Episode 341 – Rubik Yeriazarian

Rubik is a Forensic Accountant & Greeting Card Writer & Children’s Book Author

Rubik Yeriazarian talks about his passion for writing accountant themed greeting cards and children’s books! He talks about how this hobby has helped him improve his marketing skills, why it’s important to have something outside of work, and his experience in opening up about his hobby in the office!16

Episode Highlights

• Getting into writing greeting cards and children’s books
• How his work in writing greeting cards and children’s books helped improve his marketing skills
• “Market Day” at his firm
• Why it is important to have something to do outside of work
• Why it is on the organization to create a culture at work


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Rubik’s Pictures

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Rubik’s book inventory!

Rubik’s prized printer

Some of Rubik’s greeting cards, all of which come with a ledger-paper lined envelope

Rubik’s Links


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    Welcome to Episode 341 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garrett and each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby or a passion or an interest outside of work.

    I’m so excited to let everyone know that my book is published. You could check out whatsyourand.com for all the details. It’ll make a really awesome Christmas gift. It’s on Amazon, Indigo, Book Depository, barnesandnoble.com, a few other websites. All the links are on that page. I can’t say how much it means that everyone is getting the book and leaving such nice reviews on all the sites and sharing how their cultures are changing because of it. Please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week.

    This week is no different with my guest, Rubik Yeriazarian. He’s a Forensic Accounting and Litigation Support Principal at Briggs & Veselka in Houston, Texas. Now, he’s with me here today. Rubik, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Rubik: Thanks for having me, John. I can think of no better way to spend my PTO than talking to you about accounting and hobbies.

    John: There you go. I don’t even know what charge code — yes, you have to PTO this. Oh, man! You know what? I might just talk to Briggs & Veselka. We’ll see what we can do. We can get you these 30 minutes back. There you go. Yeah, but I start out with my rapid fire questions.

    Rubik: Okay.

    John: Yeah, so here we go. Do you prefer more hot or cold?

    Rubik: Hot.

    John: Hot. Okay. Well, Houston, that makes sense. How about a favorite color?

    Rubik: Green.

    John: Green. Nice. How about a least favorite color?

    Rubik: Oh man. Yellow.

    John: Yellow. Okay.

    Rubik: Yeah, yellow. It’s like waffling in between red or green. What’s up with yellow? Make a decision.

    John: Right. Okay. How about a favorite actor or actress?

    Rubik: I really like Adam Sandler mainly because of the “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan” movie, just a personal favorite of mine just from all the gratuitous use of hummus throughout it.

    John: Nice. Okay. Oh, that’s so fantastic. He’s also a really nice guy, which makes it cool. Would you say you’re more of an early bird or a night owl?

    Rubik: I used to be night owl, but I have a one-year-old and a three-year-old, so more of an early bird now. If I’m awake, it’s going to be more in the morning. I tend to pass out on the couch by ten o’clock if it’s getting late.

    John: Yeah, I hear you, man. Yeah, that would be tough. How about puzzles? Sudoku or crossword?

    Rubik: Crossword.

    John: Crossword. Okay. How about chocolate or vanilla?

    Rubik: Chocolate.

    John: Chocolate. Okay. All right. If you had to choose, Star Wars or Star Trek?

    Rubik: Star Wars. I never got into Star Trek. I’ve seen Star Wars, but I’m not a huge fan of both of them. I can identify characters, but — yeah.

    John: I can identify more of the Star Wars characters for sure because I’ve seen maybe, I don’t know, two Star Trek. Maybe one movie, one episode of the show, so yeah, I’m similar. How about your computer, PC or Mac?

    Rubik: I use a PC for all work-related stuff, but then I have a Mac for my hobby stuff, so a little bit of both.

    John: Wow! Ambidextrous, I like that, man. That’s impressive.

    Rubik: Macs suck for Excel though, so I don’t advise anyone to use Microsoft Excel on a Mac. I still can’t figure some stuff out on why it’s different.

