Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Some Ultra-Professional Ideas For My Totally Unnecessary Business Cards

The reason I haven’t posted so much lately is that I’ve been so busy with a business I started selling homemade jellies and jams.

OK, I just wanted to see how that would look in print, though the real reason is just as arbitrary, and just as delicious. Thanks to a serendipitous run-in with an old college professor I am now an assistant editor working on Food & Wine’s 2009 Wine Guide.

I won’t lie, my initial reaction when I was first proposed the job was, “But it’s barely even 2008 . . .” But once they explained all the complexities to me, I decided I was the right man for the job. Or even if I wasn’t, I would pretend I was. (Of course, it doesn’t hurt when you almost get picked up during your job interview. You can’t buy that kind of cross-over appeal.)

Basically, the writer of the book, my old college professor, came to me and said, “I’m looking for someone who will do a lot of work and is willing to be paid in wine.” I tried to play it cool as I ran the notion through my head several times trying to decipher it. It seemed as though when he said it that he was trying to sell me on an unpopular idea. I’m worried I’m being tricked here, so I try to imagine why someone wouldn’t want to be paid in wine. Wine is alcoholic, right? The delicious stuff that comes in dark and light, right? Is this a trick? Is wine really not delicious and I’ve been fooled by trade magazines and over-aggressive French waiters my entire life?

But before I could resolve any of this, I said I’d do it.

Now, after weeks of writing and asking myself new and uncharted questions like, “Is citrusy a word?” today I finally have my first official wine tasting. It’s at this hotel called the Waldorf Astoria – you may have heard of it if you ever wore an ascot or date-raped a sorority girl and got away with it. It’s a big affair where we’ll be tasting hundreds (not sure if that’s true) of wines from France’s Bordeaux region. I’ll be meeting a lot of important people involved with the publication of the book, meaning that there are two important things to remember:

1. The “x” is silent; and
2. Business cards.

Why people still use business cards, I’ll never know. We have effectively replaced MAIL and CHECKS and TAKING A GIRL TO DINNER BEFORE SEEING HALF-NAKED PICTURES OF HER, but we still hand each other little cardboard squares with our names printed on them? Where is the technology to just point our cell phones at each other and shoot the information wirelessly? Regardless, I don’t have business cards. And unless I want to be writing my phone number on the palms of lots of smartly dressed people, I figured I should get some.

The problem was, I had no idea what to put on the card. Besides having no classy ring to it, “Daniel Murphy – Paralegal” just seems kind of inapplicable. And sad. Like you might hand someone the card and they would look back up at you like, “Alright, cool. If I ever need a” (looks back down at the card) “paralegal, I’ll be sure to give you a call.”

So then what? I actually wrote and email to the writer of the book (my defacto boss) and asked him for his advice. He confirmed my fears:

“Writer sounds pretentious, journalist too gritty, sommelier laughable, and renaissance man preposterous. So, just use your name, address, email, cell and website.”

Still, I wasn’t comfortable with a business card that just said “Daniel Murphy.” As though I was some kind of brand. Since when did I deserve to be on a card, handed out to other people? “Hi, I’m Daniel Murphy. I’m a commodity. Here’s my card. It has my name on it.” My biggest fear is that people will stick my card in their jacket pocket only to find it five months later at some anniversary dinner party all covered in lint. They’ll pull it out of their pocket and think, “Who is Daniel Murphy?” People will randomly call me saying they found my card in their pocket. “Were you the plumber I used for that leaky drain pipe?” I guess at worst I can pick up some odd jobs to supplement my income of rare and expensive wine.

Brooke, ever the supportive girlfriend, wasn’t satisfied with the situation. In an attempt to allay my insecurities and fears of having my name run solo on the cards, she came up with a list of possibilities. They are:

In the end, I sucked it up and just used my name. While I’m sure it would stimulate much more conversation to tell people about my future career as a riverboat captain (“I plan on throwing people overboard if they get rowdy or play with the life preservers”), I’m sure I’ll have enough to worry about just remembering to drop the “x.”


Blogger Dana said...

Dude -- you should have just gone with wino.

Although future riverboat captain is quite inspired. :)

January 23, 2008 at 12:53:00 PM EST  
Blogger Sarah said...

Oh my gosh, just reading those cards (so glad you posted them that way) had me stifling my laughter in my too-quiet cube-land office.

January 23, 2008 at 1:29:00 PM EST  
Blogger Kristen said...

oh dan. hillarious. Dare I say GENIUS!

January 23, 2008 at 2:32:00 PM EST  
Blogger A Lil' Irish Lass said...

I thought the first card read "tamer of bReasts."

That would have been awesome.

January 23, 2008 at 2:38:00 PM EST  
Blogger tammy said...

That's a pretty cool gig. You made the right choice. Writers don't get paid in actual money ever.

January 23, 2008 at 2:59:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Burke said...

Seriously funny post! Great stuff.

January 23, 2008 at 3:24:00 PM EST  
Blogger Peter said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 23, 2008 at 3:30:00 PM EST  
Blogger Deezee said...

damn. I was hoping you went for a provocative tag.

very funny.

January 23, 2008 at 3:30:00 PM EST  
Blogger Peter said...

"Ambiguist" is quite genius, I gotta say.

January 23, 2008 at 3:31:00 PM EST  
Blogger Heather said...

So only Daniel Ocean has the cachet for a name-only card? Damn.

