The five second game

The five second game

Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 8:02 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt

No one has ever called me one of the world’s great thinkers. But sadly, this week my lack of brain power was evident to all. Some friends gave our younger son a game called, “Five Second Rule.” Someone reads a card and you have five seconds to answer the question. Yes, five seconds. This game definitely needs a warning on the box that says: If you struggle to remember your phone number, this is not the game for you. Truthfully, if your brain is more than 20 years old, don’t even bother.
I knew this situation was problematic from the get go but I wanted to be a good sport. I mean, sometimes it takes more than five seconds for me to remember my own name or the names of my children. I once accidentally called my son “Buck.” Buck is a dog who went to doggy heaven years and years ago. It’s one thing to call your son by a living dog’s name. It’s another to delve down into the grave.
“OK. It’s Mom’s turn now. Don’t forget you only have five seconds. Mom, name three characters on the Brady Bunch.”
“Uh, Alice and Jan … and uh, that one who got hit in the nose with the football. What’s her name?”
Ding Ding.
“Mom, your time’s up. I thought you loved the Brady Bunch when you were a kid?”
“Well, yeah, Honey, I did. But I mean, five seconds is just not long enough for me to think. Oh wait, I know now! It’s Marcia! Yea, ’cause she had a big date with the cute boy at school but Greg or Peter or little whatcha-ma-thing accidentally hit her with a football and then her nose swelled up to twice its normal size and she was all embarrassed and crying all the time. And Jan said she was getting all the attention, ‘Everything is just Marcia, Marcia, Marcia.’ Yeah, I remember now.”
“Mom, that took five minutes, not five seconds. And you know we can’t give you any points, right?”
“I know.”
It was amazing how fast my boys’ minds clicked. Someone would say, “Name three track and field events.”
Without missing a beat, they’d say in four seconds flat, “Long jump, high jump, 100 yard dash.”
It’s like their brain never even paused. My brain paused a lot. But I refused to give up.
“OK. Mom’s turn again. Name three brands of toothpaste.”
“Colgate, uh … the blue stuff, and Clorox.”
Ding. Ding.
“Clorox? Mom, Clorox isn’t toothpaste. It’s bleach, right? And we can’t give you points for saying ‘the blue stuff’.”
“Oh wait. Now I remember the blue stuff is what Daddy and I use and it’s called Aim and it’s only about $1 a tube. And I guess I was thinking about toothpaste that’s supposed to whiten and I got it all mixed up with Clorox because bleach IS a whitening product.”
The boys looked at me with such pity. They chose silence as a gift of mercy.
I learned a lot of encouraging things this week. Both of our boys are smarter than me. Their brains work faster than mine. And that is how it should be. God provided our family with young and healthy minds so that if we ever become stranded, they’ll remember our phone number.
For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website,

Published in The Messenger 10.24.12


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