    John: It is weird. How about a favorite ice cream flavor?

    Rubik: Oh, man. I can’t go wrong with just vanilla and putting some toppings on it.

    John: Oh, okay. Okay. Yeah, toppings though, that’s where it’s at. That’s for sure. All right. How about a favorite adult beverage?

    Rubik: I like making an old fashioned, so some whiskey or rye, mix it up. That’s my one cocktail that I’m more than decent at making, so that’s my go to.

    John: There you go. I like that. How about suit and tie or jeans and a T-shirt?

    Rubik: Pre-pandemic? Now, shoot, I haven’t put my suit on in six to seven months, so I hope it fits next month when I have to go to a trial.

    John: That’s so funny. Yeah, I actually had to put my suit on a little bit ago and it didn’t have elastic. It was kind of like, these aren’t gym shorts, so I’m not sure. We’ll see. Yeah, that’s so funny. How about balance sheet or income statement?

    Rubik: Let’s go income statement. Yeah.

    John: All right. There it is. That’s the money. How about what’s a typical breakfast?

    Rubik: Typical breakfast for me, I’ll usually do some kind of — not cereal, but now, I’ve been doing it with yogurt or peanut butter. When I’m at home, I get some kind of grain and some fruit in it. Once I start going back in the office though, it’ll probably be something a lot worse for my body. For now, it’s something that feels pretty healthy. It’ll be $12 to have a nice brunch every time probably.

    John: Right. Exactly. Yeah, but you eat at home, so that’s even better. Three more. Do you have a favorite number?

    Rubik: No.

    John: No? Oh, just positive ones or negative ones?

    Rubik: As an accountant, you’ve got to like everything, right? You can’t be biased towards numbers, so you’ve got to treat them all equally.

    John: Okay. All right. Just in case they’re listening, we like all of you, so we’re good. How about with my book being out, Kindle or real books?

    Rubik: Oh, man, I like Audible. I haven’t done Kindle yet, but I like Audible because if I read too much, I fall asleep. That’s why I like children’s books because they’re 12 pages, but Audible is great. So if you want to record a copy where you can read it to me, it’ll be easier for me to really listen to and focus on.

    John: Okay. Yeah. My book will be coming out with the Audible in early part of next year, so there we go. The last one, favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own.

    Rubik: I just recently got a real awesome printer. It’s an Epson EcoTank ET-15000. To you, it means nothing, but to me, it’s really awesome. I can’t even explain all the awesomeness of it. Maybe it’s because my past printer was kind of crappy, but it really goes well with printing out cards and stuff.

    John: That’s great. Yeah, it’s like the Lamborghini of printers. Yeah, whatever it is, that’s awesome, man. Very cool.

    Rubik: When the kids get close to it, I just tense up. I’m like, “Don’t even think about it.”

    John: Right. Very cool, man. Well, that dovetails perfectly into your “and” with the greeting cards and then the book as well. How did that get started?

    Rubik: I have a three-year-old and a one-year-old, so I’ve read a ton of children’s books over the past three years. Some of them I read and I’m just like, “This is dumb. I can do better than this.” I was thinking about it would be great if there was a book I could read my kids that has to do with accounting or financial literacy somehow, but not too deep into it so they’re not like, “Well, I don’t know, Dad. This doesn’t make sense to me” to where it’s kind of a children’s book, but it has some jokes in there, but also for the parent to enjoy. I thought, you know what, one day, I sat down and said, “Let me just start writing down accounting jokes. What are some accounting puns I can think of?” It took me a while to think of a main character, and one day, I said, “What if there was a general whose name was General Ledger and he was the hero?”

    John: Yes!

    Rubik: From that point, it started building out and I was like, I’m doing it. All right. Cool. It was over a year that I had been working on it and just had a little notebook. I was jotting down ideas in. That was my main motivation at first. The greeting cards complement it, but I’ve always liked greeting cards. I’m the guy who will spend 30 minutes in the aisle at Target looking at all the cards, trying to find the perfect one, put one back, put another, get another one. You just want that moment where you hand the card to someone and you’re looking at them like, “Did you read it? Isn’t that perfect?” They look at you like, “Oh my gosh, how did you find it? This card is perfect.”

