Thank you, Spike

My children play a game called “Jinx”. In this game, if two people say the same thing at the same time, then the first person to call out “Jinx!” renders the other one mute. The “jinxed” party can no longer speak until someone says their name out loud.

The other day, as I was driving home with the two little ones in the back seat, they both said the same thing at the same time — and then they both yelled “Jinx!” simultaneously. It turns out that if the “jinxing” is simultaneous, then both parties are struck dumb. This presented the children with a dilemma, as now, the only person who could restore their power of speech was I. So they began furiously to attempt to capture my attention to let me know that they needed me to say their names out loud. They banged on the windows, scratched on the ceiling, rattled papers, wrote notes and waved them around. All the while laughing uproariously as I absentmindedly failed to notice their signals. This lasted about 15 or 20 minutes. Eventually, the cacophony grew so loud that I had to break down and say their names. As they were once more possessed of the power of speech, the din subsided.

The next day, Gina and I took these same children into the City, and as luck would have it, they “double-jinxed” each other again. “Well,” said Gina, “at least we’ll have some peace and quiet on the ride.” I explained to her my experience of the previous day, and advised her that just because the children were mute, did not mean that we would be enjoying peace and quiet. For about 30 seconds, there was indeed quiet in the car. And then, from the back seat, we heard John’s five-year-old voice distinctly say: “Thank you, Spike.”

Spike, you see, is John’s imaginary friend. And by “Thank you, Spike”, John was signaling that Spike had said his (John’s) name out loud (imaginarily), thus freeing him from the jinx. ( I’m thinking John is going to be a lawyer. Or maybe an arbitrageur. )

And so it is with blogging. Sometimes, one gets “jinxed” — struck dumb, as it were, by mysterious forces. How to regain one’s voice following such an incident?


And think.

And imagine oneself blogging again.

Thank you, Spike.