Clown Noses (and what to do with them)
One of the easiest ways to earn a smile is to wear a clown nose. Not only does it get the folks you interact with to smile, but best of all it is impossible to be grouchy when you’ve got a ball of red foam on your face. Try it. It’s impossible.
When do you wear it? What do you do?
I find that the funniest way to wear the nose is to put it on and to act completely normal. I don’t smile. I don’t laugh. The irony of a normal, nicely-dressed person wearing a clown nose is like a cup of hot chocolate on a cold day; it just makes you feel good inside.
I wore it the other day when I picked up my 2-year-old at day care. I walked up to the teacher and asked straight forwardly, “How was the day today? How did my daughter do?” I did not mention the clown nose. She just looked at me, paused, and smiled. I’m pretty sure she thinks I’m a complete dork, but it just cracked me up. And the other teachers were laughing too.
I love to wear it as I’m exiting the airplane. As you know, the flight attendants and pilots stand by the cockpit and repeat stuff like, “Thanks for flying with us today.” And everybody dutifully says something like, “Thank you.” Not me. I just wear the nose – again, without comment – and say to them, “Good job.” It never ceases to get a laugh.
It is also fun to wear the nose in public, and in a crowd even, when just one or two people can see you and the nose. For example, it’s fun to wear it at a meeting or presentation when I’m in the audience. The presenter sees me, yet the rest of the audience – with the possible exception of a few people sitting next to me – has no idea what is going on. I love seeing the presenter try not to laugh.
Wear the nose on a plane while the flight attendant gives the safety demonstration. They’ll see you, but the other passengers won’t and will wonder why the attendants are smiling.
Wear the nose while in a traffic jam, or while waiting at a stoplight. Two things will happen: 1) You’ll stop stressing about the traffic jam. And 2) the other drivers will crack up.
Wear it when you’re driving next to a bus-load of school kids waving at you.
Wear it after a customer yells at you, or while you’re on the phone making a call that you really don’t want to make.
If a customer complains and says something like, “I’d like you to get the manager!” Politely agree, leave the room to get the manager, and then reappear wearing the nose. “I’m the manager. What seems to be the problem?”
Wear it on a bus, or at a restaurant when a kid cries. Be a hero!