    John: Right, and you’re like, “I made it.”

    Rubik: Yeah. Now, I can say, “Hey, let me create those perfect card moments.” So when accountants are giving cards to accountants or if an accountant is getting a card from a non-accountant, they can fully appreciate the accounting humor in the card.

    John: That’s awesome, man. I love that. That’s so great because you’re like — I don’t even think that existed or does exist, or if it’s an accounting joke, it’s going to be — I don’t know. It’s just lame. This isn’t even a good one. This is written by a non-accountant.

    Rubik: Right. The ones that you would have at some kind of card store is probably going to do some riff on the IRS and that’s pretty much it because they assume every accountant does taxes and there’s no other — I mean, we do other things clearly based on all the other people you’ve spoken to on your podcast.

    John: Like embezzle. That’s definitely more lucrative. No, I’m kidding.

    Rubik: Some do.

    John: It’s a joke that I had on stage. We don’t all do taxes. Some of us prefer to embezzle. That’s just a joke that I had. That’s just super cool, man, but it started with a book. That was pretty much what — the General Ledger is what started it?

    Rubik: Yeah. It started just with my desire to do a book. I actually several years ago had an interest in doing a side business in greeting cards, but I never really found a way to make it work. I was trying to come up with ideas, but nothing really, and my mind was like, “Yeah, this isn’t going to work out. This isn’t feasible.” Then as I was developing the book, I was like, “You know what? A lot of these jokes, I can parlay into cards as well.” Then I said, “You know what? Let it just all be accounting-related. Let me fully embrace the accounting nerd inside of me.” I’d have a captive audience, so that would make it easier to market it to a group of people.

    An accountant will see something like this and I get a lot of laughs from accountants when they see the book or some of the cards, which if I just do a generic card, no one’s going to say, “Oh, that’s a great card” that says “Have a great day” or something, but if it has an accounting joke built in then you’re automatically going to get a better reaction from it from an accountant, at least.

    John: Totally. That’s so great, man. That’s so great. Brian Regan had a bit — a really great comedian — of when he first had a kid. He opens the children’s book and it’s, “The clock. The clock. The clock goes tick. The clock goes tock. The end, 1995.” He’s like, “Who’s writing this? What the hell.” You’re like, “I can write this” and you did. I think that’s really cool. Have you heard from people that have gotten the cards or gotten the book? That’s got to feel really rewarding to hear their reaction to what you’ve created.

    Rubik: Yeah. Well, when I see a sale come in, I’m like, oh my gosh. They’re not just looking at a picture of it in a social media post. They’re actually saying, “Take my money. I don’t want to just look at this virtually on my screen. I want to hold it and I might want to read it to my children” or have someone else read it to their children. I remember the first sale that came through. I was like, oh my gosh, what do I do? Okay. I’m going to package it here. My wife was looking at me like, “I think you should put some more tape on that postage label on the envelope just to make sure it gets there.”

    Now, that’s a lot easier of a process, but it was certainly exciting to see just the reaction that I get from people not only when they want to buy it, but then I’ll see people send me messages or share some of my posts and say, “Oh, it’s so great that someone’s doing something like this” or “These are really great.” It’s just a good feeling knowing that yeah, there are people that appreciate this. It’s not just me.

    John: Yeah, that’s really fantastic. Would you say that any of this gives you a skill that you bring to work at all?

    Rubik: Really it made me look at marketing a lot more and just understanding too the digital marketing. I know that’s something that we look at work-wise before I got into all this stuff, but now when I post something and I’m looking at it and saying, “Okay, let me look on LinkedIn. I got this many views and this many likes and shares” or whatever, okay. What was up with this one that this one did better than that post? So as we do things work-wise when we’re putting out some of our own work-related marketing content, I’m a little more aware of that stuff now to say okay, let’s be able to look at that to see what works, what doesn’t work when we’re trying to sell forensic accounting.

