Columnist puts three words on auction block
It is true that breathless anticipation turned into deafening indifference when I announced last summer that "Get Life On" had been chosen by an Elite Blue Ribbon Panel of One to be the official slogan of "Honolulu Lite." It was the first time in the history of journalism that a column had received an official slogan, although readers have showered the column with many colorful, if not alarming, sobriquets over the years.
I'm proud to announce that, inspired by the touching impassivity with which "Get Life On" was received locally, I am unleashing it onto the national stage, where it is destined to take its place among such famous inspirational catch phrases as "Just Do It!" "Be All You Can Be" and "What? Me Worry?"
The national media already has begun to sit back on its haunches and cock its little furry head to one side as the headline "Hawaii Humor Columnist to Sell Three Words!" sweeps the country. Editor & Publisher magazine and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists have noted it on their Web sites.
You might ask, how can a person sell three words? Well, basically, I own them. Not the words individually, but as a group, in a certain order. I recently was awarded a federal trademark on the phrase "Get Life On," which I've been using to promote this column and on several Web sites. But I don't really want to "sell" the three words, I want to "license" them. Market them to a major national corporation or organization that agrees with me that "Get Life On" says "Seize the day!"; "Make the most of this wonderful thing called life"; "Do something meaningful and joyous with your brief, transitory existence on this planet."
Critics will say you can't just sell three words. I say, huh? I'm selling many, many words gathered together in the form of a book, "Hey, Waiter, There's an Umbrella in My Drink!" Of the millions of books on sale on Amazon.com, my book is No. 1 of all the humor books authored by writers from Kaneohe. I think of "Get Life On" as just a really short book. And the beauty is, unlike those books chock full of words, I only have to sell "Get Life On" once. If this works, I might next try to sell a single word. And then maybe just one letter of the alphabet. And if that works, maybe a punctuation mark. The sky (and font size) is the limit!
I admit that there are certain ironic and satirical aspects to this marketing ploy. But it is no joke. "Get Life On" is on the auction block. But this also is not a completely mercenary enterprise. I've pledged to donate at least 10 percent of any money generated from the licensing of "Get Life On" to the American Cancer Society. My mother died from cancer when I was in college. They've made great strides in cancer treatment and prevention since then, and if any group is in the business of "getting life on," it's the American Cancer Society.
You can follow the "Get Life On" marketing campaign at getlifeon.com. And when you are just doing it, being all you can be and reaching out and touching someone, don't forget to get life on.
Buy Charles Memminger's hilarious new book, "Hey, Waiter, There's An Umbrella In My Drink!" at island book stores or online
at any book retailer. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org