My friend Tom (aka, “The Blogfodder”) was on a roll today.
First, in the middle of a casual conversation, he pointed out the word “sonsy” in the dictionary. He does stuff like that. Which is why I make an effort to stop by his desk as often as possible.
Then he sent me an article whose conclusion was that Irish men are “the joint ugliest in the world.” My retort: Those who would join beautifulpeople.com are actually the ugliest in the world. I’d rather spend 100 nights with an Irishman who can sing a tune or spin a tale than a single night with some self-important, conceited peacock. (So there!)
Finally, Tom sent me the heartbreaking news that Leonard B. Stern had died. “Who’s Leonard Stern?” I can almost hear you asking. I’ll admit that I didn’t know his name either, until today. But he was one of the most formative writers of my youth: Leonard Stern was the genius behind Mad Libs.
I have fond memories of playing Mad Libs with my sisters in the back of my parents’ station wagon. It made the road trips seem much shorter, and a few times we laughed so hard that we … well, never mind. The important thing is that Mad Libs helped introduce me to the joys of playing with language.
Thirty years later, I’m a writer. So it seems fitting tonight to dedicate a Mad Men-style Mad Lib to the memory of Leonard Stern.
Ever wondered what it’s like to be a professional writer?
Here’s your chance to find out. First, grab yourself a piece of paper and jot down the first word that comes to mind for each of the following:
Name of a school
Name of a language
Name of an appliance
Gerund (-ing form of verb)
Got your list? Great. Now, plug your words into this document:
I hope that hilarity will ensue. (But if not, please read the “Attempted humor” clause of my legal disclosure.)
And on a personal note to my friend Tom: Thank you for brightening yet another day. You are definitely my favorite Irishman.
Until tomorrow …