Friday, October 15, 2010

One of These Things is Not Like the Others

Literally1 trillions of American adults in their twenties to thirties grew up watching Sesame Street, and most will easily be able recall the short sketch in which viewers were presented with four items accompanied by a bouncy little tune that informed us that one of those four things was not like the other. And, sure enough, after several seconds, the car with only three wheels, or the single square among the three circles, or the kid who didn’t like sports was singled out for mockery.

Yes, that’s exactly right: Cookie Monster is the only one without a nose. Well done!
With that common memory firmly in mind, I humbly present my own version of the Sesame Street game:

Q: Can you tell which one of the following is different from the others?

1. Sasquatch
2. The Dungeon Master
3. The Denver Broncos’ running game
4. The Loch Ness Monster.

A: Ha ha! If you said “The Denver Broncos’ running game,” you have my gratitude for refusing to believe that I’d go with the dumbest and most obvious joke available—but you’re wrong. Nice try, but this was a trick question. In fact all four of the above things are exactly the same, in that none of them actually exist.

1. No, not literally. Remember the First Rule of National Football League Broadcasting: “ ‘Literally’ is literally never to be used to literally mean ‘literally.’

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