South of Jewfish Creek

Help! I'm trapped in a trailer and I can't get out!

Natural disasters seem to follow me around like I'm a little pile of iron fillings bedeviled by some giant cosmic magnet. Remember that monster earthquake that hit California in 1993? I was there. I left Florida and was in California to head up a brainstorming session on how to profit from the Internet. After the session, I returned to where I was staying, which was an apartment of an ex-girlfriend who was living in Studio City.

She and I are dead asleep when the building starts shaking like a six pack of empty beer cans thrown into a high-speed clothes dryer. I thought for a moment I had somehow passed out in the Empire State Building and King Kong (remember him, the giant ape?) was shaking the living shit out of the building because he wanted to wake me up so he could scream and bitch about something.

The first words out of my mouth (and I swear this is true) were, "Hey baby, was it good for you too?"

Apparently God or whomever was at the control of the GIANT COSMIC MAGNET that night didn't see the humor in my remark because... immediately... a huge dresser crashed down on my head. I managed to get out from under the dresser, wrapped my arms and body around the lady I was with and kept saying over and over, "Just hang in there honey. I've got you. I've got you good. Everything's gonna be OK."

That part about everything being OK turned out to be somewhat of an exaggeration. Her apartment was literally shaken apart. Pictures and photos were flung from the walls; furniture was overturned; her refrigerator had toppled over with the door hanging open and milk, orange juice, eggs, and the like were spilling onto the kitchen floor; her computer, stereo and TV were trashed; and... oh hell, you get the idea.

Finally the shaking subsides a bit and, in the darkness guiding ourselves by sliding our hands against the walls, we stumble from the bedroom to the living room and kitchen areas. Whoa! Holy shit! The first of many (thousands of them) aftershocks hit us. Somehow for some reason I end up in the kitchen area and then, stagger back into the living room/dining room area. "Gary! Gary! Gary!" she screams.

"What? What? What is it?" I reply frantically.

"You Are Tracking Orange Juice And
Milk All Over My Carpet!"

Is that a woman for you or what? Actually, I've noticed that all of us, as one of our coping mechanisms, tend to focus on minutia when something monstrous is happening. Believe it or not, her remark made me feel deeply ashamed and I was standing there with a stricken look on my face when, she looked at me, we both looked at the totally devastated apartment, realized we had both been literally shaken insane... and... we collapsed into a fit of compulsive laughter. (Which, I think, is another coping mechanism.)

I moved back to the Keys almost exactly two years ago. I didn't even get unpacked before me and Mongo man (who has become one of the best copywriters in America) had to catch the last Greyhound Bus out of the Keys to escape Hurricane Georges. I remember when we finally found the last two motel rooms in the town of Okeechobee, how some dumbass woman on the phone was interrogating the motel manager wanting to know whether or not the place had a pool!

Picture it: Cars and trucks are bumper to bumper from Key West to Orlando, rain and wind are hitting everyone with the viciousness of an artillery attack, you can't buy, beg or steal a hotel room or any other place to stay... and... in the middle of all this...

Some Idiot Bitch Wants
To Know If The Place
Has A Pool!

Last year it was Hurricane Irene. She dumped so much rain on this part of Florida, she flooded me out of my apartment and I've been almost a total transient ever since. I rode that one out with my Aunt and Uncle in the upstairs part of the house. By that time Jack's cancer had gotten hold of his mental faculties and I remember him asking me, "Gary, I wonder why the electricity just went out?"

"Gee, Uncle Jack, maybe it has something to do with the hurricane going on outside."

"Well, damnit, someone needs to do something about it. Wanda, you call 'Rumor Control' right now!"

And so it goes. Now it's Debby. Only this time, I've decided to write my newsletter before she hits instead of after. I think it's just my way of dealing with minutia instead of the monster. I know how to write a newsletter. I don't know how to control acts of God. My son Bond just called urging me to get out of here. But you know what? ALL Keys' visitors have been ordered to leave by Monroe County Emergency Management. So have all high-profile vehicles. Highway 1 (the only road out) is clogged with semi's, campers, RV's, buses, cars, etc. Just one of those suckers has to run out of gas, blow a tire or whatever and you'll have thousands of vehicles stranded about 1-1/2 inches above sea level just stopped there like sitting ducks for sweet Debby to eviscerate at her leisure. Besides the "strike zone" probability area of this bitch is anywhere from Key West to Palm Beach which means...

