A Genius is a This and That

A Genius is a This and That

NORMAN:  “Oh, my”  (raise both hands)
RIGHT:  “This”  (raise right hand)
LEFT:  “That”  (raise left hand)
THIS:  “Right”  (raise right hand)
THAT:  “Left”  (raise left hand)
GENIUS:  (everyone clap and cheer)

This is the story of NORMAN, a boy who wanted very much to be a GENIUS.  But no matter how hard he tried, it just didn’t work out.  You see, NORMAN had a problem — he couldn’t tell his RIGHT from his LEFT.  At school, the teacher would say, “When you know the answer, raise your RIGHT hand”  By the time NORMAN figured out which hand was which, it was too late!  At home, it was the same thing.  It was “NORMAN, you have your LEFT shoe on your RIGHT foot.”  Things weren’t any better outside.  In football, they’d send him in at LEFT and he’d be RIGHT.  In baseball, they’d yell, “NORMAN, move to your LEFT!”  He’d move to the RIGHT.

Poor NORMAN!  No matter what he did, it wasn’t RIGHT. Or LEFT.  But NORMAN was determined.  Finally he figured out what to do.  He’d call it “THIS” and “THAT”.  “THIS” for RIGHT and “THAT” for LEFT.  Somehow it all seemed easier.  In no time he had it down pat.

One day while NORMAN was home alone, a burglar forced his way in.  NORMAN was frightened.  The burglar asked where his mother’s jewels and furs were.  NORMAN said “in the closet”.  But when the burglar said, “which way is THAT?”  NORMAN of course answered LEFT.  The burglar followed these instructions and found himself in the kitchen.  Being a smart burglar, he said, “THIS isn’t RIGHT”.  NORMAN said “Oh yes it is, but you asked for THAT!”  The burglar became angry and said, “THIS is enough.”  NORMAN said, “Oh no, THIS is RIGHT.”  Exasperated, the burglar said, “Oh, forget it.  Just tell me where the closet is”.  NORMAN said, “Turn THIS.”  But naturally, the burglar misunderstood and turned the knob on the door in front of him and plunged headlong down the basement stairs.

Just then NORMAN’S parents came home, and when he told them what had happened, his father said the word he’d been waiting so very, very long to hear, “NORMAN, you’re a GENIUS!”

-Southeastern Massachusetts Cluster Pow Wow 1997