“I couldn´t go with the wetsuit idea”, the writer says as he sips his coffee, “instead, I got a face tattoo of a smiley face.”

I take a sip of my coffee; I set the taza down.

“That´s terrifying”, I reply as I turn my head to the window, “it´s brilliant!”

“Thanks”, the writer replies as he takes a sip of his coffee, “I thought the wetsuit idea was too sexually suggestive so instead I got a face tattoo–look… it´s a smiley face!”

“Yes”, I reply as I pick up my taza and look down, “I see–I mean… like clearly, I see your face tattoo.  I mean like… we could be in the pitchblack at midnight in a dark alley and I feel like I could see be able to see your face tattoo.  When I close my eyes–I still see it.  If you had a paperbag on your head, … face tattoo… would still be able to see. It´s like when your parents are on the socials, I mean… like… yeah, it´s legal, and they have rights to do it…. but it´s like your face tattoo… you can´t unsee it.”

“Oh!”, the writer remarks as he takes another sip of coffee, “your parents are on the socials… can they be my friends? If I get 27 followers, I get a special badge that says ´You´re great, superstar!´ and then that girl that I like will see that I have unlocked the next level of coolness and she´ll accept my constant badgering to go on a date, right?”

“You know”, I reply as I look at his smiley face face tattoo and then turn to the window, “it´s like your smiley face tattoo–I don´t think we want to know.  I think it´s great that you have decided to share your enthusiasm with the world–but, like, I don´t think we really wanted to know that.  Like here–try this–

“Best lunch at _” and then share a picture of your food.

We can kinda read into things and if you order 7 hotdogs… you know that we´re going to judge you, eye roll and make snide comments as we look at your socials.”

“I love hotdogs!”

“Yeah”, I reply as I roll my eyes, “of course! They´re delicious. What´s your point?”

I pause; I take a sip of coffee; it´s like having a conversation with a packet of french fries, at times.

“Do you like hot dogs or hot dogs?”

“Is there a difference?”

“I should teach you about association and the ideas that you are putting into your audience´s minds–they can read between the lines.  But, the issue is that what is not directly stated, the implied messages are conducive to the thoughts of the person reading.  One person loves it; one person hates it; one person thinks of their mom; one person thinks of their dad.”

I pause; maybe it´s more like when I talk to my cat and then she meows–like you kinda have to give her credit for trying or something, right?

I continue as I set down my taza, “and then there´s the secondary message which is, or can be, different if you are a guy and have a past situation of this, or if you are a girl and have a past situation of that.  You interpret the results of your tests of your hypothesis through your opinion–not necessarily science.”

“That doesn´t make sense.”

“Ok”, I reply as I turn my head back to the writer, “let me say it this way–what does this sentence mean?

I had a mad spill on my bike today.

Explain what I am saying.”

“It means that you had an accident on your mountain bike, right? Today?”

“That´s one way to interpret it”, I reply as I pick up my taza and take a sip, “but, what I´m talking about is how my hydration packet started leaking on my bike as I was pedaling down the hill.  Now, do you see how it has a different meaning–it looks different, that sentence.  With more context, with more of the picture of what happened, with an explanation on the ambiguitity, implied, you can now see the sentence more clearly–what it means.”

“Oh!”, he replies as he takes another sip of coffee, “is this one of those times where you keep talking but you aren´t actually saying anything?”

“Well, yes!”, I reply as I take a sip of coffee, “but that´s not the point–you know, like whatever.  I like your face tattoo–I think it´s bomb.  That means that it´s… like… cool. It´s kinda creepy and strange, but I like that–I think you did a good thing.  The press is going to have a really hard time reporting this with a picture–which they´ll have to have.  It´s got a good annoying factor–but you need to own it.  Say ´this is my face and I can do what I want!  Then, give a huge smile and run off like you are going into the sunset or something…. you´ll come across as being super happy and that will be annoying to others!  I accept your desire to be a writer for us again–you can come back, but with that face tattoo, you can´t work in our office–you´ll have to work at home, ok?”

He sighs.

“I guess that´s ok, right?”

Jamie Smith
therenegadeinc@gmail.com

It's all about the story, man.



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