    John: Wow. Yeah, I didn’t even think of that. Plus, I guess just that creative side, you’re able to make that ad just not so stale. It’s still forensic accounting. It’s what you’re selling, so you can’t have this Apple ad or something like that, but you can also just a little bit outside the box to make it not look like everyone else’s ad type of thing because you have a different lens that you’re looking through.

    Rubik: Yeah. We just have to know who the user is. I have a much more defined user on my greeting card and children’s book business, but then with forensic accounting, we have to think about okay, if an attorney is going to see this advertisement, are they going to say, “I completely understand. I need to pay these people money” or if an attorney’s client sees it, we have to think about it a different way. But I’m a big data guy, too, so I just know now that okay, here’s all the data that’s available through those social media metrics and analytics that we can look at and evaluate on what’s working and what’s not working.

    John: Yeah. That’s cool, man. That’s great because it’s a muscle that you’re exercising outside of work. I’m sure at no point — I’m going to bet a ton of all my money actually that at no point in your business education did anyone say write a children’s book or make greeting cards because it’ll make you better at forensics accounting.

    Rubik: No, I don’t think so. Maybe someone said, “Hey, if you need to consider quitting your day job, maybe go write a book or something” but they didn’t get into the specifics.

    John: No, that’s cool. I would imagine your appreciation for printers has also gotten way up.

    Rubik: Oh, yeah. You have no idea. I had a printer just at home that my mother-in-law had gotten us five years ago, and we never print anything at home. It’s this printer with full ink and everything. A year ago actually, we had an event at the office. It was Market Day and people could come in and bring in some crafts or whatever.

    John: Oh, that’s cool.

    Rubik: If they have a side hobby, bring it in and sell it in the firm. That was the first time I printed these greeting cards and I just busted out that old printer. I said, “Well, okay, this is what I have. It might not be that good,” but it actually was decent. It was really good. It’s nowhere near my new fancy toy now.

    John: The 15,000.

    Rubik: That’s right. Yeah, the other one wasn’t even like 2000.

    John: That’s hilarious. That’s such a cool thing that the firm did. It sounds like Briggs & Veselka where if you make something then bring it in and share it. It’s almost like show-and-tell, flea market style. Sell it. That’s cool. I would imagine that that had to open up some eyes for some people, and even people that you didn’t even know did other things as well.

    Rubik: Oh, for sure, yeah. I looked around the room and at first, I went in and I decided — when they sent out the email about it, I said, “Oh, you know what? I’m either going to do it or I’m never going to do this thing, so let me design one.” I designed one. It was right around Christmas. It was beginning of December, so I made one Christmas greeting card with an accounting joke on it. I said I’m just going to print out 20 of these. I’m going to try to sell these. If no one buys them, if everyone says these are dumb then forget about it. If they sell then okay, I’m onto something.

    John: That’s a lot of pressure on your co-workers.

    Rubik: Yeah. I was selling it up. I was targeting all the tax folks because it was a tax joke on my card and I sold out. Now, it was intimidating because I look around the room and people have this whole setup they’re bringing in. They’re like, “I have a tablecloth. I have a banner” and this and that. I’ve got like a shoebox with 20 greeting cards in it and a few dollars of change in case someone pays with a five. What am I doing here? But it worked out because I just sat next to the person selling kolaches. It wasn’t good for my profits because every dollar I made, I just bought a kolache.

    John: Right.

    Rubik: I’m a little more responsible now with my business, so good lesson learned.

    John: Right. Oh my goodness, that’s so good. I could just imagine your set up and you’re like, “I don’t know what’s going on.” Everyone’s got a full pop-up store and you’re almost the homeless man that’s just selling whatever’s in your shopping cart. What the hell, man? No, but that’s great though because it’s more genuine and authentic. That’s great because it’s that target niche and then you go in and you hit it. Then you’re like, okay, this can be a thing. They didn’t even know that they were guinea pigs in a big experiment.

