Watermelon is the secret code word

Whenever I’m at large events and I’m asked to write my name on those “HELLO, MY NAME IS” stickers I instead write “Watermelon is the secret code word.”  Most people just look at me like I’m off and avoid me.  Some people (usually the ones in large, boisterous groups) loudly yell “Secret code word for what?” and I just say “I have no idea what you’re talking about” and walk away.  But a few people (usually the same people hiding in corners, or drinking so they have something to do with their hands) will hesitantly come up and whisper a single word. “Watermelon.” And then I nod and smile like we know a secret the rest of the world doesn’t and I quietly say, “You’re in.  Welcome aboard.”  Then they usually smile back – happy and slightly confused – and walk off with a little more confidence, knowing that they’re part of something bigger.  Bigger and ridiculous and utterly insane.

Those are the best people.


And in other news, it’s Sunday, which means it’s time for the weekly wrap-up: Painting courtesy of @fattieart (J Rose)

What you missed in my shop (Named “Eight pounds of uncut cocaine” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

What you missed on the internets:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by A Life Less Frantic (which is something I can get behind because if my life was less frantic I’d run out of Xanax much less often.)  If you click right here you can get a totally free pdf copy of her book, Your Best Year Yet.  Free.  Just because she knows that readers here are full of awesome.  You win.  Go check it out here.

121 thoughts on “Watermelon is the secret code word

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Oddly enough, my work friend and I have the secret word ‘pineapple’. It serves a specific purpose. If anyone goes postal at work, then we will overhead page the word pineapple so that people who KNOW the word, can get out of the building. Screw the people who don’t know. So far, it’s just her and me that know the word.

    Which is completely not true. Most people know the word pineapple. They just don’t know it’s a code word for imminent danger. And it’s a tasty fruit.

  2. Could you please let A Life less Frantic know that her welcome page from your site is lovely, however the link she asks you to click only works if you have your email automatically configued, and if you don´t, you just get asked to set up outlook on your computer (even if you dont want to send her an email via outlook) and so you miss out on her awesome book, which I´m sure is awesome even though I can´t get it. Thank you 🙂

  3. Jenny,
    My father once told me that most people were like supply sargents. (He was in the Air Force) There is the one type that you go up to and say “Hey Sarge, my feet are wet, can I get some new socks?” This type of guy will not only see if he can get you some new socks, but will look up in the regulations and see if he can get you some new boots too. The second kind of guy you go up to and ask the same question and that son of a bitch will not only tell you no, but he will look up in the regulations to see if there is some way he can get you in trouble for asking. He told me the secret was in finding out which type of guy you were dealing with before you asked.
    And the answer is: “Watermelon”
    Thanks Sarge,

  4. When I’m in a room full of people I don’t know, I lose all my awesome. Especially fancy people. I always think they’re sizing me up and noticing that my shoes don’t match my outfit. I’m all, “Hey fancy lady, the fact my shoes match each other is like a minor miracle in itself, so, back off.” I have to remind myself that fancy people are just like regular people, only shinier…and it’s possible that they have people chew their food for them but I shouldn’t ask about it. I need a watermelon tag.

  5. I bought a bottle of watermelon vodka this weekend, does that count? (very tasty by the way)

  6. I want a “watermelon is the secret code word” button. So that I can initiate the masses even in winter.

  7. I’m not sure what the secret code word is, but Facebook believes a related article is “Mom Killed During School Pickup Spurs Safety Reminder” so be careful out there this week, okay? Bisous – E

  8. Carry your own customised Watermelon name tags to events and spend the day switching out people’s name tags with a wink, a knowing smile. When they protest put your finger to their lips and say, “Shhh, Watermelon.” Then walk away. Toward the buffet.

  9. My secret word is “Can you make barbecue?” Because then people try to out-do each other & I get fuckin free barbecue.
    It’s win-win.

  10. I don’t know why. But this is almost bringing me to tears. You are so fucking awesome it hurts.

  11. Big, ridiculous and insane. Sounds like my family reunion. Where we eat watermelon. I think you must be my cousin.

  12. That’s a much classier …and funnier…way to handle those name tags than what I do.

    Those meowfit kitties!!! Love that!!!

  13. OMG, thank you for the Meowfits link! I’m trying to plow through a statistics assignment, after reading some of the most boring cognitive psychology chapters EVER written. I needed that laugh so much! Thanks! (Also gonna run to your store and buy a watermelon shirt.)

  14. Could you possible be any cooler, Jenny?
    A day without The Bloggess is like a day without oxygen. Sure, you may enjoy the hallucinations for a moment or two, but soon you’re unconscious and then dead, so it sucks.

  15. Have you had a watermelon cake? Basically, you cut the top, bottom, and sides off so that it looks like a cake, then slap your favorite icing on. It is DELICIOUS.

