Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Whack on the Side of the Head Wednesday: Neither Bigger Nor Better!

First a note:  
So wouldn't you know... last night my father called me to tell me I made an error in yesterday's blog.  Can you believe it?  Once more... the mistake was with regard to my use of the word "lay."  The word, "humiliating" comes to mind right now.  I've since gone back and changed it, BUT a lucky break for any of you readers who took me seriously and actually printed off yesterday's blog to share with family and friends.  Find the error and there could be something in it for you.

Now for today's whack...

It took Maureen, my good friend for over 30 years, to tell it to me like it is.  Bigger or Better is a flop.  Maybe the whole idea isn't a flop.  Clearly it isn't.  It worked for Kyle MacDonald who used one red paper clip and traded up for a house.  

It's me.  It's my poor execution of Bigger or Better that's doing us in.  We, after all, started with a sparkly fish pin... AND with perfect timing for the summer season.  Yes, Maureen had enough fashion sense to know she ought to get the pin while the getting was good.  She generously offered to trade up for a case of wine.  Heather knows a good thing when she sees one and immediately offered to trade the case of wine for her mother load of craft supplies!  The box contains an impressive collection of fun scissor shapes, hole punches, and more.  We had additional offers (Melanie with her guitar and Jenna with her NASCAR paraphernalia), but that's where we stalled out.

It's my fault.  I was desperate to hold out for the item most likely to bring me one step closer to Cheryl's plane ticket to Taste of USA's winning destination.  It's essential to me that she, the driving force and cruise director behind this whole operation, gets to participate in the winning weekend.  She deserves the trip ten times over, so failure of this stunt is just not an option.  In an effort to trade big, I have actually caused the demise (or at least downward spiral) of the project.  Oh, it's not just that...  I haven't devoted enough time and energy to the idea.  I bring it up every once in a while, but certainly not enough to get any real momentum going.  Also, I haven't clearly articulated logistics.  When and how do you make an offer to trade up?  How long before you know whether your item was selected?  Does the first person who calls dibs get the item on the trading block?  Ugh.  I was way too casual about something so important.

Sounds like the perfect job for Roger von Oech and his miracle Whack Pack!

It's true.  I'm somewhat throwing my hands up, trusting between a whack from Roger and creative input from all of you, that a new and improved strategy will emerge before day's end.  If ever you were inclined to challenge your creativity... or to make a post, please let today be the day.  A trip for a  deserving community member is at stake.

Now, onto today's whack...

Challenge the Rules.  According to ancient prophecy, whoever could untie the "Gordian Knot" was destined to become King of Asia.  All who tried failed to solve this complicated puzzle.  Then Alexander the Great had a turn.  After fruitless attempts to find a starting point he was stymied.  Finally, he said, "I'll just have to make up my own knot-untying rules."  He pulled out his sword and sliced the knot in half.  Asia was fated to him.  Most advances have occurred when someone challenged the rules and tried a different approach.  What rules can you challenge? 

The general rule with Whack on the Side of the Head Wednesday's is that I introduce the randomly selected "whack" from von Oech's deck and then I take the first attempt at applying his principle to whatever it is we're talking about.  I find that when I take a first whack at it, I help grease the wheels.  Many community members are more inclined to weigh in if someone else has posted a suggestion to which they may reply.  Today, in the spirit of challenging rules, I will resist the urge to go first.  I really need a viable solution and I can't afford the slightest chance that my going first might somehow lead (or mislead, as the case may be) YOUR thinking.

I italicized and bolded YOUR to underscore that, yes... I am talking to YOU.  You, the loyal reader who checks in each day, but doesn't feel moved to post a comment.  I get that.  I'm a loyal Barnes and Noble Rewards Card holder, but don't ask me to join the on-line book club.  I'm a proud alumna of Arizona State and University of Georgia, but don't expect me to be at every home football game with my face painted and pompom in hand.  But, when they need me?  Sure, I'll send the periodic check to assure books are in the library and endowments are healthy.  So maybe today, this one day, you might get off the bench long enough to help me find a break-through solution.  We only have a month left and I need your help. 

As for me... I will be sitting on the side lines, anxiously awaiting each and every idea.

Signing off until tomorrow... 

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