Irony alert: Stories in the wild, just waiting for you to notice

At LAX, I saw someone ask for directions.

Nothing remarkable about that, right? In fact, it’s kind of a boring story.

This story needs detail. And boy do I have detail for you:

At LAX, I saw someone in a black t-shirt with big white letters that read “LEAVE ME ALONE”…ask a stranger for directions.

When words and actions fall so far out of alignment, it’s not just irony; it’s a great story. I thought I’d put it in the story safari files for future use…but the future came sooner than I expected. You can read all about it in this HuffPo piece I posted last weekend.

Irony in the ’90s

It reminded me of another T-shirt I spotted in another airport some 20 years ago, a drawing of the cartoon characters Beavis and Butthead—the late ’90s precursor to today’s bro dudes—and the words “I Love Tattoos.” Really, the guy wearing it could have skipped the slogan as every visible inch of his body was covered in tattoos—and back in the ’90s, kids, very few people had even one.

But the detail that made the story stick for me is what happened next: This extravagantly inked dude sat down across from me at the airport gate and pulled out his reading material: The Wall Street Journal.

I don’t know about you, but that was definitely not what I’d been expecting.

You can’t make this stuff up. The world is full of stories you can harness to make your ideas sticky. Happy hunting.


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