by Brenda Roger
Sunday morning I heard an NPR radio segment that was about a woman who runs a refuge for fruitcake and fruitcake enthusiasts. She was completely serious. In true NPR fashion, the interviewer questioned her as if they were discussing peace in the Middle East. When questioning the guest about the annual fruitcake event, the interviewer asked, “Are there contests?”
That is my new favorite thing to say. My husband told me that he will be late this evening because he has to go to a “fireside chat.” Instead of asking him what that was I just asked, “Are there contests?” Under normal circumstances, I would have asked him if there is actually a fire.
Perhaps it will take another example to win you over to adopting “are there contests?” as your new favorite thing to say. If I were to invite you to Christmas dinner at my house, you could ask, “Are there contests?” I would tell you, “Yes, yes there are.” There is a contest to see who can be the first person to buy me a sweater set with glitter on it the size of dimes. Too bad for you, my mother-in-law already won that contest last year.
The only thing more fun than asking, “Are there contests?” is thinking up what the contests might be at any given event. The fruitcake event involved throwing the fruitcakes. I suspect it looks something like that log throwing thing they do at the Highland Games, but without the kilts.
You can thank me later for introducing you to this fun game just in time for the holidays when it will be of the most use to you. If you get invited to a New Year’s party and you don’t want to go, just ask, “Are there contests?” and if the answer is no, simply inform the host or hostess that you no longer attend events without contests.