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  • Paul Davidson

Few Words, Many Stories

As you may or may not have guessed by now, I love words.

There was a point in my history (boy, don’t I sound like I’ve really lived) when I was obsessed with prefixes and suffixes. You know? Like how the words “pre” always refer to “before.” Look at any word, from “preview” to “precursor” to “predetermined”… It came in really handy during the time when I took the S.A.T.’s, but still – nice to know there’s a rhyme and reason to why words mean what they do.

I’ve also, always been fascinated with people and the way they speak. This is, of course, why I’m a writer. I love how the same sentence with the same words can mean a ton of different things based on who’s saying them, how they’re saying them, their vocal intonations and whether or not they’re weilding a really sharp knife or machete.

Like: You’re so cool. You’re sooooooo cool. You are so cool.

But what about stringing together words? Each and every person could be given the same set of words (think Magnetic Poetry) and put together totally different stories and themes. It fascinates me to the point of dragging you back into yet another activity that, in the end, will make us all better people.

Or really frustrated people.

Here are the words:

Jim greenhouse the ate / eat / eaten a at sausage(s) pretty will / won’t / wouldn’t copper was / were / is debutante tubing ran / run / running choke / choked Josie cannot I Me Them / They / They’re entertain / entertaining crossing over under flowers drink / drank / drunk kissed pugent blindfold cotton swabs mice killer negotiate liquid courage creampuff waterbaby hid / hide “The movie, Waterworld” nickel shooter nose such then his her their kaput and been / being said never again

What story can you form with the above words without using each more than once? (Entries that include past/present/future tenses of words — you can only use one of the options.) Will it tell us all more about you or nothing about you?

My phrase is: Jim said, “Never again, kaput.” Josie hid her nose, being such a debutante.

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