What goes through people's minds?
This is my Assistant, Cocoa, he's waiting for my first draft and its late.
Finding humor in words.
I sat in the waiting room at a hopital, under not so happy circumstances (which turned out to be good news just so you all know). I was trying to get my mind off the reason I was there by thinking about my next hub. Nothing was coming to mind. I looked about me and saw the worried looks on the faces of family and friends. Then I spied a young girl in the corner laughing with her mother about the silly words in her book. I thought it might be a way to get everyone's mind off of the worry for a moment (and maybe give me a starting point for something to write), so I turned to a clean page and began my quest.
I approached each of my family member and friends (and a few we didn't know but who volunteered) to write down the first set of words that came to mind. At first there wasn't much desire to do such a crazy thing, but when I pointed out that it might help us get our mind off of the obvious even if just for a moment, many perked up. I handed my notebook to the first volunteer and my story adventures began.
Once written, I would casually read out the words for a quick laugh, then, move to the next person. Once all lists were completed, I began using the words to make shorts stories. I hope you enjoy te results.
My First attempt at humor
The first set of words to come from this effort was: time, help, breath, colorful, health, getting, and shoes. Rather an odd gathering of words. I mean considering we were in a hospital, health wasn’t too bad, but where did colorful, getting, time, and shoes come in? Rather bizarre; but, I thought it was interesting to see. Can I do anything with it? Let me see...
"Tim was just in time as he raced, out of breath, into the colorful animal health clinic. He knew he had to get into the special gear because he was cleaning the big dog cages today. He put on the coat and was getting into the shoes when his boss approached him and told him that he had been doing such a good job he was being promoted to big dog feeding and watering. Tim jumped for joy!"
Not too bad, but I hope the next one has better words to work with--LOL.
He'll make us ride the trikes...
I tried again, hoping that my mind would work better than last time.
I asked someone else to give me their thoughts as I handed the notebook to them: death, life, rats, take, bikes, wheels, legs, trikes, and legs. While sitting in a hospital waiting room, death and life seemed pretty normal. But I looked over the others and wondered just where that persons mind was wandering (am I the only one that noticed that they wrote legs twice). Oh, back to the business at hand. Were they getting ready to go on a bike run and were trying to work out their plan? I couldn’t figure it out, especially since the person didn’t ride a bike. At least I don't think they did. Okay, let me try.
Jeff's big brother sat on the dirt near his totaled bike He wanted to cry, but big boys don't cry. To make himself feel better, he threw a big rock at his brother's bike as he rode by on the path. Jeff crashed, of cource, and now there were two bikes totaled. "Rats," Jeff shouted, "what'd ya do that for, dad'll take all our wheels away and make us ride Cathy's stupid trikes around. Our legs will cramp up so bad we won't want to ride anything again. Rats!" he shouted again as he tossed his helmet on the ground and headed to the house to tell his mother the bad news.
Wow, not even close, right? Yeah, well you try to come up with something with those words real fast. Sorry, I'll try again.
Ok, how bad could the next set be?
This was starting to get interesting, but in a weird way. But discovery is never what you thought it would be, right? The next set of words (remember, this is in a waiting room and they are asked to just write down whatever comes into their heads): pterodactyl, peace, happiness, serenity, reunited, everlasting, contentment, friendship. Whew, what a list. First of all, where did pterodactyl come from? We weren’t anywhere near anything that remotely reminded one of the dinosaurs. Then I looked over the rest of the words and they, well, they did seem kinda to go with the hospital setting. I still wondered about pterodactyl, but decided not to ask.
A pterodactyl named Brenda was searching for a mate. He had to bring peace, happiness, serentity, and contentment to her. He had to offer her friendship and everlasting love. He also had to offer a chance to be reunited with her family when she wished. She saw a male just ahead. She stopped to talk with him. He was just right. Together, they moved away in search of the perfect place to lay their eggs and hatch them.
A love story, how sweet. Even I liked that one. Are you ready for another one? Okay, you asked for it..........and even if you didn't we are moving on.
Well at least we got the hopping part.
As I handed the pad to the next person, I really wondered what they would write.
I handed the pad over and waited with great anticipation. When the pad came back, I read: trucks, money, movies, junk food, hoping, hopping, hosting. I wondered if this person was thinking about making money hauling people to a bunny sock hop while their spouse and kids hosted it (LOL). Somehow the rendition of the list seems to fit so perfectly, I decided to leave it as is and just moved to the next person. So far the words had been very diversified and I couldn’t wait for the next set.
