Discovering the Relevance of Words
I often find the world I live in to be a baffling place.
It makes me think of that old piece of writing advice everyone hears from bored teachers in mandatory creative writing classes by the time they’ve graduated. The one that advises the writer to imagine that they are an alien visiting this planet and trying to understand what is going on around them. I have never found it to be very helpful advice, but its always stuck with me, so what do I know?
There is a small store out in the wilderness near my house that has a little cafe in it. To advertise this little lunch box out in the middle of nowhere they have placed small signs along the side of the road approaching the gravel turn-off into the parking lot. Each sign has one word on it, and as you drive by you can read something resembling a sentence. It says:
Hot… Cheeseburger’s… Smoothies… And Fries!
Why did ‘Hot’ get its own sign but ‘And’ didn’t? Why don’t they tell me where I can procure such items? What the hell is that apostrophe doing there? These questions remain unanswered, which has led me to ask in an exasperated fashion…
What the hell?
This is just one, very small example. I could go on. But don’t worry, I won’t.
What I will do is ask you to pay some attention to your world today and see if anything in it has you feeling like an alien. What will you see today that makes you ask: What the hell?