Heeeeere’s Johnny!

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Johnny B. Truant.

Yeah, yeah, you’re saying. You already know me. Well, that’s what I thought, too, but it’s not the truth. The truth is that you don’t actually know me if you only know me through this blog. What you read here is a mere slice of my full personality. What you know is a selective character sketch. What you know, honestly but unintentionally, has become a persona.

You don’t actually know Johnny. You know “blog Johnny.”

See, I always wanted to be funny. So I tried to be funny as I wrote this blog, and I think I often succeeded. But in trying to be funny all the time, I pretended that certain things in my life didn’t exist. For instance, blog Johnny was far too flippant to worry about things. Blog Johnny couldn’t be sensitive or introspective. Blog Johnny couldn’t run a business, because business isn’t usually very funny unless it’s a weasel importing business, and even then it’s only funny if they wear little outfits. No, none of this fit blog Johnny. And it didn’t fit the site.

Well, the time has come for you to meet the real Johnny, with all of his many facets. I promise he will still be funny.

(By the way, don’t worry. I still plan to write mainly about dumb stories and dick jokes. But I’d also like permission to acknowledge that I am indeed a real person with a full life, rather than just the funny guy who exists for the length of time it takes you to read one of my off-the-wall posts.)

So today, I’m taking the apple off … except that I’m going to keep the avatar in the long run because I like it too much to give it up permanently. Kindly ignore the mixed signals.

So here are some things you might not know about me:

• I work as a freelance magazine writer and website developer. It’s a good job and has many great advantages over a normal job, but it’s not what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.

• I’m a type 1 diabetic and have been since 13 days before my 13th birthday. It’s an affliction that doesn’t affect me in the least other than the ritual it requires.

• I’m a very serious weightlifter. This plus the point above makes for an interesting combination, because most people expect a diabetic to be somehow feeble or tentative. I’m neither. I hate when people make excuses, so I don’t either.

• I’m also pretty entrepreneurial. If I were to put my goals in a nutshell, I want to be a funny writer as my sole occupation while increasing my standard of living. That either means I have to turn “funny writer” into a profitable occupation or make enough money in a different non-time-consuming way to allow me to be that funny writer for free.

That last one is actually a pretty central thing in my life right now, and it consumes what feels like 90% of my thoughts.

Ah. The key point emerges. At this point, you should hop over to IttyBiz and read today’s post, which I wrote, to see where this is going. Go ahead. I’ll wait here while you read it.

See, I kept wondering: Can Johnny B. Truant blog for IttyBiz about learning to make money online? Will doing so confuse his brand as a mindlessly funny guy? I mean, there are funny sports guys. Is it possible to be a funny business guy? A guy who also writes about his kids, his college roommates, his foibles learning German, and his fights with other bloggers?

Is it possible to learn, grow, and develop personally… and still get people leaving comments saying that they spit coffee on their keyboards while reading?

I don’t know. We’ll find out.

To bring this full circle, check out my new About page and let me know what you think. I’m making this up as I go along, and I think it will be good, but I don’t know. See, Naomi pointed out something interesting to me. My site is called “The Economy Isn’t Happening.” I chose that name because I wanted to stop thinking about the economy, which was on everyone’s mind, and stick my head in the sand with some laughter instead. But it sort of fits with the IttyBiz project too, doesn’t it? Like, maybe it also means that you can make your own economy? That the bad economy doesn’t have to be happening for you, either, if you make a serious effort to invest in yourself and take the world by the nuts?

Meh. It’s way to early for me to start getting all philosophical. I’m going to go think up some fart jokes and stories about monkeys. Monkeys are fucking hilarious.

Now that you've read this post, go here:


  1. If there’s one thing business needs, it’s more funny. Or a kick in the pants. Or maybe even both!

  2. Glad to hear it, Mr. Truant. Enjoyed reading your stuff for quite a while now, but have always thought I would like to see more You and less Persona.

    Looking forward to seeing what you come up with from behind the fruit!

  3. Delmont88 says:

    Button your top button. The shirt factory wouldn’t have put a button there, if they didn’t expect it to be used…I bet your shirt’s untucked, too, huh????

    Just cause you’re in Ohio doesn’t mean you should be sloppy… sit up straight…

  4. @ncwinters says:

    I still can’t get over the randy look in your eye as you tear into that apple. Like all this time I haven’t been reading some blog about randomness and apparently “fart jokes” of which I’ve seen none so far by the way. Instead, I’m part of some creepy cult of people that follow this creepy guy as he stalks playgrounds offering candy to children.

