Today is Friday the 13th. Maybe that’s why our flight got bumped and we’re staying another night in West Palm Beach, compliments of Delta. (The other option was taking a flight to Atlanta, then another one to Milwaukee, and then an hour and a half cab ride to Madison at about 11:30 p.m.) The Radisson will do nicely.
As I sit in the hotel writing this, I am compelled to label this a good trip. Sure, we’ve had this little snafu, and our free day in Miami yesterday was cut short by the rain (the clouds opened up about fifteen seconds after we stepped on South Beach), but today was beautiful and we got to take a dip in God’s swimming pool, a.k.a. the Ocean. And we had two very good speaking gigs in Wellington (special thanks to Fr. Munro and the entire St. Rita’s Faith Formation team!) Eighty new people signed up to be Kim & Jason Insiders and I finally came up with a suitable replacement for Chubby Bunny.
Chubby Bunny is a game in which participants place jumbo marshmallows in their mouth and try to say, “Chubby Bunny.” If you’re the one who can say it with the most marshmallows in you mouth, you win! This was a game I used to do during family programs during the segment on “Play,” and it was really a crowd favorite. Eventually it came to my attention that somewhere, somehow, a little kid died during this game. It almost borders on urban legend, but I guess some marshmallows got lodged in the kid’s windpipe. Even though I only used adults as volunteers, I ultimately figured it wasn’t a good idea — and not worth hearing the story over and over and over again — to give kids in the audience an idea for a good way to eliminate the oxygen in their life. So I nixed Chubby Bunny once and for all.
Over the last few speaking gigs, I have incorporated a new game, and it works even better. In my talk, I tell a story about jelly beans…the delightfully tasty Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans created by Jelly Belly, featuring such wonderful flavors as Earwax, Booger, and Vomit. (Buy your own box here!) During my presentation, I ask for two volunteers and we play “Guess the Jelly Bean.” They pick a number between one and ten (with each number representing a specific jelly bean) and then they have to guess which bean they’re tasting. The real fun happens before the volunteer gets to try the jelly bean when we reveal the actual flavor to the audience. I guess there’s just something irresistible about seeing a mild-mannered mom about to ingest an earthworm-flavored jelly bean.
And the responses are priceless. One twelve-year-old girl correctly guessed vomit only seconds after putting the jelly bean in her mouth. One young mom — also a nurse — was unable to detect the “soap” jelly bean. Her initial guess? Breast milk. (Maybe that’s next on the list in the Jelly Belly labs, but it isn’t one of the flavors they currently offer.)
The part in which we let the audience in on the secret flavor was a new wrinkle for these latest presentations. They went CRAZY. The laughter is contagious and the stress just evaporates from the room. So I am happy to say that unless someone, somewhere, dies while eating a jelly bean that tastes like rotten eggs, Chubby Bunny is on the bench.