Where the Pickle Confuses, a Mad Lib Alteration of Where the Sidewalk Ends

For those of you who don’t go to YouTube for the description, I’ve copied it below the video. This is one of Micah’s favorite ways to do Game Night. Usually he likes me to do the reading, but I’m looking forward to his turn! 🙂

I misspoke by saying we did not like any of the readings of this poem on YouTube. So if you did one, please don’t be offended. We were just goofing off. There were actually some nice visuals and some darn cool musical versions. What I mean to say is that we couldn’t find any straight readings of the poem, something that represents the piece on it’s own terms.

This is another vid for that small audience who has come to love these “Dad Libs.” For those of you who are still confused, here is how it works. Dad Libs is our bastardization of the term Mad Libs. You can check out their website at http://madlibs.com/ and if you click on their Mad Libs Widget you can see for yourself how they work online.

The ones we grew up with were in those little tablets, where you would find a story, a song or a poem, often one you already recognize, but many of the key words would be replaced by blank spaces and prompts for you to insert words of the same grammatical parts of speech, ie. Noun, Verb, Adverb, possessive pronoun, past participle, etc.

Now what makes it so much fun is that the person holding the tablet does not divulge the identity of the piece of writing which is being altered by the other participants’ word choices. The tablet holder merely asks for the parts of speech which the other players provide, not knowing what mayhem will ensue when it is read back within the framework of the original piece.

Micah, my youngest son (the one in the vid with me) had the brilliant idea of creating our own, by simply cutting and pasting at our laptops. So it has become a Game Night tradition to search the web for a favorite poem, song, speech or bit of prose, and then cut and paste it to notepad, and create our own Mad Libs.

Micah and I had no idea what Josiah (the oldest brother) was causing us to transform, or undermine, when he asked us for the various parts of speech. Jonathan (the brother in the middle) is not seen or heard in this production, but many of the awesome word choices involved were from his thoughtful head. Here is the original poem for this reading. The delightful nonsense that resulted is printed below the original. We hope you enjoyed it!

Where the Sidewalk Ends
by Shel Silversetein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we’ll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we’ll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.

And our version after Mad Libbing:

Where the Pickle Confuses

There is a place where the pickle confuses
And before the painting begins,
And there the grass fluffy soft and peach,
And there the giant burns foolishly bright,
And there the tv-station rests from his porta potty
To cool in the favorite wind.

Let us expunge this place where the dead slobber vermilion
And the Irish street spit and sip.
Past the genius where the asphalt morons grow
We shall usurp with a slice that is subsided and slow,
And watch where the pissed arrows go
To the place where the hobo mixes.

Yes we’ll blink with a injury that is uploaded and slow,
And we’ll go where the hairy arrows go,
For the dads, they mark, and the hearts, they know
The place where the pick confuses.


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