Mining ‘The Big Idea File’ |

Mining ‘The Big Idea File’

Picture this: your all-time favorite movie has finally been released on DVD.You pop it into your player and up comes the menu. Curious to see what sort of goodies have been included in this exciting new format, you select “Extras,” and there you see a category called “Deleted Scenes.”Well, you’re just thrilled, right? You think, “Thank you! Thank you so much for including this stuff that was destined to remain unseen, and I am so, so very glad to be allowed to enjoy it.”Good.Now, I have this folder in my computer called “The Big Idea File.” It’s just brimming with insights, nonsequiturs, overheard quotes, random ideas and hilariously juxtaposed words – many of which will probably never make it to the 700-word-column stage. Does this mean that you should be denied these kernels? Not with technology on our side!* OK, I have an idea for this new sport, see? It’s basically soccer, only each team has 10 people, nine of them goalies. And the goals are about as big as a basketball hoop. Due to the difficulty of scoring, an actual goal is only made about every seven years or so. But when it happens, the announcer shouts “GOOOOOOOAAAALLLL!” for 10 days straight.* Sometimes, while doing important research online, I do a Google search and, in my haste, I accidentally misspell the topic – I might type “Mahatmo Gandii,” for instance. However, I’ll still get results for pages dedicated to the life and teachings of “Mahatmo Gandii.”The odd part, though, is that I meant to type in “Bondage Nurses.”* Cats have no interest in kaleidoscopes. I learned this the hard way.* Christian Rap. I thought I came up with this idea on my very own, but then I found out it actually exists. And, get this – there’s an actual group called “Gospel Gangstaz.” No, I’m serious. Why bother anymore?* While standing at the airline ticket counter, the woman handed me my tickets and said, “Have a nice flight.”I replied, “You, too.” Which roughly translates as: “Though my facade is one of friendliness and presence, I’m obviously not really paying attention to what you’re saying. Basically, I’m on social autopilot.”Now, with that in mind, try this: Next time you pass someone you know on the street, using the same tone you would for a quick “Hey! How’s it going?” say instead, “Hey! Where’s the water buffalo?”They’ll reply: “Good. How ’bout yourself?”Do this long enough, and no one will speak to you again.* If you’re nervous about public speaking, you’re supposed to imagine that everyone in the audience is in their underwear. This will surely come in handy when I’m addressing a Victoria’s Secret model convention.* Inner-city radio variety show idea: “A Prairie ‘Hood Companion.” Are you listening, Garrison Kizzle?* During some memorial services it’s traditional to observe a minute of silence. Well, just so you know, when the time comes for MY memorial service, I want 15 seconds of silence, followed by 30 seconds of painfully stifled giggling, then a final 15 seconds of all-out guffawing. Then off to the buffet line.* Higginbotham. Isn’t that just the best surname ever? Higginbotham. Love it.* Gravel Capades. The prototype version of Ice Capades. Same basic idea – Snoopy costumes and the like – only the performers don’t slide quite as far if they fall down.* T-shirt inscription: “Poems Not Prisons.” I’m not sure which way to go with this. Does it mean that exposure to poetry will keep people from turning to a life of crime, thereby making prisons unnecessary? Or that poems should be read aloud to the guilty as a means of punishment on par with the horror of imprisonment? If it’s the latter, I certainly hope some of my poetry will be considered.Barry Smith’s column runs in The Aspen Times on Mondays. His e-mail address is, and his very own Web page is at

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