    I’m among the many who’re craving watermelon now.

  16. Whenever I am required to wear a name tag I always feel the need to use a fake name. They will never know anyway. And then for one night I can be someone else.

  17. I’m going to start doing this so I can find people who read this in real life….then again I rarely venture out into real life.

  18. Congratulations!!! You are still rockin’ it girl and in a lot of categories!
    I’ll have to try that at the next writer’s conference.

  19. Well done. I’d probably squint at your chest for an unnecessarily long time, then awkwardly avoid eye contact.

  20. You’re so much nicer than me. I just put some hyper-masculine name on there to confuse them. Hi…My Name Is Chuck.

  21. My 7yo daughter is obviously in the know.
    A few nights ago, she called out in her sleep as I was going to bed… it sounded nightmarish, so I tiptoed in… and very clearly she called out “Watermelon!”
    Hope y’all are having a good weekend, buckaroos!

  22. @Natasha and anybody else who doesn’t want/have Outlook… just do what I do and hover over the link to get the email address.

    Which is bloggess@kellyexeter.com.au (Australia, fuck yeah!).

    Subject heading: “I’d love you to send me a copy of your book please”

    I like the password. In high school, my friend and I used to sit in the corridor and play the “penis” game, but with any random word as people walked past us. From words as innocent as watermelon, to words as racy as nipples. We had lots of fun and laughs.

  23. Glad you’re feeling better. I don’t know why, but the past few months have hit a lit of people who suffer with depression (including me) particularly hard.
    I hope everybody who’s suffering feels better soon.

  24. Hey guys, Kelly from A Life Less Frantic here. Apologies, I thought I was so clever setting up that whole ‘click here to email’ thing! As the lovely Procrastinateher said, simply email bloggess@kellyexeter.com.au with the subject line “I’d love you to send me a copy of your book please” or even “the secret word is watermelon” …. and you’ll get an email straight back with the link to download xx

  25. I think we all know full well what the sounds of space are… oooo WEEEEE oooooooooo… WAAAHHH AH ooooooooooooo…

  26. Watermelon scares my husband because he saw two men have sex with one in a gay bar. He was there for cheap drinks. It was college. DO NOT judge him. 🙂

  27. Watermelon–LOVE it.

    On those, “Hello, my name is” tags, my husband and I usually write, “my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die,” and then watch people who actually read name tags. Most turn their heads sideways, take a step or two backwards, and say, “Ohhh…” with a confused half smile and scrunched foreheads. The cool ones fall down laughing.

  28. Everyone knows “watermelon” is what you sing when you don’t know the lyrics. It fits all songs. Try it.

  29. I’m constantly sent off to conferences and seminars which all require the dreaded name tag (where, in relation to one’s boobs, are those things actually supposed to go anyway?). I’m shamelessly stealing so many of these awesome ideas. Side effect: Now I kinda want to go to my next “professional development” so I can mess with people. (cue evil laugh)

  30. So I had a hysterical melt-down yesterday, complete with hysterical crying and refusal to get out of bed because I felt the universe would instantly smite me if I did. Since I can count the number of times I’ve cried at all in the last 40 years on my hands and have fingers left over, this wild emotional freak out caught me (and my dumbfounded husband) by complete surprise. So of course today I come here and I understand now. I ate Watermelon yesterday and now I belong to the tribe. It’s been a rough month. Thank you for being part of what’s made it better for me.

  31. “Watermelon” used to be my safe word when the ouchy became too much. Plus, watermelon is super soothing to rub on chaffed skin My new safe word is “mycreditcardexpired” because I found it creates an even faster reaction time.

  32. When we’re at a restaurant and they ask your name to put it on the list my husband always says Godzilla.

  33. You’ve inspired me Jenny. From now on I’m putting Mango Man on my Hello My Name is tags. According to legend, Mango Man, an executive at the technology behemoth I worked for, used to hole up in the mens room every afternoon at 3pm to have some sexy time with himself. Who wouldn’t want to be Mango Man?

  34. As a member of the Unicorn Success Club, I can add anything I want to the charter or rule book I(you said so, I checked), so I’m adding “Watermelon is the secret code word.”

  35. OMG! As I was reading, I thought, “I would just lean toward her and quietly say, ‘Watermelon?'”
    I am so in the club!

  36. My wife took me to a summer camp reunion thing this week, and everyone wrote the years they attended the camp on their name tags. I just wrote “Ask my wife.”

  37. Erma Bombeck used to say that when they slapped a “Hi, My Name Is Erma” tag on her left breast, she wanted to ask what the other one was named. I’ve always wanted to do that.

