I was chatting with a friend the other day, and somehow, the topic of Dr. Seuss came up.
“If there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s rhymes and lame poetry,” I confessed. I wasn’t trying to sound conceited or anything. It’s just an odd (and useless) talent I have.
“Oh, good!” she replied. “You can help me with a project.”
At that point, I tried to walk it back. Told her that when I said I was good, I actually meant the opposite of good. As in, you know. Not good. Because “project” sounded suspiciously like “work.”
It was too late, though. She wasn’t believing me. The idea she had was to leave Google reviews for all the City of Presidents statues in downtown Rapid City. Fun ones. “Punny rhymes encouraged,” she added.
Well, that was like throwing down a gauntlet. Challenge accepted. I quickly dashed something off.
Richard Nixon sealed his fate
The day he ordered Watergate
He sits upon a chair (no throne)
Tented fingers, all alone
Passersby can take a look
At this man who’s “not a crook”
Though with all his revealed lies
History says otherwise
“Along those lines maybe?” I wondered.
“PERFECT!” she said. “Amazing. You really do have a knack for this.”
And just like that, I was in. That’s when I took it a step further and made a confession.
“It’s weird, but I ‘see’ in rhyme,” I said.
It’s true. My brain is somehow wired to construct sentences in rhyme. I can bang out a poem or limerick in minutes. That does not, however, mean I’m any good at it. Most of my stuff is crap. I can nail meter — the rhythmic structure or pattern of verse — but what good are mechanics without artistry? Plenty of people (though not nearly enough!) know proper grammar, but couldn’t write a novel if their lives depended on it. Luckily that’s something I can do, but fiction and poetry are two different beasts. I’ll never be the next Robert Frost. Nor do I aspire to be.
Instead, I have fun with it. At one job, I had to close out work orders in the CRM system with a comment. Instead of a simple “completed 3/17” I would occasionally leave responses in limerick or haiku form. These always got a chuckle out of my coworkers, even if they secretly thought I was the world’s biggest nerd.
Whatever. There’s no shame in that!
Tara and I love our house. Even more, we love the fact that we bought our house at the perfect time. Nine months before the pandemic hit and the nationwide housing shortage sent prices skyrocketing. They say location is everything, but I kinda think timing is.
That aside, it’s just a really nice home for us. Nothing grand, but cozy and spacious enough for the three of us (yes, I’m counting the cat). With a groovy basement and awesome backyard.
The problem is, we’re so fond of our house, there’s little motive to leave it. In the old days, we’d often go out to bars or restaurants on Friday or Saturday nights. Or catch a movie. Now, the weekend rolls around, and we’d much rather spend it playing cards and listening to records, or just chilling in front of the fire. In the summer, we shift the action out back. They say home is where the heart is, and you can hear ours beating loudly whenever we’re kicking it at Casa MarTar.
We don’t want to turn into complete hermits, though. So, we’ve vowed to get out more, at least one night a week. Usually a Wednesday or Thursday, which makes for a nice compromise. I’ve never been keen on going out on a “school night” before, but I’m coming around. We were recently able to scratch a sushi itch. Tried a Mexican restaurant that we’d been curious about for months. And last night, crossed another item off our bucket list: trivia.
After work, we headed to Thirsty’s downtown for their weekly Burgers, Beer, and Brains Wednesday night trivia. We had no idea what to expect (other than tasty cold beers), but settled in for the adventure nonetheless.
And had a total blast.
We’d been planning this for so long, we’d decided on a team name years ago: Booze Clues. Were we intimidated by the tables of regulars, most of whom numbered between four and eight? Maybe a tad. But we’re no dummies ourselves. The game was broken into three rounds of 10 questions each, with one minute allotted per question. We were feeling pretty confident after round one, when we went 9/10 and were one point behind the leaders.
And then round two happened. 3/10. Oof.
We rebounded with a solid 6/10 effort in round three, giving us 18 points and fourth place out of 14 teams. Not bad for our first effort!
I guess the smart thing to do would have been to bet nothing for the Final Jeopardy question and hope the leaders all choked. But where’s the fun in that? “Go big or go home!” we confidently told the host, betting all 18 points on a single question. Which was,
What does St. Patrick’s Day commemorate?
I mean, we should have known this—or at least had an inkling, given that it was St. Patrick’s Day Eve. I’m not the least bit Irish, but I am wearing green today and have corned beef and cabbage cooking in the crockpot. All we could manage in 60 seconds was, Patrick’s sainthood. Lame, I know. It’s actually the anniversary of his death. Who knew? Not us…but also, not a lot of others in the pub last night. Plenty of people guessed March 17 was his birthday, or the day he banished snakes from Ireland. Still, with zero points, obviously we didn’t win a prize.
But we had a TON of fun and are vowing to do this again. Maybe once a month. They even have trivia leagues. Hmm. Booze Clues might just be ready to take the trivia world by storm!
We’ll just have to brush up on our history first…