January 23, 2008 at 3:34:00 PM EST  
Blogger Camels & Chocolate said...

Yikes, now I'm paranoid about my own cards that say "Writer. Editor. Photographer." Though hopefully any semblance of pretentiousness will be offset by the fact they they are printed in PURPLE and GOLD.

January 23, 2008 at 3:46:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jillian said...

I'm trying to pretend that I am working on my students grades right now but the fact that I am dying laughing is undermining my credibility a bit.


January 23, 2008 at 5:09:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Arjewtino said...

How about this one:

"Daniel Murphy. Business card distributor."

January 23, 2008 at 5:47:00 PM EST  
Blogger Amaya said...

I love all of those. Maybe you should print out a few of each?

January 23, 2008 at 6:24:00 PM EST  
Anonymous You can call me, 'Sir' said...

Instead of 'Man About Town', maybe try 'Gadfly'. Or maybe 'Breast Man'.

January 23, 2008 at 6:28:00 PM EST  
Blogger mindy said...

"For all your writing needs. Also, automotive." made me laugh out loud.

Good work, Brooke.

January 23, 2008 at 9:02:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Daniel Murphy
Damn glad to meet you

January 23, 2008 at 9:25:00 PM EST  
Blogger Scottsdale Girl said...

Damiel Murphy
Hoping your husband doesn't find this in a few weeks and think you are cheating on him.

(only applicable in female recipients (OBVS) and states other than Kentucky, Alabama and Georgia)

January 23, 2008 at 9:43:00 PM EST  
Blogger Scottsdale Girl said...

Damiel...yeah. DANIEL.

Fucking citrusy Chardonnay!

January 23, 2008 at 9:44:00 PM EST  
Blogger Spud Mack said...

Actually strange enough as it is, if people were to google Dan Murphy to find who you are (at least on my Australian google page) they would be sent to one of the largest liquor merchant's in Australia 'Dan Murhpy's'. Thus, the instataneously would be reminded of the bordeaux wine tasting evening and everything works out for the best...although it may be difficult convinving people you have been around since 1878.

January 23, 2008 at 11:42:00 PM EST  
Anonymous kevin said...

Daniel Murphy
Pimp'n Wine since 2008

January 24, 2008 at 12:08:00 AM EST  
Blogger Girl Gone Green said...

1) Jealous of the gig, first of all. Please be sure to review favorably all wines "Willamette" (as in the Valley. Like in Oregon.

Don't laugh. We have fantabulous wines out here (give a little shout out to Cathedral Ridge and their stellar Pinot Noir...

2)How 'bout
Daniel J. Murphy
I own a mansion and a yacht
(bugs bunny fans? anyone? Buehler?)

3)Brooke is really funny. Please let her post more...

January 24, 2008 at 12:40:00 AM EST  
Blogger GRUNTSHIT said...

Remember the scene from American Psycho about the business cards??? Its all in the paper.

January 24, 2008 at 4:56:00 AM EST  
Blogger sid said...

I love Brooke. Don't let her get away!!!! Tie her up if you have to.

January 24, 2008 at 8:48:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Lara said...

Oh, how I wish you had chosen one of those!

January 24, 2008 at 9:35:00 AM EST  
Blogger Katie said...

Vandalay Industries
CFO Marine Biology & Architecture.

January 24, 2008 at 11:49:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was that Cunning Linguist?

January 24, 2008 at 12:24:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's the difference between jelly and jam? You can jam your #$*@ up your girlfriend's @#$!

January 24, 2008 at 1:15:00 PM EST  
Blogger Maursupial said...

I recieved as a "present" business cards this year. What does a high school English teacher need with business cards? Do I hand them out to my incoming students??

January 24, 2008 at 2:49:00 PM EST  
Anonymous pete v said...

Hoss -

first visit to the blog and omg I am STARSTRUCK!!!

But seriously...I just made "Poet Business Cards" and found myself on the couch last night, looking absently at one of them and feeling simultaneously inspired and sorry for myself, the way you feel when you see a sad mime in a scratchy black & white silent film...anyway, I was thinking, can this work? What if I just threw them around like casting into a very big lake with a bamboo fishing pole and yarn with a paper clip hook...but what if?

Also, get me a job as assistant wine taster...I'll drink the stuff in the spitoon after you swish out your mouth with it.

January 24, 2008 at 3:23:00 PM EST  
Blogger Alexander said...

You forgot: Daniel J. Murphy, puppy walker and poop-picker-upper.

January 24, 2008 at 4:06:00 PM EST  
Blogger Jillian said...

Daniel J. Murphy

January 24, 2008 at 6:30:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Eric the BeehiveHairdresser said...

What about...

Daniel Murphy
All Around, Nice Guy

January 24, 2008 at 10:16:00 PM EST  
Blogger Eve said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 25, 2008 at 1:49:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how about "daniel j. murphy - first time caller, long time listener."

January 26, 2008 at 3:38:00 PM EST  
Blogger Forlorn Flo said...

"David Murphy. Business Cards=old school"

January 27, 2008 at 12:01:00 AM EST  
Blogger Hollywood Sucker said...

"Daniel Murphy. Raconteur."

Eh, Brooke's were all better.

January 28, 2008 at 6:42:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daniel Murphy

January 29, 2008 at 10:47:00 PM EST  
Blogger Art said...

The "Humorist. Seriously" one was the best. I would use it myself if I thought I had anything particularly funny to say.

February 18, 2008 at 8:34:00 PM EST  
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