Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Password Is . . .

Remember the game show Password? I loved it. My brothers and I were devoted to game shows in our childhood. Our all-time favorite was Match Game, which we attempted to recreate with the neighborhood urchins whenever possible.

I used to have cassette tapes of some of our do-it-yourself Match Game episodes (taping yourself on a tape recorder was a big thing back in the day) — wow, I would give a lot to hear one of those again! But alas, like sands through the hourglass . . . well, I think I'm losing my grip on that metaphor, but anyway, those records of our genius are long gone, who knows where.

But I am excited to see that next Sunday, ABC is offering a three-hour block of game shows: Match Game, Family Feud, and $100,000 Pyramid! I have high hopes, especially for the latter. Constant Readers know that I love few things more than a good party game, and Pyramid has become one of my favorites. Nothin' but good times ahead!

Jeopardy and Pyramid are constants at my own parties, and Mrs. Cynicletary and I have also done versions of Match Game, Family Feud, and Let's Make a Deal for the work parties we co-hosted for years. I've become newly enamored of Password over the years, and I plan to play it at the next party I host.

Which leads to today's challenge. Husband and I were driving home from a bittersweet lunch date (more on this in a moment), and I said, "Let's play Password." He sighed and said, "Sure." (Playing games with me is not always so fun for him — we think about things so differently, making us very bad partners for charades or Pictionary, where you really have to be in sync with your partner. However, we are well-matched for Trivial Pursuit and Cranium, where our different knowledge areas complement each other. It's good to know these things.)

Here are the clues I gave him:






And I've told this story so often now, I honestly can't remember if he guessed it at "pink" or if I broke down and told him.

How my mind works: There is ONE iconic summer fruit, in my opinion. You go to a picnic or barbecue, there is ONE fruit that is always there, front and center. If you didn't get it after "summer," you should definitely get it after "rind."

How his mind works: The fruit in question is something he loathes. He prefers to live in a world where said fruit does not exist. Ergo, it would never cross his mind as the answer to a game question, never, never, never, not even if I spelled it for him.

How my mother's mind works: One clue at a time, paying no attention to any other clues. Her guesses were fruit: apple, summer: peach, rind: orange or grapefruit, seeds: orange or grapefruit, pink: pink grapefruit.

How other people's minds work: There are lots of summer fruits, but so far everyone else has guessed it after "rind."

When choosing your championship team for Password, this might be a good screening tool!

And here's why the lunch on the day in question was bittersweet . . .

I've mentioned Mrs. Professor, my elderly friend, before. I've been friends with her for about a decade, and we have lunch together every few months. Last fall she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, though she was doing pretty well, but then the cancer began to spread; she finally decided to stop chemo and call hospice. We had lunch every couple of weeks after that, and she was still doing pretty well. But on May 27, she fell out of bed, stopped breathing, and that was that. She died in her son Brian's arms.

I will always remember the date because I was having dinner with Mrs. Cynicletary that night, the kick-off to her big birthday weekend, and my minister called me while we were eating. She wanted to let me know personally, knowing how close Mrs. Professor and I were.

I spoke briefly at her eulogy, and afterward I was asked to serve the coffee at her collation, the role that had traditionally been hers. It was such an honor.

And on Monday, Husband and I went to the restaurant where Mrs. Professor and I always had lunch. She seemed to know everyone there, and I wanted to make sure they knew what had happened.

She was fierce, stubborn, generous, frank, smart, and funny as hell. She was a great broad. I adored our friendship, and I will miss her forever.

By the way, when I was serving coffee at her memorial service, I got caught up in a story I was telling, and a man who wanted coffee decided to serve himself rather than wait for me to notice him. I heard Mrs. Professor in my ear, barking, "Lady! Pay attention!" Too funny.

I will end there.

Arggh!!! Death is the worst.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Slightly Snockered


I pulled together a nice dinner for my family, veggie frittata and green salad and banana bread, and then made myself a cocktail, a Bohemian Cooler, with lemon and rye and elderflower liqueur and ginger beer. I usually make and drink two hefty ones, so I can use the whole can of ginger beer without wasting it.

(And I can hear Brunie now, saying, "If only there was something one could do with unused and unwanted ginger beer . . . perhaps a receptacle or household appliance designed for such a purpose . . .")

Brunie is not a proud Native American like I, that's all I'm saying.

Raper of the earth. Waster.

OK, that's all I'm saying.

But I am only a third into tonight's first drink, and Katy bar the door!! Maybe I should've had more than a handful of cherries and a slice of cheese for lunch?

On a related topic, here's a snippet from an e-mail exchange that I've saved:
Brunie: I can't wait to see you tomorrow! I can drive us to the movie after lunch.

Me: Driving plan = perfect. See you tomorrow! Spoiler: I plan to drink a lot. Making the driving plan even more perfect.

Brunie: I always assume that every movie-going experience we share will involve you saying, " I plan to drink a lot." Saves time...

Hardy har har.

Though, you know, probably accurate.