. Come on! ”[manages to get out of the ball of gum]” I’m free! I’m free! I’m sugar-free! ”[jumps off the gum as everyone else does the same]” At last! ”[SpongeBob gets out of the gum and tries pulling it off his house but gets launched back at the gum. Cut to the next day where Sandy is walking up to SpongeBob’s house]”}}

{{L|Sandy|”[Walking by and she hears a squelching noise, thinking she stepped on Plankton, but it is gum]” What in tarnation? ”[notices SpongeBob’s house covered in gum]” Oh my gosh. SpongeBob? SpongeBob? ”[knocks on his door]” SpongeBob, open up.}}


{{L|Sandy|SpongeBob? ”[gasps]”}}

{{L|SpongeBob|Hi, Sandy. Looks like I got myself into a sticky situation. ”[sighs]”}}

{{L|Sandy|Oh my gosh. How long you’ve been stuck there, SpongeBob?}}

{{L|SpongeBob|All day.}}

{{L|Sandy|Well, your old pal, Sandy knows how to cut you down.}}

{{L|SpongeBob|No, wait, Sandy. The more you touch it, the angrier it gets.}}

{{L|Sandy|Oh, that’s just crazy talk. Hyah! ”[karate chops it but gets stuck to it]”}}

{{L|SpongeBob|Told ya. Save yourself, Sandy. Run away before you end up like me!}}

{{L|Sandy|Oh, come on now, there’s got to be a way. ”[sees a truck driving down the street]” I’ve got an idea. ”[takes the gum and lassos it onto a truck. The truck slows down but the driver puts the pedal to the metal but it’s still not going anywhere]” Hang on tight, SpongeBob.}}

{{L|SpongeBob|Yeah, all righty.}}

{{L|Truck Driver|Come on, Old Blue. Don’t you talk back to me. Do as your told. Do it! ”[The truck starts to slowly move]” Do it! Do it! Come on girl, do it. Come on! ”[truck splits in half. The back half hits Sandy and sends her back into the pile of gum, making it explode everywhere]”}}

{{L|Squidward|What the…? Just let it go, Squidward. Let it go. Don’t get involved, Squidward. ”[Squidward’s house attaches itself to SpongeBob’s and Squidward is sent out his window and onto the sticky gum]” Of course.}}

{{L|Sandy|I’m okay. ”[SpongeBob sighs]”}}

{{L|Patrick|What’s this? SpongeBob, what have you done?}}

{{L|SpongeBob|Now, Patrick, I can explain.}}

{{L|Patrick|It’s-it’s…it’s amazing. It’s like a gummy wonderland. Whee! Wow, I wish I were having this much fun. I knew you’d love it.}}

{{L|SpongeBob|Patrick, I have something to tell you.}}

{{L|Robo 2.1|Would you care for a massage, Master?}}

{{L|Patrick|Enough already. Sheesh. So, you were saying something, SpongeBob?}}

{{L|SpongeBob|Uh, well, how can I put this?}}

{{L|Patrick|Aw, just come right out and… ”[Robo blows a fan at Patrick]” Will you stop? Just stop. ”[Robo stops]”}}

{{L|Squidward|Get on with it, SpongeBob.}}

{{L|Sandy|Wrap it up.}}

{{L|Patrick|Squidward? Sandy? Gee, everyone is having fun with my Gummy but me. I-I-I mean, your Gummy.}}

{{L|SpongeBob|”[lying again]” Patrick, do you miss your Gummy?}}


{{L|SpongeBob|Well, it’s still Best Friends Day. How would you like your Gummy back?}}


{{L|SpongeBob|It’s yours, buddy. But first, you got to get us out of this.}}

{{L|Patrick|Oh, that’s easy. ”[chews all the gum up, with lawnmower sounds]” I told you it was easy. ”[tummy rumbles. He hiccups a giant ball of gum and it pops over the entire town. Gum covers the four characters as their shapely figure]” Wow! This is the best Best Friends Day ever!}}

{{L|Mario|New 5 Gum. Stimulate your senses.}}


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You’re Hired…Yay?

As I mentioned in my last post, I was hired for my first job only a few days after landing on Upwork. My profile was bare bones, my portfolio was non-existent, my knowledge of the platform was laughable. Yet I managed to win a contract by writing a ‘test’ article and getting approved for ongoing work.

My first mistake? Not taking the time to study the market and figure out what I was worth. The client was friendly. Considerate. Understanding. And paying me $200 a month for what amounted to 40+ hours a week. I chalked it up to ‘gaining experience’ and kept on plugging away.

I continued applying for jobs, slowly realizing that my dream client wasn’t such a dream after all. The work became more demanding, the pay stayed the same. The contract also remained ‘unfunded.’ Even after I realized my mistake, I let it slide. I was only making a couple hundred a month and was gaining momentum with other, higher paying clients, so I let it lie rather than force the issue.

Then came the project that convinced me I should finally cut ties. A 30,000 word technical book. Due in 3 weeks. The ‘outline’ provided was nonsense. The client refused to fund the project or even tell me how much I would be paid. I very nicely explained that I would be happy to complete it once I received more information and proper funding.

Radio silence. That was the last I heard. I eventually closed the contract and the client refused to provide a feedback – a blow to new freelancers. I learned later that this client is referred to as a farmer – someone with an agency who acts as a middle-man between the actual clients and the freelancers who do the work. They target new freelancers and pay pennies.

Overall, I can appreciate the experience. It gave me confidence that I had something to contribute, taught me about which clients to avoid, and helped me understand the realities of the freelancing world. So thank you, Mr. Client, for teaching me lessons far more valuable than any payment you could have provided.

Whether you decide to join Upwork, another freelancing site, or even seek out business in your local market, remember the following:

  • Do your research before you get started. Don’t let lack of preparation lead to a waste of time and money.
  • Remain professional, but firm. The type of clients you want will value you when you value yourself.
  • Perseverance is key. You will have moments of doubt and indecision. Acknowledge them, but don’t let them stop your progress.

Good luck!


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Let me introduce myself


I loved to write as a kid. Despite rave reviews from my mom and grandma, my writing was nothing special. While I didn’t save any of my early scribblings, I have vague memories of plane crashes, spy adventures, and stories that were going to save the world…somehow.

I grew up, got married, had children, went back to college, and fell in love with my history classes. I still enjoyed writing, but now it was all about academic papers and persuasive essays.

I earned a graduate degree and set out to look for a job, but life tends to have plans of its own. With a bit of quiet desperation, I started looking for jobs I could do from home. Enter Upwork.

I blundered my way into freelancing. It happened almost by accident. I got my first job with a little luck. I earned approximately $1.20 an hour for my first writing gig. Score. Six months later, I’ve earned about $3500. Better? Maybe, but not exactly the goal.

This blog is about how I got started, everything I did wrong, and how much I still have left  to learn. If you’re a budding freelancer entering the market for the first time, hopefully you can learn from my mistakes and start your career the right way!

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