Thursday, June 20, 2013

Gossip Game

When I was young, we played a game called 'Gossip' or 'Telephone'. The larger the group, or course, the more interesting the game. The object of the game was simple. Everyone sat in a big circle. The first child whispered a simple sentence in their neighbor's ear. The neighbor repeated it in his neighbor's ear and so on until the 'secret' made the round of the circle and ended with the last child who would announce it out loud.

Naturally, the end result bore no resemblance to the beginning. It was usually quite garbled. At that time, most families had 'party line' telephones. Gossipy individuals frequently listened in to other folks phone calls. And everyone knew privacy was not only impossible, but quite unlikely. Hence, the name 'telephone' for the game.

I haven't played the game since I was a kid. There's no need as I have the hunk. He can garble a spoken message with the best of them. So far I haven't been able to convince him he needs hearing aids so we muddle along with our own version of 'gossip'. I say something. He replies something totally different. I repeat my original statement. And so on.

Or I just...take care of it myself. Usually, that's faster.

As I age, I admit my hearing is fading a bit if people speak softly, but I usually can figure out what people say from the context. The hunk has no idea of context. In fact, I used this idea in a scene from my book Chrysanthemum.

“Yes? What do you want?” the little old man querulously inquired. “We’re not buying anything today. Or any other day, for that matter.”

“We’re seeking Father Liksalot,” Gareth replied loudly. “We’re not selling anything.”

“We don’t have anything to sell,” the old man informed them. “We’re not a market, you know!”

“We know! We’re here to see Father Liksalot!”

“Eh? Barker kicks the box?”

“No!” Gareth bellowed. “Father Liks-a-lot!”

That's exactly how our conversations go. Total nonsense. Of course, there's some entertainment value in seeing just how outlandish his interpretations are. Maybe that's why the game was so much fun back when I was a kid...



  1. Hey, that's how some of the conversations go in my house. lol
    I'm always walking around mumbling wondering why I bother talking to my hubby. He can't hear a thing.

  2. I talk to myself a lot and I understand every word I say.