All Those Who Are
Fleeing Debby Might Be
Driving Right Into Her Arms!

Do you give a shit? Of course not. Hey, you don't live here... so... I don't blame you. To tell the truth, I myself haven't been fretting too much about all those tornadoes in Oklahoma and Texas. What you want is to learn to write copy, right? Well, since that's my job, I've decided to get to it! Here's a choice piece for your "swipe file."


8/22/00, 11 a.m.








"A mandatory evacuation order for all visitors and non-residents to the Florida Keys has been ordered by Monroe County Emergency Management, effective noon today (Wednesday Aug. 23), due to the threat of Tropical Storm Debby, A state of emergency is now in effect for Monroe County.

"Previously a hurricane, at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Debby had been downgraded to a tropical storm by the National Hurricane Center, but is expected to re-intensify and regain hurricane status once it moves over open water. The 11 a.m. position had the center of the storm situated 19.8 N, 69.7 W or just off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic and about 720 miles southeast of the Upper Keys. Sustained winds are at 70 mph and the storm was moving just north of west, at about 17 mph.

"Although the projected United States landfall position of the storm is uncertain, the egress order for visitors is being issued as a precautionary measure according to Billy Wagner, Monroe County Emergency Management Director.

"Vacationers with immediate plans to travel to the Keys should postpone their trips until the storm is well clear of the area and the tourism infrastructure has normalized.

"All state and county parks and private campground are ordered to close at noon today. All high-profile recreational vehicles, travel trailers and tent campers are ordered to leave the Keys. Marine interests should begin preparations to secure their vessels and anyone wishing to trailer their boats out of the Keys should do so at this time. Jewfish Creek and Snake Creek bridges will be ordered locked down if a resident evacuation is needed.

"All residents need to pay close attention to the progress of Debby, begin to initiate hurricane preparation plans and be ready to respond to an evacuation order.

"No resident evacuations have been ordered at this time. Schools are to close in Monroe County Thursday and Friday.

"Monroe County Emergency Management has activated its Emergency Operations Center. The Monroe County Emergency Information line, 1-800-955-5504, is activated as well. The phone number for the multilingual Keys Visitors Assistance Line is 1-800-771-KEYS. Keys tourism advisories are posted on the Florida Keys Web site at

"The Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau has a central database of available hotel rooms in Central Florida. Visitors and residents interested in relocating to Orlando can call (407) 363-5872 for details on availability and rates."



"Closed for 20 hours following an accident involving a tanker tractor-trailer, the 18-mile stretch, that connects the Keys with Florida City, re-opened Wednesday at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to the Monroe County Sheriffs Office. Card Sound Road is also open to traffic and the toll there has been temporarily suspended.



Hey, that was a sorta compelling piece of copy, wasn't it? The "sales job" kinda gets lost on me though when they get to the part about how... yesterday... that overturned tanker tractor-trailer closed what's known as "The 18 Mile Stretch" for 20 hours. Be kind of a bitch if that happens again today or tomorrow, won't it?

Hey, by the time you read this, it'll be all over... and maybe... absolutely nothing bad will have happened. Either way, what can it hurt by teaching you more about how to write copy? OK, what I am about to teach you is a way (maybe not the best or most inspired way, but... a way...) that at the very least gets the job done.

1. Use your collection of 3x5 headline cards to write a headline.
2. Use your nugget notes about the features and benefits of your product... plus... inspiration from your "swipe file" to write as many "bullets" as possible.
3. Use the opening paragraph you are about to read in my latest ad as an exact template for your ad.
4. Use the close (that's where I ask for the money) as an exact template for your ad.

