Imagine yourself in a multiplex movie theater. Curiously, no walls separate the half-dozen theaters that form the multiplex. Miraculously, you are watching six different screens all at once, thoroughly understanding and enjoying every scene, word, character.
Welcome to ADHD.
[You in the Real World, be sure to click on the red underlined hyperlinks! And know these accounts are true … without exaggeration!]
I first learn the emotional power of words as a 1971 New Providence High School freshman.
Extensive vocabulary with big words? eagerly asks Screen Three, himself a lover of words.
“Respectable vocab,” I reply. “But big words? The power isn’t in the size of the words as much as the way they are used.”
So what happened back in high school?
Mr. Robert Longo is teaching contemporary social science to our class, which in turn discusses the merits and likelihood of America ever electing a female president.
In surprise I look at my hand, which has shot skyward. “Sir, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have a woman lead us.”
Gasps arise from the four females whose desks surround my lonely island of masculinity.
“And why,” queries ever-mellow Mr. Longo, barely restoring order to the furor my comment created, “would you ever believe that?”
Through my lips, Screen Six blurts, “We’d have a war every 28 days.”
Bruises to ego and body alike, sympathizes Screen One. Hard lesson.
I decide this new power I am acquiring is best used to entertain people … to make them laugh. It certainly doesn’t work well in other applications.
Right you are, laughs One. Your beautiful brown-eyed bride is less than impressed when you correct her story about a patient who has failing eyesight due to “guacamole.”
My equally-ADHD daughter, Leah, steps in to rescue her dad. She first sets up a clever contest in which we use obscure or bizarre words in a creative manner, then she suggests “nudibranches” for the initial competition.
Allow me! begs Screen Four. With the advent of warm weather, most of the trees have produced buds which now are bursting into bright green leaves. I am grateful winter is almost over and we no longer have to look at nudibranches.
Our “contest” quickly grows into amusing text battles. We jump on misspellings, ambiguities, miscommunications, typing errors, improper attributions and every other English sin under the sun. A string of exchanges is presented for your edification …
Leah: Good morning, Dad! I forgot to call. Next time, please, can u just give me a shout?
Blackie: LOVE YOU, BLONDIE!! (Oops. Fired for yelling.)
Leah: I am looking for a grown-up job.
Blackie: What do grown-up jobs look like? I’m playing with trucks.
Leah: I want to send my resume out to a few places after I make necessary adjustments.
Blackie: So now you’re a chiropractor?
Blackie: Did you see my updated version of your resume, Leah? If not, I will sens it again.
Leah: Thans you.
Blackie: You, o bright and beautiful Blondie, make me laugh.
Leah: Yeah, Dad, but my face can only amuse you for so long ….
Leah: Did you accomplish what you needed to during that “228-hour” work week?
Blackie: Not out of the swamp yet, but the ‘gators are smaller and fewer in number … REALLY enjoying the people.
Leah: ‘Gators really enjoying the people? Need me to come up there and catch a few for you?
Blackie: College Cutie … have time to talk tonight to plan our Dad/Daughter visit? Neighborhood kid coming to mow lawn for cash (but I must supervise – ha, ha!), so maybe 8pm or so?
Leah: Sounds good.
Blackie: What, the mower?
Leah: No, the joke about you supervising.
Leah: How far away is Columbus from your twin’s home, Dad?
Blackie: Think it is two hours from Dianne’s, one way.
Blackie: Don’t you hmmmmm me.
Blackie: Having just become severely infected with poison ivy – my right arm is a mess! – I can say in complete honesty I truly am itching to see my daughter.
Leah: OH NO!
Blackie: WOE YES!
Leah: How many hours now ’til I get a DAD hug?
Blackie: Umm, about 102 – woo hoo! But you should know I have studied the rare Ohio python and now am able to duplicate its hug.
Leah: I didn’t know pythons “hugged” people.
Blackie: Dad pythons do.
Postscript: Fortunately, ever-vigilant Leah doesn’t catch me using an outdated term for “flip-flops.”
Only because the e-mail doesn’t go to her, Screen Four laughs. However, your boss sure picks up on it.
Blackie: Wow, potluck – food, food, food. Can’t wait to wear my muscle shirt and thongs!
Brandi: Please don’t e-mail me your personal details.
* * * * *
“It’s only words”
Fabulous (very funny) lip-synch