How Sweet the Sound

Last week I attended a class entitled “Personal Branding.” I’m sure all of you are familiar with giant global brands such as Coca Cola, Budweiser, and Like me, some of you may be big fans of Lame Adventures Travel and enjoy guided tours of popular NYC subway benches and weekend cruises to sleepy Hackensack, NJ in a ’63 Impala (group rates available).

Did you know that YOU are a brand? Yes, it’s true. You may not have a logo, buy Super Bowl ads, or have your image on the side of a milk carton, but you still have a brand. It’s what people think of when your name is mentioned. What comes to mind when you hear these names; Charles Manson, Tiger Woods, Marge Simpson, and Jim Bob Duggar? If your brand is not what you want it to be there’s still time to create a better image. Who knows, you may be the next

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the brand famous for an Addiction to Purple crayons (but who always chews the wrappers off) is Periwinkle Plum Wisoff-Fields.  If you’d like to participate in this exercise in madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the FFF  Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright - Melanie Greenwood
copyright – Melanie Greenwood

“The key is hidden in the gazebo.” 

“How do we get to it?”

“Through the labyrinth.”

“Not me. The last time I went in there I wet my pants.”

“That was a long time ago. You were just a kid.”

“I don’t care. He’s still in there. One wrong turn and you’re in his clutches.”

“But you’re taller now. You can see over the top. There’s no way to get lost.”

“I’m not taking any chances.”

“It’s hard to imagine a woman your age still believes in monsters?” 

“The Tickle Monster is real, I tell you.”

“You’re Amazing, Grace. Simply amazing.”



48 Comments on “How Sweet the Sound

  1. Gee, Russell, how do we get to be as famous as Perry (just kidding, Perry). I don’t blame Grace. You don’t fool with any monster in a labyrinth. The ancients had the right idea. Hilarious as always. 😀 — Suzanne


    • Most of us will never be able to achieve the level of brand notoriety as Perry Block, but it is something to strive for. I also suspect he was the one in the labyrinth who tickled Grace until she wet her pants.


  2. Periwinkle Plum?> Now I’m not going to be able to get the vision of Rochelle with fairy wings flitting all over blogdom in search of crayons to chew the wrappers off.
    Oh Russell, you’ve tickled my funny bone yet again. I feel Grace’s fear of the dreaded the tickle monster. I had three of them in my house years ago. When my three kids were little, if they found me on the floor reading a book, two of them would sit on me while the other one would tickle my feet with a pencil. Cries of mercy were not heeded.


      • Dear Lyn and Tickle Monster,

        I like the vision of fairy wings…purple ones, right? I’m quite ticklish, myself, but you didn’t hear that from me.

        Cute story, TM. I remember the workshop we both attended on branding. That was the week we both switched from blogspot to wordpress. 😀


        Periwinkle Plum
        (sugar plum fairy, sugar plum fairy)


  3. You’re Amazing, Grace – so now I will hum Amazing Grace all afternoon while avoiding the tickle monster. Thanks. Really, this was another fun piece.


    • When I saw the maze, I just had to work the song in there somehow. It was my Dad’s favorite song. Thanks for the kind words.


  4. Russell,
    You are one of few bloggers whose intros actually interest me. Lots of fun stuff and a few good tips here this week. I’m focusing a lot on branding these days after incorporating my web content writing company on January 15. It’s so important to be recognizable from the pack, especially these days.

    As to your story–hilarious as usual but deftly written as well. The pun at then end sings. 😉

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


  5. Russell, My goodness – you certainly do know a lot of tickle monsters. Mike is ticklish on bottom of his feet – I have an uncanny ability to turn off my tickling reflexes and that is why we are still married! He used to try and try to find a tickle switch, but there isn’t one. Your story is priceless! I love Amazing Grace (the song and the story). You make us all laugh! Nan 🙂


  6. That’s a cute story. I can imagine being just in that spot, you can’t forget those childhood fears. Even if you push forward those lingering thoughts remain. 🙂 Nice work.

    The concept of being your own personal brand is always intriguing.


  7. I was establishing brand KT, but it only resulted in people setting up a series of ‘off-brand’ KT knock-off shops, totally saturating the KT market place.

    I’m interested in how you manage your own ‘Russell’ brand.
    Russell Brand? Waitaminute…

    Amazing set up mate


    • Knock-off brands? Ouch. I better start watching over my shoulder. The next thing you know, Perry will start coloring his hair silver (what hair he has left) and try cutting into my customer base.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. And you are amazing too Russell. 🙂 Thanks for the giggle. My husband and I tried setting up a security firm but I think we got the branding wrong…


  9. Thanks for taking me back to Hackensack, Russell, even though Lame Adventures’ subway train has yet to go there. I’m on Team Amazing Grace. When I was four, my family went to San Simeon for a tour of Hearst Castle. I don’t recall what I saw there, but I let out such a blood-curdling scream, I’m sure that I effectively freaked out everyone in the tour group. I didn’t pee myself, but more than half a century, I still have no desire to ever re-visit that place. Also, the bladder now isn’t quite what it was then, either, but at this stage, maybe if I re-encounter what terrified me so much in 1963 in 2015, it will just gift me with a massive heart attack. Yet another crowd pleaser on a group tour.


    • You should write a longer story about that. Maybe work in that photo of Patty Hearst holding an assault rifle. I realize that wasn’t until years later, but hey, sometimes you have to sacrifice a few facts for the sake of the story.


  10. Rochelle in purple fairy wings. Perfect. Perfect enough to be her brand. I’ve been reluctant about that brand business, but it is a fact of life I guess. Grace. She is amazing, isn’t she? I think I would seek out the Tickle Monster. This is great, Russell.


  11. And that brings us to the monster under the bed that grabs feet hanging over the side of the mattress. Both fairly horrible. I’m with Grace on this.


    • I always felt sorry for the under-the-bed monster. He has to share his space with all those dust bunnies, cobwebs, and dirty socks. No wonder he’s in such a foul mood.


  12. Aha, when you said personal branding, I thought it was a new form of tattoo. Or would that be an old form, since they’ve been doing that to cattle for eons. You may be onto something in regard to the attitude of the under-the-bed monster.


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