A one word prompt. Conjure.
Hmmmmm… I feel a little like I pulled a name out of a virtual hat. *Another sip of coffee and some hair twirling while I stare at the computer screen. Blink. Blink.*
I remember pulling ideas out of a newsboy cap in a speech class in college…
I unfolded the slip of paper and read the words, “Window Dressing”. What the?! We had 30 minutes to prepare our five minute demonstrative speech to present to the class. I was in a panic. I tapped the lady in front of me and whispered, “What is window dressing?” She quickly handed me her crumpled slip of paper and asked to trade. I took it. I opened it up and read the penciled scribble, “Changing a tire”. Oh my God! I felt deflated. I’d never changed a tire! I sat slumped at an empty desk in the hall, stared at the floor and chewed my thumbnail. Before I knew it, prep time was up and I had nothing. The only thing I could think of was the movie scene from A Christmas Story when Ralphie says the “F dash dash dash” word. We filtered back into the classroom. Three of us were called to the front and asked to wait our turn in the hall. I was last. My hands were sweaty and DAMMIT why did I wear my glasses?! It was my turn. I could hear the class clapping for the previous speech and the instructor was waving at me through the window in the door. My heart was beating so fast I felt like a butterfly was trapped in there. My thoughts were all over the place. I walked to the front of the room like a zombie and clasped my hands together to keep them from shaking. A few eyes in the front of the room were on me, but most of the class was absorbed in something else. I stared at the piece of paper in my hand, looked up and said, ” I’ve never changed a tire in my life.” The group in the front of the class laughed. I was a little taken aback and nervously pushed my glasses up. The instructor gently prodded me, “What would you do if you got a flat?” My wheels started turning and I said, ” I hope I have a can of Fix a Flat.” More laughter and I chuckled a little myself. I conjured up the infomercial on TV and began to recite the script like a car salesman,” The Fix-A-Flat Aerosol Tire Inflator seals punctures and inflates the tire in seconds without the need for a jack, spare tire or any tools, allowing you to get off the road and to a service station where an approved repair can be made…” More laughter. Five minutes later, the instructor handed me my scoring rubric as I walked back to my seat. I sat down and unfolded the paper. At the bottom of the page, in bright red felt tip pen, were the words, ” B for bullshitting.”