Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters
If you grew up in the 80s, you know the answer to that line.
Heck, if you’re breathing, you know it.
Halloween 1985, me, Chris and two Jasons tricked or treated together. Jason 1 was a Ghostbuster. Jason 2 was a ninja. Jason 2 married my sister 12 years later. I was a skeleton. I don’t remember Chris’s costume. All the costumes were homemade.
Chris moved away a year earlier but was staying with his cousin, Jason 2, to raise a little hell with some Roman candles.
Chris lit the first one on the school lawn. We hid in the bushes across the street, in front of the senior’s complex, waiting for the police.
Puck, puck, puck. The Roman candle fizzled out after a few blobs of red spewed out barely 10 feet high.
We soldiered over to the only store opened at night. Across the street was a park. We knew the park well. All of us were Boy Scouts. We would parade there in 11 days to pay respects to heroes who fought for our freedom to light Roman candles in parks.
Jason 2 lit the second one. We hid behind the store.
We heard voices from a car. No flashing lights. Not a cop. Good.
What were we thinking? We wanted the cops. We didn’t want the cops. Which was it?
Jason 3 was walking down the street. Jason 3 lived in Michigan with his dad. He missed his mom, so he moved back to Canada. Jason 3 was a world class smart-ass. Two men jumped out of a grey car. They took something from him. His laugh pierced the autumn night like a dagger.
We thought he was getting kidnapped. Jason 2’s ninja instincts wanted to jump the men. We had numbers. But we were 12 years old, Jason 1 said.
Puck, puck, puck. The Roman candle lit up and whimpered out quicker than the first one.
Jason 3 laughed again. We heard him say, “Looks like someone wants to get it up and can’t”.
The two men jumped in their car and raced down the street toward the school.
We came out from behind the store to see if Jason 3 was ok. Laughing still, he said the two men were undercover cops. They were looking for a Ghostbuster, a ninja and a skeleton.
Shit. We were done for. What did they take from you, Jay?
Vaseline. They asked me what I was up to. I told him I was on my way to see the girlfriend.
All three Jasons started laughing uncontrollably. I didn’t get it, but I laughed along.
Did they say what they wanted with us?
They wanted to get you home to suck on your mom’s tit. If you’re gonna light Roman candles, do it right. Here I’ll show you.
Today, Jason 3 is a doctor. Jason 2 served in two wars. Jason 1 is a bureaucrat. Chris programs computers.
The remarkable things we do are those activities that define us in the minds of others.
With the exception of my brother in law, Halloween 1985 is how I remember those guys.
Businesses have the same opportunity.
Remarkability is often rejected for the safe.
When you play it safe, you play defense.
Fear drives the decisions.
In sports, it is said, defense wins championships.
But offense sells tickets.
You use defense to protect what you built.
And you spend a lot of time defending against the offensive pressures from others.
For the most part, it works.
Until one day, the offense shows up with Tom Brady.
Tom Brady tears down your walls, steals your customers, and eats your dinner.
Your ads are the offense.
New, exciting, different. No one knows what to do with new, exciting and different.
The defense gets confused.
Some in the audience get mad. They hate you.
Others talk about you and cheer you on.
Little by little, new business trickles in.
Until one day, you look back and see the trickle is Niagara Falls.
The best defense in business is more offense.
Learn from the NFL. If you want to beat Tom Brady, don’t let him on the field.
Halloween 1985 would have been forgotten by Remembrance Day if Chris hadn’t brought the Roman candles.
Light your Roman candles and explode your message using new, exciting, and different stories that will captivate an audience, remind them of their own memories and create a connection that can last a lifetime.