Saturday, September 24, 2005

I swear to God, I'm not a nametag salesman

I had the great honor of attending B.B. King's concert last night. And since it was the first time I'd ever seen him play live, I finally figured out why he's the greatest bluesman the world has ever known: it's because he's not a guitar player. He's not a singer. He's not even a musician! He's a storyteller. And his stories throughout the night captivated an audience of 5000 screaming fans who will never, ever forget their experience "riding with the king." BUT...I didn't post to talk about B.B.. Something happened at the snack bar right before B.B. came on. The line was moving slow. I mean, REALLY slow. So naturally, a group of us started chatting. And I'm pretty sure I was the only sober person around (as usual). The guy in front of me cracked the traditional nametag joke of "So Scott, is that in case you get lost or something?"

Hilarious.

"Nope," I chuckled, "I always wear it to make people friendlier!"

"No way!" yelled a couple behind me. "Let me see that!"

The woman behind peered her head in front of my shirt to verify I wasn't making it up. She started laughing. Probably a little too loud. And then everyone else in line started laughing too.

"Yeah, seriously. I actually wear this all the time," I defended.

"Do you have any more nametags?"

"Of course I do. Here ya go!"

The woman passed nametags around to everyone in line. Then she started sticking them on random peoples' chests and writing out their names.

"Hey Scott, can I have a nametag that reads, 'HELLO, my name is Ed Hill - if found, please return to Sweet Home Chicago.'"

"Um...okaaaay," I said. "Here ya go Ed."

Then a guy whose nametag read "Rick" asked, "Hey Scott, where can I get some of those nametags? That's a great idea."

"Actually I have about 10,000 of them in my basement. MACO, the company who makes the nametags, is my sponsor. I can send you some if you want."

They all busted out laughing before I could even finish the sentence. Not surprisingly, this happens all the time. So either these people were really drunk, or this whole nametag thing is just THAT unbelievable. Anyway, I gave Rick one of my business cards. He used his cell phone to illuminate it. "Wow, you weren't kidding. What are these, books that you've written?"

"Yeah. I write books and give speeches about wearing nametags. It's a symbol of increasing approach..."

More roaring laughter. Damn it! I was NOT getting through to these people!

Eventually they calmed down and let me explain that I wasn't a nametag salesman. By the time we got to the front of the line one of the women said, "Scott, you're awesome. Are you married?" as she grabbed my ringless left hand.

"Heck no!" I said.

"Well good. Because I might just have to leave my husband for you."

Whoa. That sounds like trouble. Hmmm...maybe I should email this story to B.B. King. It sounds like the start of a great new blues song. In which case, I'm gonna need a catchy title. Any ideas?

LET ME ASK YA THIS...

What should this blues song be called?

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com