Of course, sometimes the joke backfires
Believe it or not, the best part about having a nametag tattooed on my chest is not when strangers ask me to open my shirt and flash them in public.
It’s when my friends flash people for me.
Here’s how it usually happens.
Someone will be talking to me about my nametag for the first time. They’ll begin asking some practical questions about the backstory and logistics of my social experiment, at which point a friend of mine will walk up, interrupt our conversation, unbutton my shirt and say, hey, check it out, this guy even has a nametag tattoo!
Not exactly a model of healthy boundaries. And I’m pretty sure indecent exposure is a class two felony. But then again, the look on people’s face is really funny. The gasp of shock and delight and disgust from that person is a moment to behold.
That’s why most of my friends get a hall pass. Their joy in delivering this hairy punchline is as memorable as the reaction from the stranger.
Of course, sometimes the joke backfires. There were many incidents where the other person in the conversation gave us both weird looks and the conversation never recovered.
Some people simply walked in the other direction. One lady dry heaved.
One man asked for my phone number. That guy is now my husband.
Just kidding. We never made it to the third date. Sheesh, some people have no sense of humor.
Listen, you’re not a bad person for thinking it’s funny, you’re a funny person for thinking it’s funny. Everything is a joke, if you think about it long and hard enough.
Seinfeld summarized it best when he asked the question:
What fun is life if you’re not making jokes all the time?
My most memorable interaction from my public speaking career was about the nametag tattoo. A woman from the audience approached me after the speech, shook my hand, then pulled her right breast out of her shirt and presented me with her own tattoo.
In giant cursive letters right above her nipple it read, Big Sexy.
She smiled seductively and said, now you know how it feels.
Can you believe the nerve of that woman? Who in their right mind would just open their shirt in public and…oh, wait.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
When was the last time you did something just for the story?