Now listen up! In newspapers there are all sorts of shapes and sizes for ads... but... there are only a few "SAU's" which means "Standard Advertising Units" for which you can get extremely low price advertising space. They are either a full page ad, a vertical 1/2 page ad, a horizontal 1/2 page ad or, a more or less square-shaped 1/4 page ad. Observe:





  full page











 1/2 page










  1/2 page 










  1/4 page







Of all these, everything else being equal, pound-for-pound, dollar-for-dollar, the most cost effective block of space you can buy is a 1/2 page vertical. It insures your headline appears above the fold and will nearly always pull something like what 70% of a full page ad will pull. Of course, if you have a full-page's worth of really good copy... use the full page! One-quarter page ads do work but, they will not pull 25% of what a good, full page ad will pull... nor... 50% of what a good 1/2 page will pull. Here is the 1/2 page version of a brand new ad I have just finished writing. It will be set as a vertical half page.


New book reveals...

How To Have "Killer" Sex
At Any Age... Even If
You Don't Deserve It!

  A small publishing company (Cherrywood Publishing) has finally decided to publish a book about how to have better sex. This book is so revealing... and... so provocative... it will literally take your breath away. Here are some of the amazing facts you will learn when you read this book:

* The real reason why Prozac and Zoloft are so popular in this country! (Almost no one... not even doctors... understands the startling sexual implications.)
* The single biggest sexual complaint women have about men!
* The single biggest sexual complaint men have about women!
* A dead "giveaway" which proves a woman is faking her orgasms!
* A brand new discovery (just approved by the FDA on February 28, 2000) that any man can use to instantly (and safely) boost his testosterone level. Note: This will not only improve his sex life... but also... his overall health!
* A secret almost nobody (except a few, elite very wealthy people) know about... which can lead to... a male having multiple orgasms!
* A special place (and a special way) to touch a woman to guarantee mind-altering sex! (This technique is so simple... and... so little-known... even 75% of all women don't know about it.)
* The two almost unknown secrets (one mental, one physical) men need to know to have rock-hard erections... at any age! (These are crucial secrets to improving a man's sex life forever.)
* A scientifically-proven "aphrodisiac" which gently sends a woman's sexual desire into white-hot overdrive!
* What lesbians know about oral sex that men don't... and why... more men are now losing their women to other women... than ever before!
* The single-most important thing a woman can do to make herself more attractive to the opposite sex!
* The single-most important thing a man can do to make himself more attractive to the opposite sex!
* Three sure-fire ways to tell if your spouse or "significant other" has had sex with someone else in the last 24-hours!
* How any man can make all of his erections last longer! (This is one of the most jealously guarded discoveries of sex researchers who have been given almost unlimited research funding by their wealthy, pleasure-seeking patrons.)
* Almost foolproof contraception: It's over 99% effective, but so new, most people have never even heard about it!
* A male "pleasure trigger" that was... accidentally... discovered by medical doctors which... curbs premature ejaculation... and... increases the frequency and quality of male orgasms!
* The number one rule which absolutely... must be observed... for women to have a truly spectacular orgasm!
* Etc.





   This book comes with an iron-clad, 90-day money-back guarantee and it is easy-to-order. All you have to do is write your name and address and the words "Killer Sex Book" on a piece of paper and send it with your check or  money  order  for  $27.00  plus  $4.50  for  postage  and  handling    (total $31.50) to:

Cherrywood Publishing

3101 S.W. 34th Ave. #905-467

Ocala, FL 34474

   That's all there is to it. As soon as we receive your payment, the book will be sent to you immediately via first-class mail.

NOTE: All books are shipped in a plain, confidential, unmarked package.


Well, there it is Buckwheat. What you've just read plus my last few issues constitute a formulized, almost foolproof way of creating a profitable piece of copy. It may not be the very best way. There's no genius involved or necessary. Note also there's no need for you to have a telephone or a credit card merchant account. This is a "meat-and-potatoes" way to get the job done over and over.

I hope you appreciate me teaching it to you.

   Gary C. Halbert
aka "Hurricane Halbert"

P.S. Since my son Bond is running my stock market trading business, I have started writing copy for clients again. I haven't had a single miss. Last week Nutramerica ran one of my ads in the Asbury Park newspaper and paid over $13,000 for the ad... which... has now produced something in the vicinity of $94,000 in sales. If you need a "killer" copywriter who is working... at his absolute peak... and... you can afford me ($15,000 plus 5% of gross sales)... you're crazy if you don't call me right now at...

(305) 534-7577

P.S.#2 Hey, it can't hurt to talk.


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Copyright 2003 Gary C. Halbert.  All Rights Reserved.