    On second thought, that was uncalled for. Looking forward to the IttyBiz blog. Try and have a few more links in every post so I can navigate your whole digital life from one blog entry- I like that.

  5. DaleK says:

    I suspect you will have no problem being the real you and funny at the same time! You might even find it gets you what you’re after! You follow Gary Vanerchuk at all?

    I found this blog because you did a guest post on someone else’s – I forget who it was now……they are in my “Head Shit” folder in Google Reader. You’re in the “Shit I Love” folder. Not sucking up. Too much. Just saying.

    Once upon a time I wanted to learn how to write with more of a humorous edge. Actually I still want to – which is why I come here – I’m hoping you’ll give me something I can copy/paste until I can figure it out.

    There is very little online in terms of learning how to write humor/comedy. I don’t know if there’s a buying market for it, (I paid) and I don’t know that it can really be taught….or if you even have an interest in that but…if I had any money I’d pay you to teach me. I actually ended up having to take a stand-up class because that’s all I could find related to humor/comedy. Oddly, there was no focus on writing…too bad too…it’s like uhm kinda just a little bit IMPOSSIBLE to do stand-up without material!!!

  6. Johnny B. Truant says:

    @ Joely – That’s what I’m hoping, anyway!

    @ Jeff – Should be an interesting balancing act. Or actually, the lack of needing to balance at all is what’s going to throw me off. Will I be funny unrehearsed? I need a magic 8 ball.

    @ Delmont – If you really want your mind blown, look at my cuff. I didn’t realized that wasn’t buttoned and considered PhotoShopping it. But I was too lazy.

    @ NC – It’s supposed to be “insane.” I must have overdone it.

    @ Dale – You’re talking about Tim Brownson. And you’ll be interested to know, then, that I’ll be working with him too. He and I have worked out a thing where he’ll coach me and I’ll blog about being coached, to mutual benefit. You’re really going to get inside the head of JBT soon.

    BTW, I don’t know if I could teach comedy. To some extent, it doesn’t feel to me like a teachable skill. Did you see Borat? I mean, hell, if comedy coaches are like that guy, comedy is in good hands. NOT!

    (P.S: That’s a Borat reference. I don’t want anyone thinking I’d honestly use a “not” joke.)

  7. Jake says:

    What ncwinters said. It’s not so much “insane” as it is “MMM I AM SO SEXY MMM APPLE”-type stuff.

    Not that I’m calling you sexy, sexy.

  8. Johnny B. Truant says:

    You should have seen the ones I didn’t use. It was like a rape.

    You sexy thing.

  9. The About Me page spells it out for those who might have missed it completely. Nicely done. Really (my new catchphrase). It’s good to see you come out from behind the apple and the wise ass once in a while (not all the time of course, because that’s why we read your blog).

    Oh, my comments are back to working, if you want to give it a try again. Hopefully you can do without so much profanity this time. ;)

  10. Lynn Crymble says:

    This is awesomesauce Johnny! I’m so glad you’ve decided to show us more of yourself.
    I completely agree with Joely, business needs more funny.
    Funny is always good.

  11. A. Venefica says:

    You mean, we’re not all one-dimensional, vapid AI simulators functioning for the sole purpose of cramming our round asses into square holes?

    Dagnabbit, I hate when my paradigm shifts…AGAIN.

    Seriously…a big “ditto” in response to this post. In fact, I thought about ditching my blog because I felt the narrow focus was choking out my diversity – my voice.

    How nuts is that? Even the Bible says: “To thine own self be true and smote thy blog rules which decree thou must squelch thine own unique array.”

    Well, my version says that.

    So, rock on, and I’m anxious to see your developments in this new, expanded 2.0 version of Johnny B. Truant.

  12. @TheGirlPie says:

    Looking forward to your funny business blogging here and funny Online Business School posting over on IttyBiz.com hoping it will help me start laughing over my Farting Monkey Imports business — orders have shot way up since you posted and I’m overworked already.

    Don’t forget your early supporters (you haven’t yet) or we’ll eat you, and your apple, AND your fancy free weights.

    PS: the mini ABOUT down here where we comment is perfect, content + placement = score.
    PPS: looking forward to going back to the apple face avatar, no offense.

  13. Sonia Simone says:

    @TGP, if you don’t register FartingMonkeyImports.com immediately, I’m really going to be peeved with you.

    Very cool to see behind the apple a bit, Mr. Johnny B.

