Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Whack on the Side of the Head Wednesday: Surprise BirthRay

Important announcement at the end.

I was heading into this day with one idea about what we could we could whack, but then Cheryl made the fun suggestion of celebrating Ray's birthday.  Two good ideas, so we'll whack them both.

First surprise.  Actually, "Surprise" with a capital "S," as in Surprise, Arizona.  Julie, one of our fun and loyal readers, recently relocated to Surprise, Arizona, where she will be living for the next few months.  I have not been able to shake the name of the city that she now calls home.  Living in - or knowing someone who lives in - a town called, "Surprise" is way too irresistible for someone like me.  I suspect it might be for you too.  I feel like if you live in Surprise, Arizona fun and spontaneous things ought to be happening all the time.  Spontaneous random acts of kindness, funny ads in the local paper, helium balloons with the word "surprise" tied to parking meters or street signs, and so much more.  I figure we, Highlowaha, are just the people to do it.  So, I am proposing we create one "surprise" a week from now until Julie moves again (about three months, I think) to bestow upon the town of Surprise.  The acts can be executed by Julie, but on behalf of our fun community.  That's the first idea I want to whack.  Can we do it?  If so, what can we do?  And, any other brainstorms that come to mind.

Second.  BirthRay!  Cheryl's right.  Ray needs a birthday.  Cassie P. made some suggestions yesterday about how we might assign Ray a D.O.B. (first day he was "conceived," "first day he was sketched, or his first appearance on Highlowaha).  What are your ideas and can we whack them to make sure we have come up with the A-#1-best possible idea for assigning Ray his birthday.  Along the same lines... how old is he and does he have a back story?

These are the two ideas I hope you'll join me in "whacking" today.  For those new to the community... Whack on the Side of the Head Wednesday is the day of the week when we jar our thinking in order to be more creative.  We do this with a little help from our friend Roger von Oech.   I pull a card from von Oech's Creative Whack Pack and you use the prompt to see what new and improved idea you can come up with.

No idea what I'm talking about?  Jump right in and try.  You'll see it's not hard and you will be amazed at what our readers come up with.

Now for the whack...

Be Whacky.  One day a new product design team got into a really whacky mood and made fun of their product.  They were zany and off-the-wall.  The meeting was a great success and many new ideas were generated.  The next week, everybody was in a serious mood and no new ideas were generated.  Moral: there's a close relationship between the "aha" of discovery and the "haha" of humor, and being whacky stimulates your creative juices.  As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu put it, "As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it."  What whacky things can you do to your idea(s)?

So that's it.  Mill von Oech's idea around for a while and then check back later this afternoon to let me know what you've come up with.  How can our being whacky help us further develop our Surprise surprises or Ray's birthday?

Can't wait to see what you come up with.

Important Announcement:
  • Tomorrow Highlowaha goes Goal Fishing.  What's Goal Fishing?  Simple.  It is Highlowaha's attempt at helping readers stay motivated to achieve your New Year's resolution(s).  Each participant submits a resolution, along with name, address, and email.  Each person participating will draw someone's name and then serve as a his/her cheerleader for the year.  Send and encouraging note, cut a relevant article from a newspaper, make a positive affirmation, and anything else you can think to do.  In the meantime, someone else will be doing the same for you!  Sixteen of you are already signed up, but NONE of you will want to miss out.  To get in on the fun, simply send your name, mailing address, and new year's resolution to me at
Signing off until tomorrow...

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