  38. Okay. I just yelled “WATERMELON!” at the top of my lungs. In my head. Am I in?

  39. I usually tear the ‘o’ off of Hello and move it to the front of the tag so it reads, ‘o Hell, my name is,’. Yours is more fun! 🙂

  40. So sorry this is off topic but I see on my wordpress reader that only 1,968 Follow You? That would be incredible for me, but I can’t imagine those are your numbers? Thanks LOVE YOU!

  41. My favorite part about this is that you welcome people aboard when they get it right. I would spend the next six hours trying to decide if I was excited or terrified that saying the secret word had gotten me on board something I was previously unaware of, all matrix like, because I take things super literally when I’m stressed in crowds 🙂

  42. Ah watermelon. The thing that gets purchased with the best of intentions, yet sits, alone, on the counter top. I gaze at you, oh watermelon, and imagine biting into your delicious flesh. And then I think of the work involved, grab a banana, and walk away.

  43. I love it! 🙂 I like to write, “Call me Ishmael” on my name tags. I’m always amazed at how many people don’t get it and happy to share a smile or laugh with those that do.

    Although, sometimes my alter ego comes through and I write her name….Sasha. Either way, it is fun for me.

  44. I fucking love this. I’ve had a bad day (depression lies) & something about “watermelon is the secret code word” made me laugh & feel a little less alone.

  45. When we were kids, in order to prevent us from being kidnapped, my mother came up with a secret, made up code word and told us that if anyone ever tried to pick us up from school — even if it was the police — they needed to know the secret code word before we were allowed to go with them. The only problem was, I never was able to remember what the code word was — watermelon would have been a lot easier!

  46. I have watermelon gum and I get very stabby if anyone tries to take actual watermelon from me. Does this mean I’ve been part of the club longer than I realized?

  47. Probably not as awesome (but still pretty close), when I was in college, the 13 year old son of one my classmates wrote “not Fred” in the blank space following the “my name is” at some sort of student/staff mixer when he came along to it with his mother. I never could remember his real name, but for the next two years I greeted him as “not Fred” and he seemed to get a real kick out of that I’d remembered. I still think of him as “not Fred” decades later.

    Someday I’m going to have to try writing something like this on a tag of my own, when I finally get the guts up to do it.

  48. Watermelon!
    What do you have left after a pig eats a watermelon? … Pork rinds!!

    Sorry. Watermelon just don’t come up often enough for me to use that joke, so when they do… I go for it. 😉

  49. This is so sweet of you, making others feel better while making us laugh!
    It reminds me a bit of ‘Dirty Dancing’ though…

  50. It’s great when others join in or at least try to understand. I have joined a new team at work and within 4 weeks they ignore when I am talking as most of the time I talk to myself and when I ‘meow’ when I drop something…well, lets just say they just accept it. They have stopped laughing.

  51. I would like to think that I would say watermelon but after reading about your nomination, I think I would like to be called iris 🙂 how cool 🙂

  52. My family thinks I’m crazy because it pisses me off when they say there’s no sound in space. IN YOUR FACE, KIDS! I mean, see – there is sound in space. =D

  53. A friend of mine once came out with the odd “fact” that when you hear groups of people in movies muttering they’re all just saying “watermelon, cantaloupe” over and over. So when several of us got together and we wanted it to appear we were discussing something serious we would all say “watermelon, cantaloupe” loudly and in unison.

    It’s nice to have friends who are as weird as you are.

  54. Muskrat is the secret code word because watermelon comes up too easily at family gatherings and I don’t want my family in on it.
    “Hello, my name is…” should always be finished up with None of your business cause I don’t want you stealing my name! Never just give people your name unless they know the code word and use the code word correctly.
    “a “Hello, my name is….” sticker once caused a month long fight between my mother and brother.

  55. My code word is always “timberwolf,” because John Black used it on “Days of our Lives” ages ago. “The code name is timberwolf.” I’ve used it ever since.

  56. I think maybe someone needs to explain to you what “secret” means.

  57. This is completely off topic, but thank you so much for the post about depression and suicide. A student at our school committed suicide over the weekend and my heart is breaking. The only thing that I could think to do is to make copies of your facebook post (giving you full credit) adding the suicide prevention hotline number and through my tears give a copy to every one of my students and explain that you say all my feels better than I ever could. Thank you for being so open and honest with your struggles. It helps those of us that don’t have the vocabulary to explain the feels/lack of to those that don’t have depression and helps me feel less alone. If even one student is reached, it will be worth it all.

  58. RE: Depression
    I swear – it’s the weather. March threw me into a case of the blues because it was so cold and snowy when it usually would be warming up and sunny. Depression isn’t usually my thing. But I sure was feeling it in February/March. Uninspired, tired, making stupid mistakes and then beating myself up about them, ugh. I noticed a lot of other people were feeling down too, making work that much more “interesting”. I’ve shaken it off with the arrival of spring, but for someone who tends towards depression it might be a lot harder to break free. Then it would be doubly frustrating because you’d see everyone else feeling better as the daffodils grow higher while you’re still feeling low.

