Sorry, Mom, You Are No Longer No. 1 in My Eyes

A few years back I met Johnny Earle, founder of the company Johnny Cupcakes.? I had never heard of Johnny Cupcakes at the time, and to be honest, as he described the company it didn’t make a lot of sense to me.? The company’s product line consists primarily of t-shirts emblazoned with a skull and crossbones, with the skull replaced by a cupcake.

I figured they must sell about 10 t-shirts a year.? How wrong I was.? I’m not sure exactly how many t-shirts they do sell, but it is some enormous number.? In addition to selling online, they have three swank “bakeries” (i.e. stores) where you can buy the t-shirts.

What really convinced me that Johnny Cupcakes was for real were the tattoos.? More than 100 die-hard fans have shown their affection for the brand by getting Johnny Cupcake tattoos.? You must be doing something special if you can induce 100 people to permanently emboss your logo on their bodies.

So what does this have to do with my mother?? Since the day Freakonomics came out, she has assiduously collected all my press clippings and videotaped every TV appearance.? She sings my praises to anyone who will listen.? Without a doubt, she has been my No. 1 fan.

I am sorry to say, Mom, that as of today you have been demoted to the rank of No. 2 fan.? Our new No. 1 fan is Jennifer Garcia.? Jennifer just finished nursing school.? She says she is our biggest fan.? And unlike my mother, she has gone the extra mile and shown her loyalty in the form of a tattoo…

Yes, there finally is a Freakonomics tattoo, thanks to Jennifer.


In gratitude, we will be sending Jennifer some Freakonomics schwag.? Indeed, we will happily send Freakonomics schwag to anyone who sends us a picture of their Freakonomics tattoo.? After all, we are still 99 tattoos behind Johnny Cupcakes.


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  1. That's not fruit from the same vine. says:

    Sorry capitalism at work.

    Do we get to see all that you do?

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  2. Chris says:

    Tattoo or not, your mother should always be your No. 1 fan!!

    She did far more to get you to where you are today than Jennifer did with her tattoo.

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  3. StCredZero says:

    Sheesh! You’re supposed to get a tattoo that says “Mom.” You’ve got it turned completely around!

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  4. xtophr says:

    Schwag? SCHWAG? what a ripoff!

    Casa Sanchez in SF will give you free burritos for life for getting a tattoo of their logo.

    Plus, their logo is an awesome little caballero riding a giant corn cob a la Slim Pickens.

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  5. John says:

    People will get all sorts of dumb things tattooed onto their bodies… and I say this as someone with multiple (admittedly awesome) tattoos.

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  6. Shayna says:

    And here I thought you knew you “made it” when you could Google yourself and come up with several pages of legitimate recognition, and were cited in a history book or two — Good to know that the bar is much lower – and harder to attain 😉

    (Love you both, but am highly adverse to permanent tattoos — would a stick on garner any Freakonomics love?)

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  7. cejaxon says:

    Do you have a tattoo that says “My Readers,” with or without some additional terms of endearment? If not, should we feel unloved or undervalued?

    I still suspect, by the way, your mom is your number 1 fan. Comparing the work a mother does for her son to mucking up one’s skin as part of the fad du jour shows an odd sense of categorization.

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  8. Jim Q. Citizen says:

    Dude! You’re all messed-up. Probably your mom’s fault.

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