Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lit Libs

My kids were fans of Mad Libs for a while; we still use phrases from that period, the top one being "her morning cup of gin." So when I saw Lit Libs in the humor section at a bookstore recently, I had to check it out. As I leafed through, I saw passages from Coriolanus, Huckleberry Finn, The Awakening, The Scarlet Letter, Middlemarch, Vanity Fair, Robinson Crusoe, Little Women, Peter Pan, Moby Dick, and Pride and Prejudice, in addition to poems by Emily Dickinson, William Blake, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The first one in the book features a passage from Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, but the first one I really wanted to try features a passage from Edgar Allen Poe's story "The Tell-Tale Heart." Here's the introduction to "Edgar Allen Poe: Terrible Coworker":

You know that person at work? The obnoxious one? From a few cubicles over? Don't you just hate him? Sure, maybe you don't have a good reason. Maybe his laugh is annoying. Or he eats lunch a little too loudly. Or he always refers to Wednesday as "hump day." Whatever the reason, don't you just want to murder him, cut him up, put the severed pieces under your floorboards, and let the nonexistent sound of his heartbeat slowly drive you crazy? No? Oh well, maybe that' just me then...

Fill in the blanks to see what would happen if the narrator from Poe's 'The Tell-Tale Heart' had to share an office with your annoying coworker.
1. Body Part
2. Synonym for "tolerated" (accepted, put up with, dealt with, didn't mind, etc.)
3. Occupation of your lame office mate
4. Verb (of an inappropriately sexual nature, past tense
5. A terrible secret Santa gift (plural)
6. Item at coworker's desk
7. Body part
8. Body part from #7 (plural)
9. Animal
10. Unattractive adjective
11. Annoying fashion accessory
12. Occupation from #3
13. Body part from #7

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my 1. _______, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I 2.________ the 3._________. He had never 4.________ me. He had never given me 5.________. For his 6._________ I had no desire. I think it was his 7._________! Yes, it was this! One of his 8._________ resembled that of a 9.________--a pale 10._________ eye with a 11.________ over it. Whenever it fell upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the 12._________, and thus rid myself of the 13._________ for ever.

Have fun with this! Purists don't look ahead at the passage, but others do. If you'd like to share how you would fill in the blanks in the comments here, we can all enjoy your version. (I'll share mine, to make you all feel less shy.)

11 comments:

Jeanne said...

1. heart
2. ignored
3. writer
4. undressed
5. scented soap
6. blotter
7. foot
8. feet
9. iguana
10. slimy
11. lace glove
12. writer
13. foot

Karen D said...

elbow
endured
professor
screwed (you did say inappropriate)
decorative candles
stapler
foot
toes
cat
revolting
Silly Band
professor
toe

Harriet M. Welsch said...

1. earlobe
2. abided
3. quality control agent
4. bonked
5. cat sweatshirts
6. letter opener
7. shin
8. shins
9. wildebeest
10. oozing
11. hair scrunchy
12. quality control agent
13 shin

FreshHell said...

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my ear, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I put up with the secretary. He had never fucked me. He had never given me scented candles. For his lamp I had no desire. I think it was his heel! Yes, it was this! One of his heels resembled that of a chinchilla--a pale grotesque eye with a Vera Bradley bag over it. Whenever it fell upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the secretary, and thus rid myself of the heel for ever.

Jenny said...

*giggles* This...should always happen.

Marie said...

that is super fun :-)
1. Arm
2. Accepted
3. Nail biting
4. Buggered
5. Coal
6. red swingline stapler
7. foot
8. feet
9. aardvark
10. smelly
11. Nail biting
12. foot

Betty (Beth) said...

I've always loved madlibs and these are great! I'm going to have check this book out. I see a fun stocking stuffer in the future! :-)

Here are my choices:
1. Leg
2. Endured
3. Receptionist
4. Stripped
5. Crocheted coasters
6. Back support pillow
7. Eyeball
8. Eyeballs
9. Zebra
10. Warty
11. Headband
12. Receptionist
13. Eyeball

Jeanne said...

Oh thank you for sharing; these are all good! My favorite part is what he never gave me... He never gave me cat sweatshirts! He never gave me crocheted coasters!

People of the world, take note. Many of us don't like scented anything!

Jenners said...

Oh how fun! I love this. Here goes.

1. Big Toe
2. Begrudgingly dealt with
3. Metal worker
4. Licked
5. Velvet Elvis
6. Paperweight
7. Ear
8. Ears
9. Cheetah
10. Oily
11. Hair bow
12. Metal worker
13. Ear

Jodie said...

1. liver
2. endured
3. Change Agent
4. shagged
5. staples
6. nodding dog
7. foot
8. feet
9. racoon
10. sweaty
11. beret
12. Change Agent
13. foot

Maybe if he'd given me those staples I wouldn't have felt the need to get rid of him so badly.

Jeanne said...

Hee, velvet Elvis. Nodding dog.

The stapler has so many possibilities, too.