  14. Dear 3-D/Fluffy/Mr. Business Blogger/Truant One:

    Now that more of your face is revealed, perhaps Step 3 in your previously listed marketing plan will become: write/produce/star in epic screenplay?

    ps Have fun at Ittybiz!

  15. LOBO says:

    Now what the #@!** am I supposed to do with all these Skittles mosaics of Robert Goulet!? ANSWER ME DAMMIT!!!!

    -I’m kidding … it’s weird as I was thinking of dropping the “privacy” thing too (I wrote something for tomorrow I might not publish).

    Anywho, Congrats Johnny. This was one of my fave blogs and I’ll miss you.

    (Now that I know so much about you, I dunno. It’s gotten weird.)

  16. Finally! If truth can be stranger than fiction, then I’d say real can be funnier than façade.

    Honestly looking forward very much to seeing you integrate the parts into an hilarious whole. There’s no maybe about it.

  17. Johnny B. Truant says:

    @unfinishedrambler – Your comments make me angry. Fortunately, the Pot O Gold toilet made up for it.

    @Lynn – Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking. Business can be funny; it just never is.

    @ A. Venefica – I don’t know about you, but this sneaked up on me slowly. I was never really trying to hide anything; it’s more that some things didn’t seem to fit with this blog. I didn’t realize how it would change the whole persona.

    @ TGP – OF COURSE I would never forget my early fans. EVERYONE, THEGIRLPIE HAS HAD MY BACK FROM DAY ONE. You all read it here. And this avatar on Twitter and FB is temporary. I also like the apple-face too much to give up forever.

    Okay, I can’t keep replying individually but suffice to say that yeah, it’s awesome to attempt to just totally be myself, so we’ll see how that works out, but LOBO, WTF? This WAS one of your favorite blogs? You’ll MISS me? I’m not going anywhere.

  18. Tracy says:

    Hey! That’s awesome, I can’t wait to see what happens next. I went through something similar; I couldn’t figure out how to combine the things I like to write about with running a forum full of moms in a way that fit how things were supposed to be and gave myself a headache and finally decided screw “supposed to be”.

    I’m really happy and excited for you!

    Err, hugs? Do you do hugs on this blog?

  19. Johnny B. Truant says:

    Yeah, I don’t really do hugs here. I’ll toss them out among Havi folk as a gesture of support when the rest are doing it, but then I feel like a total poseur and am sure they all know I just don’t get it.

    Hey, if nothing else, this is an unexplored niche. Have you ever heard of another “ridiculous make money online guy”?

  20. JoVE says:

    Great move. And happy birthday! (see, I did read the About, a day late)

    Farting monkeys… ha ha

  21. LOBO says:

    I was poking fun at the idea of gaining or losing readership based on the “anon” factor … I’ll be back … was just teasing

  22. Terry Heath says:

    It’s funny (but not the way you mean) because just awhile ago, before I read this post, I was thinking about my own blog, as most bloggers do. See, I’m pretty much a writer, or at least I play one on the internet since I’m working on an MFA and all that. But I also have this entrepreneurial side and have a lot of stuff I want to pretend I know about that.

    Then I realized (really, I did . . . I even tweeted about it) that if you have a writing blog, it’s pretty much automatically qualified to be an internet marketing and small business blog . . . since many of us who play writers online are simultaneously trying to market stuff, like our brand and all that. We probably learn something along the way, end up writing a few ebooks, blogging, and you know.

    So. It’s a natural combination, I think, writing (funny or not) and marketing (successfully or not) and I’m surprised I didn’t think of that before.

    Okay, then my next point (yes, that first part really was a point too). I heard this thing once about Broadway plays. Some famous playwright said if you can make people cry your play will run a year. If you can make people laugh, your play will run two years. But if you can make people cry AND laugh, your play can run forever.

    Here’s to having your play run forever.

  23. JBT, I like where you’re going with this. At risk of being WAY TOO SERIOUS on a humor blog, I’ll share up this link that discusses (among other things) the difference between the person and the work – note items 3 and 4. http://lesswrong.com/lw/4y/on_things_that_are_awesome/. I know that your work is awesome, and I have an inkling that the real guy behind the apple is a guy that’s definitely worth tipping a beer with.

  24. Johnny B. Truant says:

    Terry and Mike, I think you guys are right about this. (Well, and I’m right too, since it’s my damn post after all.) Especially given my subsequent post to this one, it does seem that people are INTERESTED when I’m real. Now to find out if INTERESTED translates to ENTERTAINED and GENERALLY WANTS TO STICK AROUND AND ULTIMATELY BUY SHIT. Because as you may know, Naomi says I’m a whore.