The Johnson Family Coat of Arms, or Why You Can Never Have Too Many Marmosets


My family is not what you would call conventional. We don’t just dance to the beat of our own drummer, the drummer is actually a mime playing a kazoo. Johnsons do what they want, when they want, how they want. Well, at least until we come to grave bodily harm or incarceration. But loss of limb or liberty is a small price to pay for showing the world the joys of lion wrangling or the evils of carousel operators. And there’s nothing more satisfying than saying what you really think at a bar and reveling in that sweet moment before a beer bottle comes hurtling towards your head.

So, my family created their own coat of arms that doesn’t follow all the silly rules and traditions foisted on other people, people who aren’t us. This allowed us the make a coat of arms that really screams Johnson, sometimes literally with a well placed sound device.

The Johnson family coat of arms is a tongue licking a moss covered rock and a duck with the body of a bowl of salad. Those symbolize our adventurous nature and… no one knows quite what the deal with the duck is. The designer may have been drunk, which is another joy us Johnsons are known to delight in.

There’s a pair of crossed eyes at the top to show that we’re always watching, watching so hard that our eyes will go wonky. The bottom shows our family motto, “More Marmosets Please.” That came from a time when a Johnson family ancestor was given a marmoset for a gift and kept demanding more. It’s a lesson that any time you receive generosity, you should push and push and drain that resource dry. You don’t have to say please, but please sounded better in the motto.

We have another motto, which didn’t make the coat of arms. That one is, “Whatever our opinion is, think the opposite.” It was mandated by ancient court order and no self respecting Johnson uses it in current times. My opinions are gold and you should all follow them to the letter. Especially the one about wrangling lions. I haven’t tried it yet, but it sure sounds like fun.

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