    Rubik: Oh, yeah, and they had no idea the book stuff was going on in the background, so that was kind of further validation for me. If I can get people to buy these cards, let’s do this book. I just got to finish it and figure out how to get it into a printed book format, which was another process. But it was definitely a good, motivational stepping stone for me to get over that first hump and then get that proof of concept, and then motivate me to keep going with it.

    John: Yeah. Was there a part of you that ever thought — because I would imagine that not a lot of people knew that you had this going or that this was an idea of yours or whatever, maybe a couple of coworkers or maybe no one. But was there a part of you that was like, “They’re going to judge me” or “This isn’t what a principal does in accounting firms” or something like that?

    Rubik: For sure, yeah. There was definitely a part of it. Everyone can always say, “Oh, I’m busy. I’m busy. I don’t have time to do this stuff,” which if you really are passionate about it — a lot of this stuff I would do 11 o’clock at night. It’s late at night on the weekends or whatever, so it’s not like it’s a day-to-day thing. But there was always that concern of, well, okay, if I’m doing this, should I be spending more time on these other things related to my job? Is someone going to judge me for that? That was always something that I was initially worried about. But then we get that email that says, “Hey, everyone, let’s have a Market Day. Bring in all your stuff.” It was a really easy way for me to be like, well, they want me to do this. Let me see who else is out there coming out with this stuff, so it was a good event, I thought, to help people come out there.

    John: And kudos on the firm because we’re so permission-based. That basically gave you the permission to be like, hey, this is what I’m doing. How important do you think it is to have something outside of work as opposed to just spend more time doing work?

    Rubik: Very. I’ve worked for people who I feel like didn’t have that thing outside of work to get them out of the office. I feel like for me initially, a lot of the stuff I do outside of work, it’s through professional organizations and volunteer efforts I can do through there. But then just having those things outside of work to pull me away from the PC and pull me onto the Mac to be able to work on other things, it’s really important. I feel like it just helps you grow, helps keep you happy, helps keep you grow in other areas that you might not get through your normal day-to-day.

    John: Yeah, it’s just that unplug. For you, like you said, away from the computer, the work computer, and onto the creative computer, if you will, the non-Excel one. So even if you wanted to do Excel, you couldn’t, but that’s so great, just to unplug a little bit. There are plenty of studies done on more work doesn’t equal better output.

    Rubik: Right.

    John: Especially something that’s so different and it’s more that creative because with me doing internal audit and merger acquisition work and then doing standup comedy, I enjoy the creative because you can’t really get creative a lot in the accounting side or you’re not supposed to.

    Rubik: You’re not supposed to. You can. There are penalties and repercussions you may face if caught.

    John: Then on the other side, if you’re not creative then that’s when the penalties happen, or figuratively. So it was just nice for both sides of my brain to be able to just exercise that, but it’s cool to hear, like you said earlier, of those examples of where it does apply to work.

    It’s not just nothing at all type of a thing. I love that example from Briggs & Veselka. How much do you think it is on an organization to lead that charge and encourage people to share those outside-of-work interests versus how much is it on the individual to be willing to bring in their crafts and things to share or even just talk about it?

    Rubik: Right. I think it goes to the organization’s culture. If they have an openness to it, it really goes down to making sure people can have a life outside of work. If the organization is just stressing billable hours and wanting everyone to be present and be in the office all the time, that puts a damper on anything you can do outside of work. So I think that’s one big picture element of it. But then also just having people, mentors and managers within your team that encourage it as well, I feel like that plays a big role as well.

    John: Yeah, because it actually just speaks to the framework or the organization as a whole. Also, people can’t have anything to share if you don’t give them time to go do the thing to talk about. There’s actually another step before that that they need to be doing as well, which is a really great point. No wonder you’re a principal. Let’s do it, man. I like that. You’re right. “Hey, everybody, share what you’re talking about.” Well, we don’t have time to do anything to share, so that would defeat the purpose.

