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The curious case of One Sock Johnson

It’s a feel good Friday, and as such I got a feel good story about a feel good type of guy:

One Sock Johnson.

Here’s the story:

Last summer, I traveled down to Myrtle Beach with Peanut and her family. Since I was in “enemy territory” (I don’t actually consider it as such, but makes my story sound cooler), I knew I had to be on top of my game. Nothing beats being funny, and so, I created a character out of thin air that became the life of the vacation:

One Sock Johnson.

Y’see, six months prior, I dropped a weight on my toe at the gym. And for the next six months, I saw the gruesome black whatever under my toenail inch towards the top of my toenail each day. On vacation, it finally reached the top, which meant I mutilated half of my toenail when I was cutting them.

Good riddance, I thought. Well, until I tried to put on a sock, that is. It being vacation and all, I didn’t have a clean pair of my short ankle socks, so I had to wear my long Nike tube socks.

And well, it hurt like absolute hell trying to pull a tube sock over my mutilated toe. So, I began rocking one sock only.

But I didn’t stop there:

Of course, I looked foolish, so I created a backstory:

One Sock Johnson.

This mf lived a whole life before I “became” him. I told his story to anyone who would listen. (Spoiler alert: everyone listened, and instantly fell in love with One Sock Johnson.) One Sock Johnson became the life of the party. He was in everyone’s conversation. And in fact, one night, Peanut’s dad’s girlfriend’s daughter’s friend (howz that for a connection?), also fvcked up her toe, and we were rocking the One Sock Johnson look together.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, I still get a hearty ol’ chuckle out of it even as I type the story in my Google Docs file, 9 months after it happ’n’d.

But believe it or not, there’s also several copywriting lessons embedded into this silly story of One Sock Johnson.

I’ll reveal a few to you here, but you gotta think about the rest on your own:

1. One Sock Johnson demonstrates the unrivaled power of storytelling.

In fact, I went from looking like an absolute fool (wearing only one sock n’all) to being the most popular entity around. (We vacationed with her dad’s friend and his family too, meaning One Sock Johnson quickly became a legend after his debut).

2. Character-building is an important piece of world-building.

I had an entire backstory for this dude, which didn’t hurt with him being bumped up to legend status quickfast.

3. Humor helps you connect.

I joke that I was on “enemy territory,” but there’s a grain of truth to it too. I’m the boyfriend, hanging out with the dad and his friends. But since One Sock Johnson gave everyone a reason to laugh, I negated any natural apprehension I might’ve received.

(This applies both to marketing and sales)


If you need help applying these “lessons” to your email game, grab a time here. And who knows, good ol’ One Sock might even make an appearance to help you send your email revenue to the moon.

(One Sock) John(son)

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