“That hombre could make a laundry list sound cryptic”. This is a line from “Fables: The Great Fables Crossover” (Written by Bill Willingham and Matthew Sturges), and it amused and perplexed me when I read it.
A cryptic laundry list? I’m not even sure what a laundry list is, much less how it could be made cryptic. Is it a list of things one needs in order to launder? Laundry soap, a stupid amount of quarters and loonies (yes, loonies. It’s a Canadian thing), dirty clothes. Or is it a list of the dirty clothes themselves? No, I’m not going to list (or air) my dirty laundry. (Ha... get it? Unseen shooting stars, I’m tired.) Really, I think “a laundry list” is cryptic to begin with.
As I traveled home, this line and thoughts remotely connected to it echoed in my mind. Perhaps I should note here that in addition to songs, I sometimes get lines and titles stuck in my head. One particularly annoying time, I had Mordecai Richler’s name on repeat in my brain for what I remember now as days. Out of desperation, I read “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz”. I’m not sure why, but it actually worked; my mind was cleared.
So traumatized was I by this strange wordsworm (for lack of a better term), that I decided to apply this same theory to the cryptic laundry list. Also, I was curious. I wanted to know if I had the writing chomps to create a list of laundry so obscure and clue-full, one might only describe it as cryptic.
Here’s where I should definitely mention, I’ve been up since four in the morning. Actually, that’s not true. I woke up at five twenty, due to a particularly odd dream about my roommate asking me how to get “dead things” out of the sofa I was sitting on. Incidentally, I’m sitting on that very sofa right now... Anyway, in the dream, she very earnestly said, “Chicken soup!”, and I have no idea if it was the “dead things” in question, or the preferred method of removal, or perhaps just a craving of hers. Wait... Why am I telling you this again?
In any case, after work, I met a friend in a cafe to be exceedingly distracted by a man making eyebrows at his laptop (trust me, there’s really no other way to describe it) and also to write. Not that I’m upset about the eyebrow-watching to writing ratio, but I think I should insist that mostly I met her to write.
Look, if this makes little to no sense, know that that only furthers my case. After all, I’m writing this at 1 am, and I’m squinting in order to do so. Words look a little funny when you squint. Kind of slanty. And blurry.
So, please, keep my utter exhaustion and general squintyness in mind when I tell you that when I sat down to write a cryptic laundry list, I somehow ended up with a cryptic grocery list.
And because I enjoy revealing things that should be otherwise embarrassing, especially when I’m squinty and giggly as I am right now, I’ve decided to share that list. Even though nobody asked me to. You’re welcome.
Here it is:
A Straightforward and Yet Unnecessary Title for a Cryptic Grocery List
An animal, a meal, and a taunt.
A fruit, described by its colour.
How can something decreed as perfect also be in such disputation of order?
A letter so useful it both begins its own title and is its own word.
Ever predictably, that which you call one thing I call another.
The truth is, we know but the tip of the iceberg. Therefore, let us not worry our heads about which is better, and which is best.
This is to hair as salivating is to Pavlov’s dogs, only shinier.
On any other, this would make one blue, especially if you hate waste.
A house of this could be blown away; a bowlful devoured.
To do nuts or not to do nuts: that is the question.
A game to crush or a plant to eat?
Don’t cry. It’s actually pretty funny.
Whether it’s a secret or water, don’t wait for someone to spill it. It’s probably already on the internet.
We need room to grow and room to write, of course. They say it’s fun, but I really hate this guy.
If one killed as often as some eat this, and one was caught and judged as guilty, I would hope the sentence would be as long as this one or longer, only with years instead of words.
Can you figure out the items on the grocery list and/or do you have any to add? Can you write a cryptic laundry list that doesn't somehow morph into a cryptic grocery list? Can you tell me what a laundry list (cryptic or not) is?
...and good news! The line's out of my head! For now...