One of my favorite games is Kerplunk.
You’re probably thinking I’ve lost my marbles because I’m talking about Kerplunk in a story titled “The Mad Libs Project.” That would be a possibility, but I still have three marbles left, so just go with it. I promise, it will eventually make a little bit of sense.
For as long as I can remember, Kerplunk created hours of mindless suspense, and a heck of a good time for me. Some people like to climb mountains, or take on the Class IV rapids of Namangosa Gorge in Ecuador.
Not I. I’m content with the excitement Kerplunk provides as I try to remove a plastic stick from a plastic canister hoping not to disturb any of the plastic marbles balancing precariously inside.
I like doing research, especially about things I’m writing and actually care about, but to be honest, I wasn’t very intrigued about the origins of Kerplunk. But, the few remaining marbles in my head demanded I do due diligence, and I said, “Fine.” So here it is:
According to http://wwwbestkidstoysever.com/vintage-toys-2/kerplunk-game-a-1970s-game-still-alive, “Interestingly the name KerPlunk is onomatopoeic and based on the sound made by the marbles when a straw is removed and they fall to the bottom.”
I did not find this very interesting because a wild hunch told me that’s how the game got its name, and if you didn’t surmise the same thing, you probably have only two marbles.
But while I was less than impressed by the way in which it received its name, I do think Kerplunk inspired a creative “plunk” heard around the world.
Another one of my favorite games is Mad Libs. What an ingenious idea. Even with the limited vocabulary I possessed as a child, I’d always end up falling to the floor, giggling, because the stories turned out so silly.
Now I love to play Mad Libs even more because I know about ten more words than I did back then.
Since I was curious about the origin of Mad Libs, I went online and found a fascinating article written by one of its creators, Leonard Stern. For some reason, my computer won’t let me publish a direct link to www.madlibs.com/history, so if you really want to know about it, just Google, “mad-libs history” and the article should just pop up.
I think I like to play Mad Libs because it gives me the opportunity to use words and numbers, I wouldn’t in everyday conversations, such as, “Nostril, Dodo bird, sphincter,” and “7,453.”
Why am I telling you about my favorite games? Well, I’m glad you asked. We can’t play virtual Kerplunk, although I have asked Howard*, Leonard*, Raj*, and Sheldon* to work on it.
But, I propose a hypothesis of a paradigm that would allow us to collectively play virtual Mad Libs.
Excuse me. Amy* just fainted.
So, I have written a Mad Libs script, leaving out nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, names of people in the room, and a few numbers.
Of course I can’t tell you the theme of the story, or where it takes place, because then it will just end up nice and easy. But there’s just one thing.
You see we never, ever do anything nice and easy. We always do it nice and funny. So, we’re going to start thinking about the beginning of this story and do it funny, and then, we’re gonna do the finish hilarious. This is the way we do Mad Libs. (Thank you Ike & Tina Turner for allowing me to borrow and, make slight adjustments to, your introduction to “Proud Mary.”)
Please e mail your (family-friendly) contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, March 13th. Submit by e mail only, please.
I can’t wait to see what we come up with together! I’m hoping it will be so much fun that we’ll do it again, hence the title, The Mad Libs Project, Part I.
*Characters from The Big Bang Theory
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