    Rubik: Well, work more efficiently then you’ll have time to do it.

    John: Right. Okay. Yeah. Exactly, or you work more efficiently and then we just give you more work to do.

    Rubik: There you go.

    John: Because you’re so good at it, and it’s like, “No, no.” That’s such a great example. Is there anything else that you’ve seen in your working world to encourage people to share those outside-of-work interests?

    Rubik: It’s funny. When I was in the office, you walk around and you see different people’s offices. You see something in their office that you can automatically connect with and you’re like, “Oh, hey, you went to…” I went to the University of Houston, so if I see someone with the U of H anything, I’m like, “Oh, hey! Going to the game?” or “Yeah, what’s up with the basketball team?” I feel like that always helps with being able to see people just express themselves a little bit. A lot of people have the standard college stuff, but then I’ve seen some people have different things, little gadgets, little trinkets, Legos, all kinds of things that you look at it and you’re like, “Oh, yeah, this person wants me to talk to them and ask them about this thing that they’re bringing in to express themselves. I think this is okay. I think I’m allowed to do this.”

    John: Right. That’s such a great thing of just having something in your office. It’s not shouting from the rooftops. It’s not bragging. It’s not looking for attention. It’s something that brings you joy looking at it, number one, but number two, it’s an invitation to people to ask me about this, if you would like. Then that just creates a real conversation as opposed to just work-related talk and then I’m leaving. It opens that door. I imagine it has to grease the wheels a little bit for camaraderie and teamwork.

    Rubik: Well, and a little more interesting conversation aside from the normal, “So how is the weekend?” “I’m going to block out the next 20 seconds.” “Oh, cool. So here’s what we’ve got going on this week.”

    John: Right. “Well, my cat got run over by a truck.” “Okay. Anyway, we got work to do.” It’s like, what? No, I just said the worst possible thing ever. “Anyway, we got work.”

    Rubik: “If you want to buy a new cat, we’ve got to bill some hours, so let’s get on this so the client pays us.”

    John: Right. That’s for sure happened. We’re laughing about it, but it’s for sure happened. It might be your next book, I don’t know.

    Rubik: It’s a little morbid for children. I’ll have to see. Greeting cards are better, greeting cards for adults. I can be a little more naughty in some of the jokes on there versus the children’s book.

    John: It’s almost like — I just imagined almost like a Far Side like when I was younger. That was my go to, Far Side and Mad Magazine and stuff like that. That explains why I’m here where I am today. This has been awesome, Rubik. Do you have any words of encouragement for people listening that think that their hobby or passion has nothing to do with their job or no one’s going to care?

    Rubik: You never know. You automatically think no one’s going to care, but you’d be surprised. Everyone has some kind of interest outside of work and it can be very different from totally non-accounting-related. You just never know until you ask them. I’m really hoping that people get more open about sharing their outside-of-work hobbies and don’t have that fear because like you said, it really leads to more interesting conversation. You can have a lot more fun if I’m checking in with a co-worker, saying, “Hey, how’s that hobby going? Where are you at on it?” You really have a much stronger connection with them as a result of that, so it’s really mutually beneficial for being able to see — for me, I’m able to see okay, these people care about me, but then it also gives me an opportunity to express an interest and it just makes you feel good.

    John: That’s so perfect. As a leader, a leadership role, it just shows some genuine interest in the people around you. It’s huge because we forget what it’s like to be 22 to 23 coming out of school and then a principal. What are you, invincible? Do you know everything? So when you’re like, “I like to do greeting cards and make a children’s book,” it’s like, oh, he’s a real person. That’s neat. That’s really cool.

    Rubik: I don’t know what 22-year-old me would have thought of 35-year-old me if I would have said that. It’s like, oh, yeah, 35-year-old me, I do greeting cards. 22-year-old me would have probably judged, but I don’t know. I probably would have gotten over it.

