Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The gift of hyperbole

I've mentioned before that the Old Woman had a variety of games we liked to play, especially when in the car or standing in line.  There was "What would you do if you won publisher's clearinghouse/the lotto?" and "Left door/Right door."  (I still like to create very specific, pie-in-the-sky, plans for what I'd do with 100 million in lotto winnings.)  Left door/right door needs a partner and I've not yet met the person who can play it guilt free.  (You select people in the surrounding environment and decide if they go "left or right door."  If left door, they simply cease to exist.  Nothing really bad happens to them, they just never existed.  If they right door, they continue on their lives as if we never interfered.  However, if you left doored someone, you had to have a specific, defendable reason and your game partner had to agree with you.  People who cursed/hit their children were default left doors.  Displays of crass or vicious behavior was also good for a left door.  Bad fashion choices were open for debate.

Well, the other gift the Old Woman gave me was a game of listing all the truly excellent outcomes for a particular action or event.  Generally, she used this line to convince me to do something I didn't want to do.  For example:  Eat your lentils, they'll put hair on your chest, the Old Woman might say.  I would object on grounds that I had quite enough hair on my chest.  And she'd say . . . oh, well in your case it will make your hair curl.  And then, she'd go on to list the other possible outcomes . . . my skin would clear up, I would magically become the best speller ever. . . possibly even receiving a special "Super Speller" award from the president, I'd get asked to the dance and find the best ever outfit, Harvard would call and insist I become a student and they would pay for everything, we would actually achieve world peace . . . etc.  All because I ate the lentils.

I found myself thinking in these terms this morning when I considered day two of the dietary adventure.  My skin will clear up, I'll win 100 million in the lotto, I'll be asked to be the grand poo-pah for a mardi gras parade, I'll be two inches taller and all my pants will suddenly fit.

I miss the Old Woman. 

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