Petersen: Salome and Sadie
December 29, 2017
Games! Games! Games! Table games such as Chinese checkers, chess, checkers, cards, scrabble and the always popular Monopoly have been around since forever. Since the Age of Technology has descended upon us, games proliferate on computers, smart phones and a glut of other devices too numerous to mention.
Sadie Simmons is particularly fond of table games where multiple players can participate and even actually interact with a fellow human from time to time. She resents people sitting alone staring at their devices, their thumbs and fingers tapping, tapping like Poe's raven. So, Sadie said she'd — by Jove — create a new Table Game for 2018.
She has titled her new creation Gumbo: the Alphabet Game. Directions included. Every player receives a pad of paper and a ballpoint pen. From the Gumbo, the Alphabet Game Alphabet Jar, a player selects a letter (baked on ceramic tiles). Whatever it is, each player must think up as many words beginning with the assigned letter as possible in a story made up within the space of five minutes.
The words can be nouns, pronouns, proper names, verbs, adverbs, adjectives but they must be legitimate words. For purposes of the story, it's acceptable to use connecting words not beginning with the chosen letter, such as: the, and, to, etc. It is legal to use the same word multiple times, but it may be counted only once. Words that start with an "s" sound are acceptable such as: celery, certainly and center. (Hint: humor in the story can mean extra points).
At the end of five minutes, the player with the most words and funniest story wins a prize. Sadie and her sister, Salome Sandersonm — using the letter "S" — developed the following instructive sample story.
Salome and Sadie sat side by side on a stump watching a snail slide slowly by. Said Salome to Sadie, "You see what I see?"
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"A snail," said Salome. "It seems sorta slow but it's starting to speed somewhat."
"Son-of-a-gun," said Sadie. "It's sneaking along leaving slime behind. Sorta sad, I'd say."
"Shall I step on the snail to squash it?" queried Salome.
"Sure," said Sadie, "but don't shillyshally. Step squarely and smartly. Shouldn't want the snail to suffer sorely."
"Certainly," said Salome and brought the sole of her shoe squishing severely down on the slippery slimy snail.
"That squashed snail is unsightly," said Sadie and slid off her side of the stump and stood sideways so she shouldn't see a squishy snail being soulfully, sadly smushed.
"Say," said Salome, "I see seven more snails starting to slither in this direction. They sorta sparkle where the sunlight shines on their sides."
"How swell," said Sadie, sighing. "However, I don't care if they're scintillating. They've got to be squished."
"Shucks," said Salome, "we shouldn't squash seven scintillating snails, should we?"
"Certainly not," said Sadie. We should give the seven snails seven sumptuous names."
"Such as what?" said Salome. "Any suggestions?"
"Surely do," said Sadie. "Slippery, Slimy, Squishy, Scummy, Slithery, Sloppy and Sticky."
"Sounds superbly superior," said Salome.
"Shame on us," said Sadie, sighing. "Snuffing snails is a scandalous situation. Stomping on snails is savagery."
"We should be sorry," said Salome. "Let's scoop the sweet snails into a sack and call them escargot. With salt and sauce, they'll be a splendid, superb, superior, spectacular, savory, sumptuous, scrumptious sweet treat we can serve to friends, family and passing acquaintances."
"Swell," said Sadie, sighing. "Our story is stunning."
At the end of five minutes, each player must highlight and count the number of "S's" on his or her paper. In the sample, the count is 82 "S's" minus one point for questionable humor.
Sadie's GUMBO ALPHABET TABLE GAME goes on sale at Sad Samuel's Shopping Center Store on Saturday, Jan. 2 for the affordable price $14.99. Includes pad, pen, highlighter and a pocket dictionary.❖
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