If you read my column last week, you may recall I talked about a woman who went into a Lufkin, Texas Walmart, opened up a container of Blue Bell ice cream, licked it, and then put it back in the freezer all while being recorded by someone.
According to an article I found at the Crime Time section of www.oxygen.com, Lufkin police have identified the person in question. Turns out she was a teenager, which might explain the behavior to a point. The police didn’t release her name, given she was a juvenile, and said it was up to the Texas Juvenile Justice system to deal with her. Had she been an adult, she could have faced some jail time, but since the police declined to charge her as an adult, I have no idea what’s going to happen to her.
However, there is fallout from her behavior. A Louisiana man allegedly decided to imitate her video, making one of himself not only licking a container of Blue Bell ice cream but sticking his finger in it before apparently returning it to a Belle Rose store’s freezer.
I say “apparently,” because according to the article I read at www.washingtonpost.com, what really happened is in some dispute. The man in the video, a local DJ named Lenise Martin III, claims the ice cream in the video was his — bought and paid for, and he even provided the Post with a receipt to back him up. The video, which Martin uploaded to social media, is edited according to him to make it look like he put the carton of ice cream back in the freezer, but he really didn’t.
The police have disputed this, claiming that Martin only paid for the ice cream after abusing it. They arrested him and charged him with criminal mischief and unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity.
If Martin was after publicity, he got it — but it appears it has not had a positive outcome. He has lost business because of what was reported. Martin told the Post he thinks it’s the police who are milking the incident for attention, not him.
And the article I read further reports that a self-described model and actress filmed herself licking Blue Bell ice cream at a store, though in a July 4th post she claims that she bought and took home the container in question, and that the whole thing was staged.
Reading the article, I find myself asking: With all the behaviors we see in the world that one could imitate, this is what these two people picked?
I get wanting attention. Humans want to be noticed. But, as Mr. Martin has discovered, not all attention is desirable. Rightly or wrongly, he is now known for doing something rather disgusting and at the very least, inconsiderate. And there is fallout.
I realize that there are a lot of people out there with less than stellar behavior who are getting tons of attention. But ask yourself, how do you want to be known?
I wish that Martin and the other woman had chosen to imitate someone who was demonstrating kindness to a fellow human being, or compassion, instead of copying the behavior of a teenager whose judgement can certainly be called into question.
Maybe if we paid more attention to the good behavior instead of making the bad behavior famous, people would be more likely to imitate the former. Alas, I don’t see that shift in thinking happening in our media any time soon.
So, before you copy someone else’s behavior, ask if it’s something you really want to be known for. Reputations are tricky things to maintain. Make sure yours reflects who you want to be.