Look, Ma! I made the cover!
Photo Caption: Clayton T. Claymore, better known in Bismarck as Clay Hove, joined GL Ness Agency in Fargo in December as art director. He landed the job after putting together a job application that featured his homemade hot sauce.
Success is in the Sauce
Looking for a job? Be prepared to WOW ’em with your style
— Chris Steinbach, Bismarck Tribune
Fargo — Executives at GL Ness Agency ignored Clayton T. Claymore’s resume when he applied for a job at Fargo’s largest advertising firm.
Who could blame them? Claymore, a Bismarck native who is better known in his hometown as Clay Hove, had spent the last six years working nights at a Grand Forks photocopying shop.
Claymore, 25, saw the beauty of day shifts after he bottled his heartburn-inducing tabasco sauce, Fervor. “I’ve always liked spicy, hot stuff. I’ve been dinking around with different hot sauce recipes for about eight years,” Claymore said. “Usually I just give it to friends, but this time I used it for selfish reasons.”
The freelance graphic artist, who designed ads for bars and restaurants in Grand Forks under the name Nightshade Studio, bottles the sauce and sent it to GL Ness. The bottle came with a rhyming list of ingredients and a desperate letter from Claymore.
“Do you know who I am? Throughout this summer you should have received my resume, book, follow-up letter and several phone messages,” Claymore wrote in the letter. “As of yet, I have received no response. My ego is a bit scarred, but after several applications of Bactine and plenty of sunshine, I am ready to try again. I realize that you are an extremely busy man who probably has to deal with a multitude of hopeful applicants every week. However, I am concerned about the fate of my book and am unable to apply elsewhere without it. I would appreciate contact with you or a member of your agency. Thank you for your time and yes, the sauce is real. Pappy always said, ‘Give them something to remember you by.'”
The agency responded to Claymore’s sauce within a week by giving him some freelance work. “I don’t know if that was sort of a test or anything,” Claymore said. “I did it. They liked it.”
A week after receiving the freelance work, he had the art director’s job, which required him to work with two other staff artists and hire freelance artists when needed. “It didn’t take too much negotiation,” Claymore said. “This is better than working overnight.”
The career leap from Kinko’s to GL Ness isn’t as big as it looks, Claymore said. “School will only teach you so much,” he said. “I got some real-world experience, got a portfolio built up from those experiences and then came up with a gimmick to get notices.”
His gimmick included a legend he wrote about the hot sauce’s creation. “I had to tie Nixon and Watergate into the creation of this,” Claymore said. “I just wanted to show them what I was capable of, and they bit.”
GL Ness is the only agency where Claymore, who sporadically attenuated the University of North Dakota from 1989 to 1995 [sic], applied for a job.
“I had to have a regular source of income,” he said of his 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., four-night work shift at Kinko’s. “I did freelance when I could. That was more important to me.”
The Kinko’s experience gave Claymore inspiration for his application at GL Ness. “At Kinko’s we probably saw 100 or so resumes going through out shop every week, and they were all the same,” he said. “I wanted to break out of the mold.”
The World’s Most Dangerous Condiment
Dispense with Discretion
The Legend of Fervor Sauce
In 1969, the U.S. government, under direct authorization of newly-elected President Richard Milhous Nixon, founded a covert agency called the Nightshade Studio. Nightshade’s primary objective was to create and synthesize a mind-altering substance which could be used to aid in the capture and interrogation of suspected drug dealers and draft dodgers.
After a year of repeated failures, a Nightshade physicist known only as Dahussel stumbled upon a naturally-occurring chemical formed by the combination of 35 common and obscure cooking ingredients. This radical organic chemical, Fervanicillisoric Acid, was dubbed Fervor Sauce by the agency and approved for immediate production.
Interrogations involving the use of Fervor Sauce were wildly successful over the next two years. As a matter of fact, word quickly leaked into the drug community that this chemical produced intense effects upon the human body and mind unlike anything else. Soon, drug dealers as well as college students, Canadians, musicians and advertising executives were turning themselves in just to go through the “interrogation trip”.
Fearing the worst and knowing that the press was closing in on discovering the truth, President Nixon ordered all documentation and audio tapes referring to Fervor Sauce and the Nightshade Studio destroyed. After a massive disinformation campaign, the nation soon forgot about Fervor Sauce and switched its focus to marijuana, Watergate, jalapeño peppers and cocaine. That is, until 1995.
On April 1, 1995, while coming back from an unsuccessful visit to a Minnesota casino, a frustrated North Dakota freelance advertiser by the name of Clayton T. Claymore struck a deer with his car on a remote country highway, flew into the ditch, over a set of abandoned railroad tracks and through a rusty fence.
While getting out of his car to inspect the damage and venison, he noticed something glittering from behind the railroad tracks. Thinking it was one of his hubcaps, Claymore approached it and saw that it was instead a small metal strongbox kicked out of the dirt by the accident. Claymore opened the box and found a small notebook with the words “Dispense with Discretion” on its cover. Upon paging through the notebook, he discovered it was a journal of recollections, experiments and recipes by Dahussel. The journal told the story of the Nightshade Studio and ended with the long-lost recipe for Fervor Sauce. At the end of the recipe were the last known words of Dahussel:
“I can’t live with the fact that the abuse of Fervor Sauce has resulted in the beginning of a strange new music and lifestyle the kids are calling ‘disco’. They even named a song after me! This is definitely the world’s most dangerous condiment.”
Curious about the recipe and knowing that disco music was making an attempted comeback, Claymore limped his car home and spent the next few weeks rounding up the necessary ingredients. After a two-week processing period and several small explosions, Fervor Sauce made its triumphant return after twenty years of obscurity.
The government has disavowed any knowledge or association with the Nightshade Studio or Fervor Sauce and claims no responsibility for the advent of disco music. Dahussel’s notebook was quickly confiscated but the recipe lives on.
Taste and judge the legend for yourself and enjoy!
Fervor Sauce Ingredients:
13 different chiles (fresh, grilled or dried),
tender cactus, palm hearts and garlic (fried),
tomatoes and -tillas, some scallions too,
mushrooms, brown sugar (to sweeten the brew),
juice of papaya and Key West lime,
laced with vinegar from fine red wine,
herbs and spices from far off and near,
and secret ingredients not listed here,
natural colors in lieu of Red Dye #2,
and no jalapeños — It’s much to common to do.
WARNING: Do not rub Fervor Sauce in your eyes. Do not operate heavy machinery after rubbing Fervor Sauce in your eyes. Do not whine after rubbing Fervor Sauce in your eyes — It’s your own damn fault and you were warned.