A language game

Amy and I were sitting in an airport waiting for a flight. I said, “I should have been a pilot.” Amy asked me why. Really, it was just something to say; I was briefly imagining my alternate life in which I was an airline pilot. Instead of explaining the details of the fantasy (get to fly around the world, chicks dig on you, etc.) I said: “So I could fly far away from you.” See, it was funny to say because I didn’t mean it, and because this is so obviously a terrible thing to say to anyone, let alone your girlfriend. Oh, we had a good laugh.

Amy suggested that there could be an entire children’s book based on this premise:

  • I wish I were an astronaut… so that I could escape to another planet
  • I wish I were a deep sea diver… so that I could go to the bottom of the ocean and be alone
  • I wish I worked at night… so that I’d never see you
  • I wish I were an explorer in foreign lands… so that we’d lose contact
  • I wish I were a time traveler… so I could travel to before you were born… or after you died

Try this with your loved ones, the next time you’re feeling grumpy, or simply want to make an impression.

  • hb

    I remember making essentially the same joke when I was five, and my brother was one, or at some stage pre-language. I knew that the worst thing one person could say to another was “you’re a bad person,” so I would get in his face and say it, hoping for a rise from my mother. I can’t remember whether I got one, but I do recall how pleased I was with my cleverness and how I felt simultaneously really guilty about the possibility that he would understand me and, of course, not get the joke. I think he just smiled and laughed at the attention.

    I hope.

  • hb

    I remember making essentially the same joke when I was five, and my brother was one, or at some stage pre-language. I knew that the worst thing one person could say to another was “you’re a bad person,” so I would get in his face and say it, hoping for a rise from my mother. I can’t remember whether I got one, but I do recall how pleased I was with my cleverness and how I felt simultaneously really guilty about the possibility that he would understand me and, of course, not get the joke. I think he just smiled and laughed at the attention.

    I hope.