Jun 14 2011

#45 “Just Howl”

From Mr. Wolf in Baltimore, Maryland.

First of all, let me state up front that I clearly understand why someone who contributes to this project would want to keep their identity a secret. I won’t get into all the details, but I think we all realize (myself included) that the premise of this social experiment is a bit unusual. Also, in most of my advertising campaigns, I haven’t made it exactly clear for what purpose I am collecting the pictures, so there are those that may have some understandable concerns.

Besides these notions, though, there is also the obvious factor that this project is named “Wolves by Strangers.” So in many ways, anonymity is a major factor in this experiment, if not an essential one.

With all that being said, I still can’t get over the irony of someone contributing a photocopy of a business card with name blacked out. The expressed purpose of business cards is to draw as much attention as possible to the individual or business featured on the card, thus it is a bit humorous to encounter one that delivers more questions than answers.

As stated earlier, though, I can’t fault the contributor for this decision; and ultimately I have spent an enjoyable and considerable amount of time theorizing about who this person is and what line of work he is involved in. I first thought that perhaps his business may be somewhat casual or informal. I drew this conclusion based upon the idea that including a picture of a wolf on your business card may not be viewed as “professional” in some circles. I would fundamentally disagree with this notion, but then again I have always been a bit of an outcast in the business world.

After some more thought, however, I began to suppose that perhaps this man is employed in a field that is extremely formal, serious, and official. After all, if you wish to create a memorable business card as well as instill confidence in your clients, what better graphic to add than one of a fierce and uncompromising wolf? Perhaps this man is a lawyer or business executive and the wolf represents professional ferocity and a wild but upfront nature. Perhaps the man is simply employed in some field related to wildlife management, maybe even in the political realm of this field. Maybe he is a family counselor, and the wolf is meant to inspire the idea of the unified family unit or “pack.” Or possibly the illustration is meant to point to the fact that this man is a stealthy “lone wolf” and is employed perhaps as a private investigator.

Surely there is someone out there who knows the answer to this perplexing question, but for now, I think I would like to keep this little mystery as it is.

So here’s to you, Mr. Wolf. I don’t know who you are or what you do, but if I am ever in a dire situation with no one else to call, I will simply raise my head into the starry midnight sky and give a loud, long, lupine howl and perhaps you really will hear my call. Then we will finally be united and all will be right with the world.

Until then,