Name Your Personal Fairy
Posted on September 16, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 144 Comments
Justine Larbalestier, my absolute favorite Australian, has a new book out today: How to Ditch Your Fairy. It’s a YA book with a really fun conceit, and that is that every person in the book has a fairy that has one trick that benefits its owner: Some fairies allow you to always have a good parking spot, others make all the clothes you buy fit you just right, and so on. Justine goes to town with this idea, highlighting the downsides as well as the upsides, and writes a book that is funny and clever and smart (just like the Justine. Did I mention she’s my favorite Australian? Well, she is). I had a ball with it, and so did Krissy, so I would recommend it to you and/or any young adult reader you might happen to know.
The conceit of the story naturally opens up a fun participatory thread for you all to play in. Here’s the question to consider:
You are allowed a fairy with one trick that works for you. What trick would you prefer?
The only rule I would put on it is that this trick has to work for you specifically: You can’t wish for the “World Peace” fairy or the “My Enemies Burst Into Flame” fairy, because as nice as it would be to have world peace (or to have one’s enemies burst into flame), both of those are contingent on a lot of other factors and/or would get you thrown into prison. So pick something personally-oriented.
Personally, I want the “Where The Hell Are My Keys” fairy. Because, seriously, man: Where the hell are my keys? Half the time these days I’m using the spare key to the car, and if I lose that, I’m screwed. Having a little flitty thing that knows where my key are all the time: Awesome.
So that’s mine. What’s yours?
I want the “Extra Hour” fairy: the one who gives me an extra hour somehwere in the day. Probably in the morning, for sleeping in, but occasionally late in the day, so all the work gets done.
“Getting to the restaurant just before the rush” fairy.
Because seeing the place fill up around you is awesome!
John, the spell check is working but the grammar check is on the fritz. I believe you meant “concept” but in both uses it is showing as “conceit”.
I would like to have a health fairy that would stop colds & flu before they got really bad. Gotta plan ahead, winter is coming. :)
I’ve leaned to the idea of a panopaly of Small Gods (disc world style). My main small god is the god of the parking space right in front of where I’m heading. His name is Kojack. He’s bald and always has a lollypop.
The TV Kojack would drive around LA and there was ALWAYS a parking spot open wherever he headed.
So thats who I send my prayer to when I’m pulling into parking lot.
My choice is the “skips the phone queue fairy” so that I don’t make the rounds of automated phone choices and voice mail, but get to speak with a real person when I call the bank, doctor’s office, government office……
Not everything can be handled by e mail *sigh*
I would need the “Won’t let you procrastinate” fairy. Imagine how productive I’d be!
And Dragon, it is a conceit! Conceit: a witty or ingenious turn of phrase; “he could always come up with some inspired off-the-wall conceit” (dictionary.com)
I’d sort of like a fairy that breaks mental inertia.
Sort of a “Get off your ass and do something, because, really you don’t need to be checking the ‘Whatever’ 18 times a day” fairy.
I was a book dealer and have a knack for finding valuable stuff after all the other dealers had picked a sale. So I think I actually have a “find valuable used books cheap” fairy. If I don’t have one, that’s the one I want.
I’d like the eat and drink whatever I want while maintaining optimum weight fairy. I had that fairy when I was younger but it seems to have deserted me once I hit 40.
Oops, umm, I meant
conceit: 4. A fanciful, odd, or extravagant notion; a quant fancy; an unnatural or affected conception; a witty thought or turn of expression; a fanciful device; a whim; a quip. (dictionary.com)
I have the fairy of technological savvy. Seems that no matter the problem my staff have with computers or programs, it is working right by the time I arrive.
Or is that the fairy of ‘surround me with people who complain before thinking’…
Either way, I would love to have the Fairy of the On-Time Cutting Spontaneous Quip, rather than the Fairy of I Wish I Had Thought of This When…
I’m using the word I want to use, thanks.
Turkey Sandwich Fairy.
Because there’s no situation that wouldn’t be improved by some fresh-sliced turkey and Helmann’s between two slices of wheat bread.
(this, by the way, is also my answer to the “what superpower would you want to have?” question)
I’d like a “hairdo fairy” who would keep my hair from going all frizzy, and help me actually do something interesting with it on occasion.
Dragon, you missed “world piece”? Or maybe John would like to have a fairy that made sure everybody was getting some.
I’d like either Evil’s ‘get off your ass’ fairy or COD’s ‘eat drink whatever…’ fairy. The first would be useful in many situation and would likey take care of the same problem the later would.
I am my personal fairy. I don’t know how you can promote this book about women ditching their gay friends! I tell you, it’s positively homo—
The “don’t do that, it’s a bad idea” fairy, who’d tell me when I’m about to do something stupid.
#5 to the magical internet!: http://www.dialahuman.com/
#13 oh good one
I would want a “never need sleep” fairy because i hate having to spend so many hours just laying there when I could be doing so many other things!
Sign me up for the tongue twister fairy.
The one that gives your tongue a sharp twist before saying something stupid, so instead you open your mouth and say, “Glahhh, gargle, gumphhh….”.
What about a personal monologue fairy that narrates everything you do in the voice of Morgan Freeman, John Hodgman, or Tom Bosley?
Nothing would ever seem boring again.
The “time to shut up now you’re beginning to bore people no one gives a crap what you think and haven’t you had enough to drink?” fairy. My wife used to fulfill that role by simply lifting an eyebrow. But after 36 years of marriage, she’s given up.
BTW “… nice as it would be to have world piece …” would that be 40 acres and a mule?
……..and I’m posting without referencing my lovely hardcover, break your foot if you drop it, American Heritage Dictionary.
So my new conceit is that my fairy will be one that will recall posts & emails as if there were never there.
