I’ve come to an important conclusion—I need to be famous.Not sure why I didn’t think of this before, but being famous would really help my career. I used to think that I wanted that fame to be the result of my work, my craft, my artistic vision.
But the clock’s ticking, people—at the end of the month I will have bounced around on this plane for half a century. It’s time to get noticed, and, though you might find this surprising, posting a seven hundred and fifty word comedy piece every couple weeks hasn’t made me famous.
So I wanna be that guy. You know, the guy with that one weird quirk that has nothing to do with his talents but still makes him memorable? For example, there’s an artist in Minneapolis who, during the winter months, wears all black, and during the summer, he wears all white. And then, from what I can tell, he walks around the city, from coffeehouse to coffeehouse. That’s it. Not even sure if he paints anymore, but…everybody knows him. As affectations go, it’s fairly simple. But I’ll tell you this–people I know who know NOTHING about art know that this guy is an artist.
You need to decide on a weird thing to do, and commit to it. If you do something weird enough, often enough, with no apologies, people assume you must have artistic credibility. We expect our artists to be freaks.
I already walk with a cane, but that doesn’t count as an affectation, because I need the cane to avoid falling down. If I tricked out my cane to look like a wizard’s staff, that would be an affectation. Or if my cane had a hollowed out interior that could hold a pint of vodka and I drank from my cane, that would work. The key is to pick something that nobody does, and ideally, something nobody else wants to do. Because you really don’t want a bunch of hipsters just copying your affectation—then all of a sudden you become a cult leader, and that’s a whole different deal.
So I’ve narrowed down the list of possible quirks to adopt, and I figure there are a few ways I can go:
A Strange Hat
I could be The Guy Who Wears A Bowler, or alternatively, The Guy Who Wears A Pith Helmet. Not sure if I would need an entire outfit to go with the strange hat.
An Unusual Pet
It can’t be a reptile. We’ve all seen the guy with the iguana at the coffeehouse—it’s been done. And if you’re going the bird route, it can’t be a parrot—done. Now maybe, if I got a heron, and took it for walks around my neighborhood…
Communicating Only In Show Tunes
This affectation requires a lot of rehearsal, and risks annoying one’s existing friends. Not recommended.
Now we’re talking! Henceforth, I will be known as The Guy With The Monocle. It has everything I’m looking for in an affectation—pop culture cachet (Mr. Peanut, the Penguin, Colonel Klink), implications of wealth, and vague connotations of evil.