Monday, October 06, 2008

A conversation with my son...

This morning, like most mornings, I drove Tyler to school. Usually, we spend the time listening to tunes on the iPod and keep conversation to a minimum. I am not much of a talker and Tyler received his lack for abundant linguistics from me. Shan and Emily, on the other hand, share the gene that allows them to talk about anything and everything. To tell the truth, I wish I had some of that myself.

This morning, however, Tyler and I were in rare form. We talked about random things, but I brought up the concept of "a finite number of words." I don't know if anyone has thought about this or not, and right now, our internet is so wonky I am not going to try and research it, but what if every person is allotted a certain number of words they are 'supposed to' or are 'allowed to' say in their lifetime? What if the reason some people are talkers and others are not is because the talkers are using the non-talker's words.

This is not a bad thing, but more like, say, the 'sick bank' at work. At my work, we have a sick bank. Everyone donates (thus creating the allotted 'pool'), and people can use those days if they run out of their own. Or maybe it's like a family sharing plan for cell service. So, let's say each person gets a billion words in their lifetime. One person doesn't talk much, so they only use 500 million words (I have no idea how many words the average person speaks in a lifetime, I am just using round numbers here). Okay, so that leaves a SURPLUS of 500 million words floating out there. Well, if a talker uses 1.5 billion words, then it evens out. But what happens if a talker uses 1.6 billion? There is a 100 million word shortage! Someone has to account for those words, so maybe someone's life is cut short, or maybe they are afflicted with something that prevents them from speaking their share of a billion words.... ANd when the maximum number of allotted words for the history of the world is reached, that's when God steps in and says, "Okay, that's it. Your words are up."

Are you following me? Or are you sitting there with the same look my son gave me? The one that says, "Really? That's what runs through your head when you're driving down the road? Maybe you should focus more on driving..."

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