Ramblings 1 / by Joseph Palumbo

To keep up, or rather to build, a cadence of regular blog posts I will sometimes have posts titled "Ramblings". This is when I've got nothing particular to say about one subject, but rather a bunch of fragmented thoughts scattered around several topics. 

Psycho Bunny = Gluten

While shopping for some casual collared shirts the other day I ran across a brand called Psycho Bunny. Instead of the elitist silhouette of a man on a horse, mid-swing of a polo mallet, it's a hollow-eyed bunny skull hovering over crossed bones (femurs, I think). It's the Bugs Bunny version of the classic Jolly Roger that flew over so many hollywood pirate ships. 

It's a small detail, a rebellious take on a sartorial icon that is normally reserved for innocuous caricatures of animals like penguins and crocodiles, but it garners so much attention and elicits so many comments. Every time I've worn this shirt I get at least one comment and a question about the brand. Which makes me think of three things: 

  1. The proverbial devil really is in the details, so pay attention to them. 
  2. Branding is a powerful thing. It builds a relationship with the people who encounter it. It communicates so much about the ethos of a company. Pay attention to branding, especially for yourself. 
  3. Psycho Bunny isn't the first company to embroider a small icon on the left breast of a polo shirt - not by a long shot - but they put their unique twist on it, unique, which makes it their own and makes it compelling. A reminder that you don't have to be first to market, you just need to find a new angle on an existing constant. What they did was both expected (icon on left breast) and unexpected (it's a bunny skull!). Don't be afraid to play around with existing paradigms and make them your own. 

Today in fact, this morning as I stood in like to get a cup of swill that Starbuck's calls coffee, the girls behind the counter commented on my shirt, "look at his shirt," one said to the other, "what do you see?". Both agreed that it was very 'cool', or whatever word kids are using today that indicates a certain inherent and transcendental level of hipness. Which leads me to my next rambling...

The world wants me to have gluten

I have found that the universe almost invariably acts as a counterbalance to aspiration. What this means is when you make up your mind to do something you will surely encounter friction that wasn't there before. I have two theories about this. The first one is more cosmic, which is to say that the universe is conspiring against us. The second, more pragmatic, says that when you look in a certain direction, you become focused on the barriers that lay along the path. So the sheer fact that you are making up your mind to do something, to move in a particular direction, means that you newly notice all of the potential barriers. 

In my case, my quest to remove gluten from my diet was comically threatened by a Starbuck's barista, who really liked my Psycho Bunny shirt, giving me a warm chocolate croissant for free. I walked around with this croissant for several blocks, surprisingly not tempted to eat it, but enjoying the comedy behind it, until I finally disposed of it in a trash can. I know I could have given it to somebody on the street, but c'mon, if a guy wearing a bunny skull and crossbones on his shirt offered you a free french pastry, would you take it?