Hey, Guys! This is “The Peaches” speaking. And I want to tell you a story that comes from an era almost 30 years ago–when the only person in the whole world who called me “The Peaches” was John Branyan, my dad…
I was probably in First Grade. Maybe Second? And that would mean my little brother, Tim, was in Kindergarten. (The other two Branyan siblings hadn’t made their debuts yet.)
At that time, there was nothing we liked more than our special juice boxes (especially frozen, so we could eat them with a spoon!)…and playing with the Forbidden White Board tucked in a corner of the office.
You see, our parents joined a certain Multi-Level Marketing company during the rise of the MLMs in the early 90s. It wasn’t Pampered Chef or Longaberger… But you might be able to guess the name as I continue telling this tale.
My little brother and I were not allowed to touch the white board and dry erase markers, because “daddy needs them for work.” Whenever we’d ask for specifics about exactly what type of work Daddy was doing to be afforded such enviable tools of the trade, we were told, “he teaches people” or “he shows people how things work.”
But these explanations never really satisfied our curiosity.
Finally, perhaps in exasperation, my mom told Tim and I: “Your dad is the Marker Man!”
And, suddenly, it was perfectly clear why HE was allowed to use The Markers, while the two of us were not. We finally accepted we needed to stay away from the sacred white board, until such time as we could become Marker People, like him…
Now, I’ve since learned the term “Marker Man” was not unique with my parents.
In fact, the title is the intellectual property of the marketing strategy organization hired by the MLM my parents joined, to teach their independent consultants how to run a business. I’m throwing that in here because I’m not trying to get slapped with a lawsuit for copyright infringement. I only want to describe an actual memory I have from my actual childhood.
One day, my mom told us she had a project to surprise Dad on Father’s Day. We were going to make a special book for him—filled with all the reasons we loved him.
In a stroke of poetic genius, we decided to title it, “The Why We Love Daddy Book.”
I don’t remember each reason word-for-word. But I think one of them said “because he plays catch with us,” with a rudimentary illustration of a ball and bat. One page said, “…because he wears a tie.” (I mean, what’s not to love about a guy like that?)
Near the end of our brainstorming session, Tim shouted out: “We love him because he’s THE MARKER MAN!” (He was pleased with himself, knowing this would make Dad laugh—which was always a main goal of ours.)
Why am I telling you this today? Why was I even THINKING about this random piece of my past?
I’ve been working as the Event Coordinator for my dad’s comedy career more than 7 years–and I’ve suddenly realized:
I still love that he’s the Marker Man.
He still goes to work and helps people understand things more clearly.
Slowly, slowly, we’ve been scheduling fewer stand-up gigs, and replacing them with consulting opportunities. My dad literally wrote a book about how to be funny. He can take any speech, sermon, or blog post and find the humor buried in them.
People who make their living in performance arts are calling him WEEKLY to pick his brain and regain their sense of purpose. And, though Dad doesn’t use literal markers much anymore, he has a way of drawing pictures with his words to bring clarity to a situation.
Daddy teaches people.
He shows people how things work.
And—guys—he even pays me to be a fellow Marker Person on his behalf! (No kidding. I have a complete set of assorted colors.)
Years ago, my brother and I didn’t know what it meant to “go to work” and “help people learn stuff.” But I understand much better now. As an adult, I can see my dad is thoughtful and creative and a gifted communicator. It’s a joy to glean wisdom from him, when he shares pointers about things he has spent decades studying himself.
Dad doesn’t sell JUICE BOXES anymore. But he understands the philosophy of Funny Stuff better than he ever understood food service.
And, when you contact John Branyan Comedy, I can go on and on about all there is to love about him.
Do you want to consult with John about how to use humor to make your life better? Give me a call: 888-203-0372 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
If you book him as a speaker (whether it’s a workshop or fundraiser or Date Night Event, etc.) I know you’re going to love my dad, too…
…And, if you ask, he might even wear one of his ties.