Whatever happened to Chester Drawers?

playing telephone

I know a lot of book readers eschew e-books. They talk about needing the tactile experience of holding a book and turning its pages. Me, not so much. I’m on my 3rd Kindle but I still have a house full of books. I’ll take them any way I can get them, except audio books.

My friend Sharon never gets in her car without at least three audio books to listen to as she drives but I would rather listen to music. I once tried listening to an Agatha Christie mystery in the car but missed most of the plot due to driving distractions like road construction and pot holes.  And then there’s was the problem with not being sure what a spoken word was.

In the Christie novel, a character was going to the village fete, which my American English brain heard as “fate” and I wondered what the village’s fate would be.

I am just more comfortable with the written word.  If I can see the word, I know exactly what the author wrote and don’t get tripped up by homonyms, although I may need to reach for a dictionary.

It’s like the game Telephone: Someone writes a sentence on a piece of paper and whispers it in the first player’s ear. He or she whispers the message in the next player’s ear. On it goes until the last person has to say the message out loud. Of course, the spoken message has nothing in common with what was written. (One example: “Life must be lived as a play,” becomes “He eats snails.”)

We often don’t hear what we think we hear.

  • When I was young, I was convinced that the third piece of furniture in my parents’ bedroom (the chest of drawers where my father kept his socks and sweaters) was named “Chester Drawers.”
  • How many American school children recite the Pledge of Allegiance each morning (“… and to the republic for which it stands…”) and wonder who Richard Stands is?
  • One youngster, after reciting the Our Father, thought that God’s name is Howard. This from “hallowed be thy name.”

And don’t get me started on song lyrics. (At least not today.)

In the meantime, if you have any questions or suggestions, please write them down.

6 thoughts on “Whatever happened to Chester Drawers?

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