Miss Mumble

Some of you may be familiar with the game ‘Is Miss Mumble Home’.  It involves a group of people (typically children, though not always, especially in my ‘special’ friend group) sitting around and talking to each other.  But like the also-popular ‘Telephone’, it’s about not communicating.  The game goes like this – one person starts by saying “Is Miss Mumble home?” to the person next to them.  The next person replies with “I don’t know – let me ask my neighbor”, proceeding to ask “Is Miss Mumble home?” to the next person in the circle.  And so on.  The trick is this – you can’t show your teeth.  So when you talk, you cover teeth with lips and end up speaking like a toothless geriatric.  If you show your teeth, you lose.  If you crack up so hard that you can’t pass along the message, you lose.

While the game may be good practice for  all of us who plan on living to a ripe old age (and who still wish to converse, listen, and be understood), on some of us it has a different effect.  For me, perhaps it helped fuel my ambition to be a crazy old lady, possibly one with cats.  For others, it may have helped them in daily brushing once they realized they will always want their teeth.  The unfortunate side effect for me was that I can no longer distinguish when I’m talking like a normal person.

My family would say that I’ve mumble from a young age.  However, their definition is slightly skewed.   What they mean when they say ‘mumble’ is not that the words I speak are incomprehensible and unclear.  Instead, the words are completely clear, but the meaning of the words, when placed together, becomes blurred or too long.  When they say mumble, they mean ramble.  Personally I think they just have short attention spans – I know I’ve needed every word I’ve said.  More disturbing however, are recent effects.  Evidently, now I  mumble.  Evidently, now I get tired and talk into pillows.

I know I have a problem.  I know I need help.  But with time (and possibly a few mouth exercises) I will triumph once again.  But  others out there, beware!  Parents especially, please realize that games like ‘Miss Mumble’ can have a lasting and possibly detrimental effect.

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