all the words


OK, so here’s a weird hypothetical situation I was thinking about this morning.

A “what if” that I can fill up a page writing about.

A hail mary blog topic that might get me inspired enough to make my 500 word quota.

What if…what if we were like “pay as you go” phones…except we could never be refilled?

What if we had a measured and predefined number of words…given to us at birth,  concrete once the number had set…that couldn’t be changed and that, once they ran out, were gone forever?

What if we couldn’t call customer service when they were gone?

What if we didn’t have access to any minute cards that could get us up and talking again?

What if I started every sentence with “what if” for the rest of the blog?

That would be hard to take.

I won’t do that.

So in the context of that idea, imagine a set of parents, in a delivery room, making those short calls to all the relatives to let them know how everything turned out.

They might call to tell them, “Yeah…it’s a girl.  No….everything’s alright…yeah, it’s good.  She has blue eyes…right, blue.  A kazillion…YES!!!! A KAZILLION!!!!  This little girl is going to be a real talker!  Thankyou!  I know….we were so excited, too.  Well, I’m not going to keep you…hate to use up your words…yes, we were excited, too….thankyou.  Bye.”

That would be a good call to get.

But there would be the kind of call that reported minutes in the thousands, too.

That would be sad.

You’d have to exercise a lot of restraint in how you used your words if the end of them were that close.

You’d have to have family and friends around who were blessed with a surplus of words who were good at interpreting body language.

Or maybe you’d have to become a really good texter.

That doesn’t use up the words as fast.

It would be a good and legitimate excuse when you wanted to shorten a phone call, though.

To be able to say, “I really can’t talk right now….I’m bumping up against my word count ceiling.  Send me an email” would be helpful.

It would be helpful…and tragic at the same time.

We talk and talk and talk.  It’s fun to talk.  Drink some coffee and get the gears lubed up a little….and we can get a conversation party started.

For the most part, we don’t have any limits now to the number of words we’ll go through in a lifetime.

We can say whatever we want. We can say “whatever we want” twice, if we want to.

There’s no harm in using our words.  There’s more where that came from.

I’ll bet a quiet person uses a million words…somebody who almost never talks, over the course of a lifetime, probably uses a bunch of words….like a million or something.  Lots of words.  And that’s just a quiet person.  Imagine how many words the “motormouths” use?

Holy Smokes.

We don’t know how many words we use.  Who’s keeping track, after all?

If we had a finite number of words, assigned at birth, not defined by social status or genetics or race or gender….not defined by anything that might normally give someone a “leg up” in this world…if our “word count” was huge…but still limited…how careful would that make us with what we said and how often we said it?

Our days are numbered already.  We enjoy, hopefully, what we have.  We love….we share…we interact. While we’re here, hopefully, we’re good to each other. Hopefully, we use our words wisely.

Unlimited words are a good thing…what if we had something to say? What if we needed our words?

What if we actually had something that needed to be said?  It would be good to have the words to do it with.

But what do I know?  I’m just hanging out here on “Pleasure Island”…growing my donkey ears and hoping to turn into a real boy someday.

I hope nobody turns it all into something harder than it already is.




About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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