Sunday, 28 July 2013

Choose Your Own Adventure...if only!

The farther you go...the harder it is to return. The world has many edges and it's easy to fall off.
Weetabix! Ah the memories. Not just a dry, wheaty biscuit used in childhood cooking experiments but also delicious with hot milk. There was a time when one would collect 8 tokens from a Weetabix box, send them off with an application form to postal heaven and wait for it, you would receive a free gift! For a child (of the country), this was magic. You knew what you sent for but the excitement of receiving that brown, sealed parcel, ripping it open to reveal ..... surprise! Apart from the odd letter from my closet friend who lived up the road and apparently enjoyed writing, life at the other side of the post-box was pretty hopeless. That was, unless you sent away for freebies!

Besides colouring pencils, club memberships and Flash Gordon collector cards, the lads and myself collected for a shelf full of ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books with titles such as ‘The Horror of High Ridge’ and ‘Mountain Survival’.
By definition, Choose Your Own Adventure books “.… are written in the second person. The protagonist—that is, the reader—takes on a role relevant to the adventure; for example, private investigator, mountain climber, race car driver, doctor or spy….
….The stories are formatted so that, after a couple of pages of reading, the protagonist faces two or three options, each of which leads to more options, and then to one of many endings….”

Life changed temporarily, while our fates lay in the hands of obscure questions and page numbers. Once your decision was made, your course was set and there was no going back. You turned to page 52 eagerly awaiting the outcome. Aaaggghh! You’re dead. The comic book graphics of a blood spattered, screaming face of your character was enough to acquaint you with your fate.

If only life could be like a ‘choose your own adventure’ book. Well, in a way it is, the only difference is you can’t jump to a page, half open, squinting a look inside, seeking some indication the ending isn’t all bad. No, unfortunately, decisions made in the real life are made blindly. Even when you think, “this is a sure thing”, how do you really know?

If you choose to dine on a slice or Rye Bread, undressed salad, and a glass of water, turn to page 25.
Do you order a Milano, Florentine Pizza, side order of fries (for one) and pick up a bottle of Shiraz on the way home, turn to page 49

Comic book graphics or not….I know that outcome. That’s life. The unmarked parcels flooding in the door of fate are full of surprises. When one story ends, another starts. At least with knitting, I know the ..….Aaaggghh!

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