Rules Were Made… To Be OBEYED

Michael Hume - Word Play logo

Sept, 2021 * Volume I, Number 9

Dear Unruly Reader,

This current edition of your favorite news-free newsletter, Word PLAY!, is considered to be the current edition. Finally! It’s here!

This one goes out to all you “good kids” out there – the people who’d never dream of doing anything “outside the boundaries.” Because the topic, of course, is doing things outside the boundaries.


Joking aside, THANK YOU for reading… for not opting out just yet… and for making Firewords Creative Copy your go-to source for the words that win and the funny that makes money. I am humbled by your support, and seriously grateful for your business.

- Michael

Michael D. Hume, M.S.
Senior Author and Compliance Officer
Firewords Creative Copy

Meanwhile, in this edition of Word PLAY...

Rules Were Made... To Be OBEYED!

Word PLAY… Playful Monthly Commentary
On Persuasive Copy For YOUR Business

In the romantic comedy Notting Hill, Hugh Grant’s character is trying to impress Julia Roberts’ character (and who wouldn’t?) by showing that he’s anything but what he really is. That he’s a devil-may-care, caution-to-the-wind, rule-breaking thrill seeker who’s willing to climb a locked gate to enjoy a park.


HUGH: “Only the people who live around it are allowed inside.”

JULIA: “And do people abide by such rules?”

HUGH: “Others do. Not me. I do what I want.”

… Or something like that.

Now, I don’t watch many romantic comedies, of course. Let’s just say a devil-may-care, caution-to-the-wind, thrill-seeking former paratrooper like me is not exactly the target market for such films. And I certainly haven’t seen Notting Hill about 42 times, such that I have all the lines memorized.

(HUGH: “And these carrots?”)

(“FRUITARIAN” WOMAN HE HAS DINNER WITH: “… These carrots have been murdered. Yes.”)

But others do. And the lesson they might take from Notting Hill is that, sometimes, spilling your orange juice can be the best thing that’s happened to you in a long time. Also, that there’s some value in breaking the rules occasionally.

What does this have to do with publishing a lightly humorous, yet persuasive, electronic newsletter? you might ask. I actually have no idea what you might ask, but I’ll tell you anyway.

See, your young competitor – the freshly-minted attorney or CPA or consultant or financial advisor who’s scared of his own shadow – is a rule follower.

You can’t blame the guy – it’s true that you have to master the rules before you can successfully break them – but it’s a fact that your competitor’s only way to show how seriously he takes his business is to come across as though he takes himself way too seriously.

Therefore, he would never publish such a fun-to-read epic newsletter.

YOU, on the other hand, have earned the right to break a few rules. You take your business seriously, sure, but you’re far more relaxed about things than your stuffed-shirt competitor has had time to become. You’re likeable. You’re accessible. You’re fun!

Shouldn’t that be what you’re telling the world when you publish your marketing materials? Shouldn’t that be the tone of your new electronic newsletter? And shouldn’t people refrain from attempting to shoplift travel books by sticking them down their trousers?

I’ll leave it at that, with an overwhelming feeling that I should apologize to anyone who hasn’t yet seen Notting Hill. Also, to anyone who has seen it, especially if they’ve seen it 42 times.

Key Take-Aways From This Edition

  • Your young competitor is scared of his shadow. Maybe he’s a vampire, in addition to being a competitor.
  • Former paratroopers sometimes do watch romantic comedies, no matter what you’ve heard.
  • People who are new to their business tend to come across as a bit unapproachable, since they want everyone to know how serious they are about their profession.
  • Likeable, approachable, fun business people like YOU might just climb a locked gate to enjoy a park. And who knows what other rules they’re willing to break?

Just wait! More super-smart take-aways are coming your way in next month’s edition of Word PLAY!


Discussion Questions

  1. 1
    When’s the last time you murdered some carrots? Mmm, that’s good eatin’
  2. 2
    Is that a travel book down the front of your trousers?
  3. 3
    Are you ready to show the world – or, at least, your ideal prospects and clients who live in that world – what a likeable, approachable, FUN person you are?

Send your answers to The most creative, inspirational response will be eligible to win a PRIZE! *

(* Prize is at the sole discretion of Michael Hume, his heirs and assigns, Julia Roberts if available, and select members of the Rules Committee. Top prize may or may not be a free trip to London to see the filming of Hugh Grant’s next movie. To be honest, it’s probably not that, but you never know, so dig in and create your best entry EVER. See Notting Hill 42 times for details. Deadline for entry is just after the park closes. Boring, lackluster, or unimaginative entries will be sprinkled with spilled orange juice and tossed over the nearest locked gate. Good luck!)

Last Month’s Grand Prize Winner: Joel E. of Englewood, Colorado edged out several serious contenders with his rambling, incoherent response: “I LOVE this.” If you can shut up long enough, Joel E., call to claim your prize! And thanks for reading Word PLAY!

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I write HUME-orous marketing copy for happy clients who take their professions very seriously… but whose customers like and trust them because they (the clients) don’t take themselves too seriously. Want more info? Get in touch…

Call me: (303) 478-8702
Email me:
Investigate me:
Murder some carrots: 195 South Rancho Vista Drive, Pueblo West, CO 81007

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Copyright 2021 by Michael D. Hume, M.S. All rights reserved.
Word Play – probable future winner of several awards for outstanding whatever

FireWords Creative Copy, 195 South Rancho Vista Drive , Pueblo West, CO 81007, United States

Michael D. Hume, M.S.

Michael Hume is a freelance writer, singer, and songwriter, and author of The 95th Christmas. He's an honor graduate of the Defense Information School, and holds an M.S. from the University of Colorado School of Business. Michael is the author of hundreds of online articles, including the popular series Great Leadership Requires Inspiration, The Conscience of a Restorationist, Appreciate Your Adversaries, and Take Care of Your Business.

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