A Magic 8 ball sits in repose on my desk at work. I call it my executive decision-maker to jokingly justify its presence but it’s really a “yes” / “no” oracle for personal matters. I rely upon my talking Donald Trump doll to dispense job-related wisdom. Though the Magic 8 ball looks like an inanimate object, it is evil incarnate.
First, let me explain how I interpret the answers.
These are the positive ones:
It Is Decidedly So
It Is Certain
You May Rely On It
As I See It, Yes
Without A Doubt
Signs Point To Yes
The Negative Nelly’s:
My Sources Say No
My Reply Is No
Don’t Count On It
Outlook Not So Good
And the vague ones:
Ask Again Later
Cannot Predict Now
Better Not Tell You Now
Concentrate And Ask Again
Reply Hazy Try Again
Now those of you who are mathematicians might say your odds of getting a positive answer are 50%, negative 25% and maybe 25%. That’s fine for children and teenagers but I’m a grizzled adult and I can handle the truth. I say if it isn’t a positive answer, it’s a negative one, therefore I put the “Maybe”s in the negative bucket thus making my odds 50/50. Get over it. Life is tough and only the strong and the well-prepared survive.
But back to the ball being evil. I’m in waiting and wishing mode. Anyone familiar with that state of existence? I assumed as much. I ask the ball, “Will I hear back on a query?” To me, it’s implied that I mean one of MY queries and TODAY. But not to the Magic 8 ball. You must be very specific.
“Magic 8 Ball, you lovely ebony sphere you (because flattery never hurts), will I hear from a literary agent I queried about my manuscript XYZ today?”
Does anyone see what’s still wrong with my question? Extra credit points if you do. I didn’t send any queries today so if the answer is “no” (as defined, see above) that has to be why. A slight rewording is necessary.
“Magic 8 Ball, oh wise oracle of the impatient and believers in luck, will I hear today from a literary agent I queried about my manuscript XYZ?” Oops I didn’t telephone in my query, so how could I possibly “hear” back unless the agent picked up the phone to call me. I’m not that picky, don’t want to limit myself. An email response will suffice. I will need to restate my question to specifically reference the manner in which I expect to receive a response or make it more multi-purpose. Duh.
The caveat here is that the Magic 8 ball is not always so Monkey’s Paw-like about how it answers you. Sometimes it likes to mess with you and other times it just wants you to stop shaking it. The problem is, you never know which is which. In hindsight therefore, and with the caveat in mind, the Magic 8 ball is foolproof, evil but 100% accurate. But it makes a great stocking stuffer!
I think you’ve shaken the ball a little too hard today. 😉
Yeah, it’s quite frothy inside, nearly merinque-like.
Concentrate And Ask Again.
Um, yeah, I agree with Aimee. With your literal mind, you and your calculator deserve each other.
(People in your field still use calculators, right?)
God I miss being on AbsoluteWrite! I have missed your stories most of all, you and your sharp wit and twisted mind! Damn the weird work schedules and the real world that must make me live in it.
Thank you, Crysie! Damn that real world…