K and I like to entertain ourselves with elaborate hypothetical questions, often involving our friends and families. I’m the one who makes up the questions. A recent one went like this:
Aliens superior to us have come to Earth, to our apartment, and asked us to pick someone to return with them to their planet and teach them about humanity. The person we pick will be gone for several years, but when he or she returns to Earth no time will have passed. If we refuse to pick someone the Earth will be destroyed. Who would you pick?
As is our practice K and I both answered the question in our heads, then I did a little countdown and we simultaneously announced our picks.
The countdown was proceeded, as always, by my explanation of how the countdown would work. This is what I said, more or less:
I’m going to count down from three and then we’re both going to say the person’s name, except we’re not going to say “the person’s name” but rather the actual name of the person. Is that clear? So if you pick Joe Schmo, then you would say “Joe Schmo” rather than “the person’s name,” although Joe Schmo would in fact be the person’s name. Is that clear? The words you would say are not the word “the” or the word “person’s” or the word “name.” Instead the words would be, if the person’s name was Joe Schmo, the word “Joe” and the word “Schmo.” Is that clear?
This can go for some time, since we both find it hysterical. Not because it’s funny, which it isn’t, but because I always pretend that I need to say it to avoid any confusion. Which in turn introduces confusion. We have a lot of jokes like this, and it is on this basis as much as any other that I know K and I love each other and always will.