As with all great endeavors, this one began with a birthday clown. Specifically, it was an interview with a birthday clown that I read several years ago, in which the subject revealed a fascinating (to me) trick of the his trade. “What if you’re dying out there? What if the kids are hating it?” the interviewer asked. And the clown said, well, then I just resort to one of my Funny Words. Every year, it seems, there are two or three Funny Words that invariably crack kids up, and when things are going sour, you can blurt one out and bring the house down.
Some trade tricks:
- Real Estate Agent: Some agents will bake cookies or brew coffee in a home an hour before they open it to the public for show. An even better technique is to bring a bread machine full of dough to the house and let it run while people tour the premises. The scent of cooking bread is the most recognizable and emotionally resonant way to create a “this smells like home” atmosphere for potential buyers.
- Police Officer: Here’s an easy way to know if people are lying: they touch their faces. Even if they know not to, most people when under pressure and telling a lie will tug on their ears or scratch their noses.
- Professor: If you have to give a poor grade to a student you know is going to object, put a lesser grade beside it on the paper and then scribble it out (but not so much that the student can’t make it out). It will make them think that you originally gave them the lesser grade but then raised it after some thought. 99.9% percent of the time this will prevent them harassing you.