    John: But it’s a good example to show you can have other things and still be successful.

    Rubik: Yeah. Maybe 22-year-old me would have been more cool with it if someone would share those experiences rather than just worrying about, “Hey, so where’s happy hour this Friday?”

    John: Yeah, exactly, or golf or more work. There are other sides to that and that’s really neat. Before I wrap this up though, it’s only fair that I turn the tables and allow you to question me, so we’ll make this The Rubik Podcast. Welcome to the first episode. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it. So whatever questions you’ve got, let them rip.

    Rubik: Okay. John, are you ready?

    John: Yeah.

    Rubik: Favorite holiday of the year?

    John: Oh, favorite holiday. I’m going to go Tax Day because it’s also my birthday, April 15th.

    Rubik: Oh my gosh, you are an accountant. Oh, man. I could make a special accounting tax day/busy season/birthday card for you.

    John: Exactly. It would have all of the things. It would be a trifold. It would have to have —

    Rubik: Oh yeah. I’d charge double for it, for sure. Funny card or sappy cards?

    John: Oh, funny card.

    Rubik: Oh, thank goodness.

    John: Yeah. If you’re going to send a card — I don’t know. I used to actually — I’m not huge on the cards because I didn’t write it, so I don’t really mean it because somebody else wrote these words. My mom especially, very big into cards, and my grandmother as well. So for holidays, I would give them the blank inside cards. So it’s got, for Christmas, a picture of a volcano and then it’s blank on the inside. Then on the back, I would just write, “Love, John.” My kids, if you wanted a card, you got a card. The message is not from me, so blank inside. There you go. But funny cards for sure.

    Rubik: Perfect. I’m going to take a guess that you’re a fan, but favorite Weird Al song.

    John: Oh, wow, so many, but I’m going to have to go — oh, man, he is a genius. I’m going to have to go — I believe it was 3rd Grade talent show elementary school. It might have been 4th Grade. It was 4th Grade, 4th Grade talent show. We did, “Like a Surgeon”. One of my buddies, there were three of us — or four because one of them was the person getting operated on. At the very end, one of my friends — his mom was a nurse, so we got these giant syringes, almost like turkey baster syringes without the needle, of course. At the very end, we squirted the whole audience with water. It was great, but yeah, “Like a Surgeon,” that one’s hilarious to me. There are the newer ones, too, but that’s the one that just came to mind right away just because of that talent show, which we won.

    Rubik: Well, I would imagine. Everyone’s terrified enough. They’re like, well, this is the most memorable one where I’m going home with a souvenir. I got —

    John: There was no talent at all on that stage. When we were doing our piece, it was just pure funny and just silly. When you’ve got a bunch of elementary school kids voting, that’s what you go with.

    Rubik: I’m impressed that as a ten-year-old or so that you guys were able to nail that. I’m sure you got all the lyrics and everything.

    John: Oh, I’m sure not, but it was close.

    Rubik: I’m sure there were some teachers that were mortified a little bit like, “Are they singing the parody or the real song?”

    John: Right. This isn’t Madonna. I had the record — I mean, the albums, Weird Al albums. I was a huge fan of Weird Al still to this day. He’s great. That’s where my music parodies are inspired by, for sure. You know Weird Al. He’s the OG on that.

    Rubik: He is, yeah. I used to want to be Weird Al, but then I could never sing.

    John: It’s the accordion that gets me, too. He’s just so good at it. It’s like, man. Yeah, singing as well. I’m a lip syncer, that’s for sure. That’s cool, man. Well, thank you so much for being a part of What’s Your “And”? Rubik, this has been really, really fun.

    Rubik: Yeah. Thanks for having me, John. I really enjoyed it.

    John: Cool! Everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of Rubik’s cards or book or see him in action, connect with him on social media, go to whatsyourand.com and everything’s there. While you’re on the page, please click that big button to do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture, and don’t forget to get the book. It’s great for the holidays.

    Thanks again for subscribing on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread that who you are is so much more than what you do.


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