When I first got started in the legal profession, a Knoxville attorney once told me that I needed to develop a “cover story” for parties and social occasions. His was “UPS Driver.” Mine is “Master of the Custodial Arts.”
The rationale for developing a “cover story” is simple. If I told people I was an attorney, I would always get a response of “Oh, well I have this question I want to ask you” or “I had this experience with an attorney.” Then I’d usually be subject to an endless discussion on the topics these people wanted to discuss, as opposed to simply enjoying myself at a party.
So I took this lawyer’s approach, and started telling people I was a UPS driver. It worked at first, because no one really cared about the life of a UPS driver. On the occasional chance that I’d get a question, I’d get asked things like “What happens to packages that get damaged on delivery?” or “Have you ever looked in a package?” or “What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever delivered?” If I got these questions, then I took it as a blanket license to screw with people and did so accordingly.
When I first met Mrs. S., we went to a party held by the veterinary office at which she worked. Before we exited my vehicle, I was told “The UPS thing won’t fly here. One of my colleagues is married to a UPS driver. He’ll be here and he’ll call you out on it.”
“Shit,” I thought, and just reverted to “lawyer” mode for that gathering. I was still a newborn of a baby lawyer at that point, and not comfortable in my own skin. You can imagine from there how things went at this particular gathering.
I’d still toy with the “UPS” or “FedEx Driver” cover story for a while, but eventually I made friends with people who drove for UPS and FedEx, and they both told me the story I had wouldn’t work in either occasion. So I had to some up with something new.
Enter Kenny Omega, who gave me my current title for parties when I choose to use it: “Master of the Dark Custodial Arts,” or “Master of the Custodial Arts.”
Kenny Omega is a fantastic professional wrestler for an organization called “New Japan Pro Wrestling.” When Kenny joined a particularly devious heel faction known as the “Bullet Club,” he was dubbed the group’s “Cleaner.” Now I will confess I know next to nothing about Japanese, despite having taken two semesters of it in undergrad so I could understand commentary on DVDs from FMW, NOAH, and New Japan. That being said, I’ve always come to understand that “Cleaner” is what “Hitman” translates to in Japanese.
Omega is a bit of an oddball in pro wrestling, and ran with the title in ways you wouldn’t expect. Eventually, the nickname “The Cleaner” gave way to Kenny calling himself “Master of the Dark Custodial Arts.” I dug it and ran with that to this day for my “cover story” when I choose to pull that card at parties.
It’s simple to understand: Most people think “Janitor” when they hear “Master of the Custodial Arts,” and will leave me alone if I want to be left alone. Sometimes I’ll get the occasional oddball question about a mess I’ve cleaned up, and I’ll screw with people if I want to have a bit of fun. Despite this, I’m not lying when I say I’m a “Master of the Custodial Arts.” That’s essentially what I do. People bring me messes and I attempt to clean them up, for a reasonable fee.
I’m quite a bit more comfortable telling people I’m a lawyer these days, due to stuff like the POWA method and a little volume called “Gorilla Mindset.” I also am very comfortable with telling those people who want to ask me a “question” that “I’d love to talk to you, please call me during business hours and we’ll set up a consultation” as I hand them a business card.
But I still pull out the title “Master of the Dark Custodial Arts” on occasion when I feel like having a bit of fun, because I enjoy life a lot more than I used to.