7 Quick Takes about charade fails, $100 centipedes, and six-word novels
The exciting conference news this week has taken up a lot of space here on the blog, so I want to assure you that I’m not going to be writing exclusively about event planning for the next nine months — I’ll be talking about my book too!
Wait, wait. Before everyone simultaneously commits seppuku, I’m just kidding. I’ll be updating about both of them, but mostly offering the usual in-depth analysis of matters of international importance that you’ve come to expect from this website. Case in point:
The other day I was doing some Googling about our favorite one-hundred-legged friends, and I came across a site that sells them…for one hundred dollars. EACH. Clearly our family has not been thinking in an entrepreneurially-minded way. Anyway, what was even more remarkable than the economics of people paying to own the things that we pay to get rid of was this testimonial:
I just want to make sure I understand this sequence of events correctly:
- You send someone $100.
- They send you a box.
- You open the box to see that it contains a large centipede that is known for its speed, aggression, and the pain of its bite.
- You are happy with this outcome.
Maybe I need to stop messing around with all this conference and book stuff and start an Etsy shop called What I Found on My Kitchen Floor Today.
I have long known that board games make me feel like my brain is melting, and this has always made me feel like a bad mother. Because feeling guilty is one of my primary talents, I tended to assume that the reason I didn’t like these activities is because I prefer mindless entertainment like surfing Twitter to enjoying wholesome fun with my family. So it was a minor revelation when I realized recently that I love family game night — I just don’t like board and card games!
It all came together when the kids tried to rope me into a game of Go Fish. One child would stare at her hand for what seemed like seven hours, then ask someone else to give her all their aces or jacks or whatever. Then there would be an exchange of cards. And more endless staring followed by short requests and card swapping. By the end of it I wanted to throw my cards onto the table so that I could claw at my eyes while I screamed “WILL IT NEVER END?!?!?!”
But then someone suggested charades, and I realized that that actually sounded like a lot of fun! Granted, my children are young and didn’t quite catch the rules, so in practice it looked more like a kid running across the room while she shouted that she’s an angel ninja, but it was quite an enjoyable time.
Sometimes I need to be reminded that I’m not a bad mom just because I’m not drawn to typical family fun activities.
Every time the topic of charades comes up, it reminds me of the time that Joe and I visited the Czech Republic. I’ve mentioned this before, but for those of you who missed it last time:
Joe and I once took a visit to a small town a couple of hours outside of Prague. I had immersed myself in the Czech language before the trip and packed lots of translation books so that I might be able to chat with the locals. I was super excited about this — it was one of the main reasons we’d chosen a small town instead of a metropolitan area — and so I was horrified when we arrived to find out that almost nobody spoke Czech. Everyone spoke German. This was pre-smartphone and internet was spotty, so we had no German-to-English translation resources.
The owners of the tiny inn where we stayed did not speak a word of English, and so we could communicate with them only through pantomime. It was this situation, combined with Joe’s idea that we take a bicycle tour of the town, that left us to face the most difficult charades challenge in the history of time: How to convey through actions, “We borrowed the bikes and aired up the tires.”
Seriously. Stop and take a moment to think about how you’d express that in charades. If you can figure out how to do it without coming across like you’re saying “I am a galloping horse who occasionally stops to dig ditches while I pant,” you are a far more talented person than I.
I recently came across a few six-word novel contests, where people attempt to tell a powerful story in only six words (a concept often attributed to Ernest Hemingway). Here are some attempts from famous sci-fi writers. They’re pretty good. But when I saw them, I thought of a comment I received this summer, and realized that all of these efforts paled in comparison to the masterpiece from my combox. Stephanie of the lovely blog A Wide Mercy said in response to my post about Netflix removing Shaun the Sheep:
We discovered Dora was gone at 4:46 a.m. one morning. The very fact that I was searching for Dora at 4:46 a.m. says it all.
I would like to thank all the literary geniuses of the world for their efforts in this department, but I think it’s safe to say that this contest is over and Stephanie has won. Edited for word count, here is her six-word novel:
4:46AM: We discovered Dora was gone.
I laughed. I cried. Five stars for this gripping six-word masterpiece.
Joe and I had an interesting discussion over dinner tonight in which we asked ourselves: If we had to choose only three cities to visit for the rest of our lives (i.e. we’d never go anywhere else other than these three places), which ones would they be? We came up with:
- San Francisco
- New York City
Though there are a lot of other spots we want to explore, we realized that we could be pretty happy if we knew that we’d never go anywhere else other than those three places. Which cities would you choose?
AAAAAAHHH!!!! As I was writing this, I got the green light from Ignatius to post the cover to my book — and, obviously, announce the title as well! Assuming that I can calm myself down enough to operate my keyboard, I’ll post it first thing Monday morning. (I would post it right this minute but it’ll take me a while to get the graphics in order.)
I know I’m talking about the book again but GAAAAH I’M SO EXCITED I CAN’T HELP IT!!!!!