Monday, March 23, 2009

The Story Race


Here's something nifty. It's an old list which Marianne found when we were moving everything out of the living room and dining room to make way for the plasterers. Who were needed because the ceiling fell down. Which . . . look, it's complicated. So let's just cut to the race.

Many long years ago, in the good old days when mastodons roamed the earth and food was plentiful and summers lasted forever and my son Sean was a little boy, I resolved to make up a story for him every night -- or as close to it as I could manage. Because you're never always up to making up a good story.

To keep me focused on the task, I created the institution of the Story Race. Every night when I made up a story, I wrote down the title. Every night I had to resort to a storybook, I wrote down the date. If I reached twenty days of stories first, Sean got one free Nintendo game rental, which was a very big deal back then. Twenty days of failure would net him one dollar. (The imbalance of value was so that he wouldn't be rooting against me.)

Above is one of the Story Race lists. As you can see, I always won. And here are the titles of the stories I told:

1. Comet Jack, the Giant Rider
2. Prisoner of Waldo
4. Arrested: A True Story
5. Smurgatroyd Goes to the Beach
6. JimJim the Pirate
7. Geese Are Never Silly
8. The Runaway Teevee
9. Alligator Express
10. Good Ladybugs Make Good Neighbors
11. Jack, Who Wasn't a Thief
12. How Smart, How Wise, How Like a Goose!
13. 3 Little Triceratops
14. Angry Buses
15. The Hungriest Boy in the World
16. Voyage to the Top of the Refrigerator
17. Hey Diddle Diddle
18. The Strongest Mouse in the World
19. The Magnetic Man
20. Piggy to the Rescue!

And only six nights when I was so tired I couldn't come up with something! Not bad at all. I believe that I made up hundreds of stories before the kid outgrew the need for them.

There are a couple of those stories that Marianne's been after me for over fifteen years to write down. Maybe I'll do that after the current novel's done. We'll see.


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