Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Coincidence? You Decide!

Looking at my Blogger Dashboard, I see that my last post was post number 666! And it prominently features a picture of Delores Umbridge! You decide!

"You Decide" has become a feature in our household. It's a great all purpose anecdote ending, and what is blogging but anecdotes on the internet? So, as my pre-Halloween treat for you all, I am giving you the secrets of the "You Decide" conclusion.

Step 1: Embark on a rambling story about last night's dream, or something that happened today.

Step 2: Like all stories, yours will be stronger is it contains some form of conflict.

Step 3: Clearly delineate the two sides of the conflict. There must be ONLY TWO SIDES, otherwise, the model becomes unwieldy and loses its impact.

Step 4: Upon concluding your story, arrange the two choices of the conflict in a dichotomy, preferably one which advances your position, or derides the opposing position. The more exaggerated you can make this the better.

Step 5: "You Decide!"

Let's see this game play in action, shall we? We go to John Madden to point out with his telestrator just how the pieces come together. We'll use a real example from the Dinner Table Conversation Bowl.

Mr. Sweetie and I toured the Queen Mary: a lovely cruise ship with its heyday in the 1930s. Like everybody, there HAD to be a "ghost tour." So, we went around to the various sites on the boat and read the "ghostly stories" which happened there. And they were hopelessly lame! [JM: Here we see the opening opposition: I'm predicting we are going to have the pro-ghost forces against the skeptics. Let's watch this develop.] One person said he was standing in the hallway, when he felt a tap on his shoulder. When he looked that way, there was nobody there! [JM: Here is the set up of the ghostly offense!]

So, as we are standing there reading this plaque, Mr. Sweetie reaches around my shoulders and taps the shoulder on the other side from where he is standing! And there was nobody there! [JM: WOW! The rarely seen Deductive Defense! Notice the clever way the actual conflict is not just open contradiction! There's a little audience investment in decoding this play! Well done!]

One story was that a passenger heard a knock on his door, but when he opened it, there was no one there! I mean, have you ever heard of anybody, ever, who answered a knock on the door but there was no one there? [JM: You can see the defensive player here setting up the finish of the play. Wait for it. . .]

Was it a ghost? Or ding dong ditch? You decide!
[JM: Goooooooooooooooal!!!!]

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