    Great post on that, Bloggess. I hope everyone else who is feeling down feels better soon.

  59. I keep seeing this crafty dish on FB where you cut the rind off of a watermelon, then cut the watermelon’s top and bottom off so it’s round and looks almost like a wheel of cheese, or a cake. Then you frost the watermelon so that it looks like a cake. I’m not sure if I’d enjoy taking a bite of what I think is cake that actually turns out to be a watermelon or if I’d be royally pissed off that it’s NOT actually a cake. Either way, watermelon.

  60. They ARE the best people, aren’t they? I love the nodding secretly when they give the code word. That sounds like something I’d totally do, especially in a room full of what I call ‘the beautiful people’…a nebulous set I will NEVER fit in with.

  61. My secret code is: “The roses! We forgot about the roses!”

    (ten points to the first person who names the movie)

    (twenty points if it’s The Bloggess)

    (fifty points to Gryffindor)

  62. Whats your opinion on the chupacabra they found in texas. Do you think its a raccoon with mange.

    (Yep. ~Jenny)

  63. You sounds like the perfect networking event buddy. And you are doing good for others.

    Except me… because now I really want some watermelon.

  64. That might be a good scientific way of finding the good ones. I’m still trying to find all the good ones.

  65. All I can think about is how small you’d have to write to fit all of that on a name tag…which means that people would be all up in your business all day trying to read it. Isn’t that defeating the purpose? Or do you kinda enjoy having people stare at your chest? Or is that just me?

  66. This may be a tad off point here, but I am trying to find a medium-sized shark skelton (one who has passed on naturally of course) for work. It should be said that I work in the children’s department of my local library…not one of those other objectionable skeleton gathering professions. I am trying to work up a shark display, and already own a preserved shark (I put that bad boy right in the China cabinet, we don’t have too many discerning visitors), but I thought a skeleton would be a nice touch. I googled “where to find sea creature remains” and it brought me here (I kid, though that is entirely plausible).

  67. It is. This is true. Because it’s the secret word to give people something to talk about at those “Hello My Name Is” events other than the adult version of “what’s your name, what’s your major?” We can talk about watermelons. And how there might be vodka in the watermelon. Or a spy camera. This will take up at least two minutes, and then we can retreat back to the cheese table. I love it. Only I’d prefer mangoes. Except that would go bad quickly.

  68. PPPPPPSSSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTTTT! The password is looks around suspiciously….. watermelon…

    Love the way you roll!

  69. That’s fantastic. I think I’ll use that next time, since no one can usually read my name anyway.

  70. Because I am a massive fan of The Princess Bride whenever I have to use a Hello My Name Is badge I always right Inigot Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to Die. It quickly sorts who “my people” are in a crowd of strangers 🙂

  71. OMG! It’s a Star Whale!! This time we’ll ask it nicely to take us to safety though, not torchure it. The Doctor would be mad if we did it after he warned us.

  72. I always cross out the “My name is” part and write :
    “I don’t remember your name, either.”
    “So it’s OK to stare at this label”
    “So you can see that I’m”
    “JAMI” [in big letters]

  73. My husband and I use “watermelon” as our codeword when we are arguing and feel that we are about to take it to a personal, hateful, scorch-your-world kind of place. When the word “watermelon” is said, you can speak no more of the subject you’re arguing about for three full hours. We’ve never once wanted to continue the fight after that waiting period. So, you must know our system of 15 years to use the codeword watermelon on your name tag. How did you find out?

  74. I’ve always thought those things should be edible, so I can quickly stuff the evidence in my mouth and eat it in case I’ve been compromised by the feline overlords. It should be mint flavored, too. For fresh breath.

  75. The “watermelon, watermelon, w a t e r m e l o n” posts should be read in the same voice that Carol Kane (as Valerie, Miracle Max’s wife in The Princess Bride) says “Humperdink, Humperdink, Hum-per-di-ink”.

    I simply CANNOT believe that only one person has mentioned writing “Inigo Montoya” on Hello-my-name- is tags.

  76. It’s days like this i regret not having the Internet when I was in High School. You are the level of weird I was always way too scared to embrace.

  77. I have an uncle who insists on writing “Fine Thanks!” on his name tag at every family reunion. I think it’s hilarious but it doesn’t always go over so well.

  78. Those things are always so awkward! I hate writing my name and wearing it. When people come up to you and say “Hi Devon”! You’re like how do you know me, and then you realize you are wearing your name. My dad never writes his real names on those things either. He always writes Rocco. He even signed up for Panera Bread rewards as Rocco. So every time we are eating a Panera, when our order is ready they always call out the name Rocco. I find it hilarious every time.

    A lot of people do not want to use their real names for anything!


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