This is a true story. Identifying information has been changed to protect the people who don't give a $#@ .
I was at the AAU Nationals and Joe Blow from Salt River Flats, Utah (not his real name or city), told me this story.
"I have been teaching in Salt River Flats for 30 years. I always take out an ad in the local media. Last year, some guy from random Asian country number six moved in and took out an ad in the same place listing himself as a seventh-degree black belt. I went to visit his club and the guy is in his thirties. He's no more a seventh-degree black belt than my cat. So, just for fun, I decide to put in my ad, 'Joe Blow, seventh-degree black belt.'
One day, I get a call from the company and they say,
"Joe, this man, Fred Nosiness, called us and said, 'I know Joe Blow and he's no seventh-degree black belt.' What would you say to him?"
I said, "Well, I'd tell him to go %^*< himself."
The man from the company asked, "What do you recommend I tell him?"
I said, "I recommend you tell him to go #$%& himself."
But, he said, "No, our company has to have accurate information. Do you have a certificate that says you are a seventh-degree black belt?"
I told him, "Sure, I do."
So, I went to my typewriter (Joe is not a big computer guy) and I typed up a certificate that said,
"I, Joe Blow, am a seventh-degree black belt."
Then, I typed my name, Joe Blow, and signed it, Joe Blow. "
"What did they say?"
"They said, 'Fine. Thank you very much.' And, the next year, the guy from random Asian country number 6 listed himself in his ad as an eighth-degree black belt. So, I personally have been responsible for rank inflation in Salt River Flats, Utah."
"Um, that's great, Joe. Congratulations."
"Thank you. I am very proud of that."
Then, he asked,
"Do you recognize me?"
"Sure, I do, you're Joe from Salt River Flats, Utah."
"Do you mind if I put in my ad next year, 'Recognized by the USJA President?"
I told him,
"Sure, Joe, knock yourself out."
I wonder what I am going to be responsible for.