I handed the pad to the next candidate and this is what they wrote: Stupid, frustrating, epitome, unconscious, stop, looking, antidisestablishmentarianism, and finally endoscopicrectrogradecholangiopancreatography; how is that for a group of words? Whatever this one was thinking about it was long, real long, heck it was humongous! PS, I asked about the word and they told me it was a test that is done with a camera that they run through the body (I won’t say where) to check out the function of the pancreas and surrounding areas. I don't know about you, but I certainly don't want one.
Well, what can we do with this unique list of words? Hmm, maybe a sentence (a rather long sentence) rather than a story. Let's see: Gerry had just finished taking a whole series of those stupid tests, and now they wanted her to let them put her unconscious so they can do an endoscopicrectrogradecholangiopancreatography test---this is so frustrating, she said as she walked out of the office-no it is the epitome of stupid-they need to stop looking inside of me and let me go home-what the heck does that word even mean--it's like that word antidisestablishmentarianism. Grrrrrrrrr!
Wow, try saying that fast. Whew!
Just for informational purposes....
Have you ever gotten frustrated over how many tests the doctors insist you take?
Quick, what are you thinking right now?
I was a bit nervous about what I would get next.
But, I decided to be brave and I handed the pad over to the next person. This is what I got: glasses, wine, white, red, giving, reading, thoughts, beliefs, and horrors. Ummm, I tried to piece this together in one group and all I came up with was a monster with reading glasses on, reading a book with a glass of red wine in one hand and a glass of white wine in the other. Rather funny actually. Or maybe it could be a victim with a glass of red wine who innocently enters the home of a monster who is holding a glass of white wine and reading a book of horrors. You can almost see the victims thoughts as the monster looks up from his reading and tells him that he believes that white wine is always superior to red
What do you think? I don't know. I actually think I like the first one better, or maybe the second one, I can't seem to make up my mind.
As you can imagine, I was beginning to get quite a chuckle out of this exercise.
So, with a brave smile and a wave of anticipation running through my stomach, I handed ithe pad to the next person and they wrote: caring, getting, being, religion, favorite, rose, green, royal blue, waiting. I wasn’t sure what to make of that one.
Uh, maybe a care bear (you remember them right) getting a rose in their favorite color of green and royal blue while they waited to go to church. Or maybe a royal blue and green gown with a rose attached to the front is being taken to someone and they caring for it yet getting there as quickly as possible so as not to keep them waiting.
Hmmmmm, I chuckled, chose not to ask and moved on.
I don't have a picture of a sunflower, will this do?
I moved on to the next person in the room but...
Then next person was extremely reluctant to take the pad, telling me they didn’t know what to write. The others, now that their ordeal was over, pushed for them to do it and they took the pad. Here is what they wrote: sunflower, sunset, rose, water, quiet, light house. They also wrote a few kid’s names, but I won’t use them as those were obvious as to where they came from. But, the others, hmmm, a sunflower is yellow like the bright beginnings of a sunset before it turns rose color and wavy like water which is near an unquiet light house????? I wasn’t going to ask, nope, not for a million dollars. In fact, I don't think I am even going to make a story with this one. I thought "just leave it as is" and that is exactly what I did.
The last guinea pig also didn't want to write, but their fellow writers insisted.
Here is their list: car, boat, truck, motorcycle, engine, wood, metal, saw, nail, hammer. What a mix! I wondered if they planned to use a car to tow a boat to the truck where the motorcycle had lost its engine after hitting wood with a metal saw and nails that you hammer…….What? It could work. To be honest, I don't think I could do any better than that anyway. I guess my first thoughts are generally better than the ones I try to think through.
I think it worked because they were actually laughing at the lists.
Well that's the end because we got our good news and emptied the waiting room.
I found it quite a task and yet fun all at the same time. And those who participated seemed to perk up as well. Nothing like easing the strain in a unique way while waiting for news that might be bad. I’m not sure where everyone’s head was at the time we did this. Perhaps it was everyone’s way of keeping from thinking of the worst case scenario; or perhaps they were just daydreaming to pass the time. I really don’t know. Maybe you could try this at some point and see what you come up with. The possibilities are endless and so is the humor.
© 2012 Cheryl Simonds