Total Balderdash


Playing games with the kids can be an interesting experience. Recently we became engrossed in one requiring the invention of what certain initials might mean, defining words, suggesting bizarre laws in various parts of the world. Then we’d vote, aiming to show our dazzling wit in having ascertained the real answer.

Adding a dyslexic son into the mix adds a certain piquancy. Being asked what the initials ICE could be, we had the alternatives of International Chemical Executive, Ice Cold Eyes, Inspired Children’s Economy and Indigenous Kangaroo Environments. The latter clearly had to be Charlie’s invention, so I voted for it; a literary throwing myself on my sword (or was it a dagger in the conservatory?). This loyally was well above that required by maternal duty as, being a family, a degree of competitive spirit is displayed. The answer wasn’t Charlie’s. Someone else had decided to jeopardise my chances of sweeping convincingly to victory by enacting a verbal masquerade. Would have been funny, except that I lost a whole point.

The kids all love initials after having found out that HAFE stands for High Altitude Flatus Evacuation, a problem (or amusing pastime) for mountaineers. They have therefore invented LAFE to cover the situation in cars and LASE to cover nasal discharge.

In the reply to What you are not allowed to do in Idaho? the replies included covet thy neighbour’s goat; have access to state funded wigs; earn money as statues; visit Valker’s restaurant; wear a bearskin and call oneself Rooster Coburn; grow oranges without a licence. This begins to shed light on why the kids’ English homework essays are often a bit random.

Anklong was variously defined as King Kong’s Swedish cousin, gnolkna backwards, a small bone located in the nose of rodents, an inner chamber in Buddhist temples, the basket used to lift passengers up Turkish mountains, the German scientist who reinvented the refrigerator. This gave occasion to some discussion on why one would reinvent something. Knowing it was a fake didn’t stop us voting for it in the spirit of fair play.

The events section featured sausages, schnitzel, sauerkraut, beer and thigh slapping folk music concerts and bratwurst eating competitions. Any of these can fit on the small answers sheet. However it didn’t take a Herculean (or Poirotian) level of little grey cell work to identify the following as a fake, stretching as it did to 4 sheets: ‘One in which the suspect took his axe and used it to murder all policeman. He is still at large and has not been seen for a decade and… oh my goodness he’s behind you…’

Alex arrived back from University in time for that game, bearing an enormous bag which seemed overkill for a 48-hour stay. At home, he already has drawers stuffed with miscellaneous clothes, hot and cold running toothpaste and enough body wash to sink the Titanic in. Asked why he needed such a large bag, he said it was for emergencies. Presumably to the teenage mind an emergency is like running out of chocolate, being unable to remember the password for facebook or loosing the last half of a banana sandwich. His bag was therefore named Justin. As in Justin Case.

Alex and Justin have returned north, but the place is still not exactly quiet owing to the presence of our foreign students who teach the kids Spanish (less luckily for them, the kids teach them English). The students have a few bizarre habits, like putting teapots into the dishwasher without having emptied them. I thus can claim the cleanest used teabags on the south coast. However, I believe re-using them as eye pads would be forbidden inIdaho.





About alisongardiner1

Writer of YA series of books. Broadcaster/podcaster Litopia After Dark.
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2 Responses to Total Balderdash

  1. Worldy says:

    Geez udpate your glob already…:)

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