Upon reflection, I’d like the “look great no matter what I wear” fairy. Then I could dress for comfort with complete disregard for color, shape, or fit.
Which is what I do now, of course; I just look like shit.
Josh 17: I’ve BEEN that fairy for some people. Unfortunately they don’t always listen.
I’d ask for the “produce a novel I can sell” fairy, but I suspect that one’s already working overtime. ;)
So I’ll take the “instantly able to get a coherent melody and/or rhythm out of any instrument I can pick up” fairy. I could sit in on a lot more jam sessions that way!
I want the “able to say the witty response at the right moment” fairy instead of the think of the witty response 10 hours later brain I currently have.
I want the ‘make sure my bills get paid on time’ fairy. Not to actually provide the money or anything, just to make the money magically go from my account to their systems without me intervening.
I would like the “organization fairy” to keep things in order around here. Of course, if I get her no one else can have her because she’ll be working overtime at my house!
The dinner is on the table when I get home from a 30 mile commute fairy.
I love writing but can never think of good topics, so I want “The Big Idea Fairy!”
I have a hard time going to sleep and staying asleep so I’d want the “Go to sleep fast and stay asleep until the alarm rings” fairy.
The “my car starts fine everytime” fairy.
I’d like the “goes to work for me” fairy. And similar to Anna the Piper, I’d like the “write me out of this blasted story corner” fairy.
I want the “don’t forget things” fairy. She’d help me have everything when I go somewhere in the car, and would let me know what I came to this particular room for in the first place. if I treat her nicely, she’d also help me remember that yes, it really is my anniversary today.
I’d want one that could give me instant access to and intelligent searching and analysis of all the information available on the internet, and delivered in a way nobody could hear.
Sort of like Jane from Ender’s game, but as a fairy. Or a really, really nerdish/meganekko Tinkerbell.
My fairies would be related to time. Not sure which, but the “extra time when I need it”, “turn back time so I can undo” or “slow down time because I want this to last longer” fairies would be at the top of my list. Then there is always the “freeze time fairy” but I think that starts to contradict the concept of the thread here (these aren’t super powers after all).. and I think I’d abuse the freeze time idea.. to easy to become an evil super villain.
The ‘Never Be Late’ fairy would be nice – lights would work in your favor, parking spots would appear, the elevator wouldn’t slam in your face, etc…
It’d be especially awesome if it also imparted immortality, but I suspect the fairy would insist on only one definition for the word.
Well, I live in Seattle, so I’d have to go with the “always find a good parking spot” fairy. Right now I have to pour a small libation of diet Pepsi to the parking gods, but that only works about 50% of the time (I suspect they’re awfully busy in this town).
Man, I would really love to have a “Know When Members of the Opposite Sex Are Into You” fairy. As it is, I have the “Tell You 15 Years After The Fact That Girls You Crushed On In High School Were Into You” Best Friend. Much less cool than the fairy.
My husband has the parking space fairy. No, seriously. I have seen him drive into Cambridge (MA) at rush hour and find a spot immediately in front of where he was going on his first pass.
I want le mot juste fairy. The one who whispers exactly the work I’m looking for into my ear just when I need it.
Erm. That would be “word” not “work” – hence my certitude that the fairy in question is not mine.
I’d like the “pick the fastest line” fairy. Works in checkout lines and also in traffic jams when deciding which lane to be in.
I want the “when you say something stupid, the faerie mutes your voice and says something witty and charming instead” faerie.
Like Chris S. (#1), I want the “extra hour fairy”, except mine would be the “extra 12-hour fairy”. I’d use six of the hours for sleep and the other six to write. As it is, by the time I finish my writing for the paying gig, I’m often just too written out to work on my own projects.
Right this very moment? I’d settle for the “Knows which cat toy my crazy cat wants me to throw so she’ll stop whining at the apartment door and just play enough so she’ll remember she’s whining because she’s hungry and go eat” fairy. Until it’s found, I guess Mr. Water Squirter isn’t going to have to worry about feeling useless and unappreciated.
I will take a Sleep Fairy; Lunesta is great, but not foolproof. The fairy should also make it that if I don’t get enough sleep I will still feel like a got a full 8. The only thing about baby number two I am not looking forward to is the return of sleep depravation.
For my wife I definitely want the “Where are my keys fairy,” so I won’t have to hear, “I don’t see my keys, I’ll just take yours,” every other day.
For my 7 year old son, I deperately need the “Where are my shoes,” fairy.
For my 13 year old genuis daughter we need #1’s “extra hour fairy,” but I’m afraid we would break it from repeated use.
For me, today I need to borrow someone’s, “Where is my USB backup drive,” fairy but I would like to have a fairy that would tell me when someone is lying to me. That would be awesome!
Hmmm, I think mine would have to be the “Always wake up on time fairy” or the previously mentioned “instant cutting remark fairy” since I always think of these things 2 hours after they’re useful.
Of course the “always find the back issue I’m looking for” comic book fairy wouldn’t get thrown off my shoulder either.
I’m a keyboardist (piano, harpsichord) and I could sure use the services of a “don’t need to painstakingly study each measure to figure out the best fingering, and can just sit down and sight-read anything spontaneously” fairy. If had one of those, I wouldn’t need an “extra 12 hours” fairy.
I want a “pick the most appropriate outfit” fairy. In the morning I could say “OK, I’m going to work and after that to dance practice” and she’d say “wear *this*, put *that* in your gym bag, it’s going to be chilly tonight”.
Given the above, she’d also want to cull things from my wardrobe that are no longer appropriate (“no, honey, you shouldn’t wear that to work anymore, you’re a manager now”).
Alternately, I want a chef’s assistant fairy. She’d tell me what to get at the store, and whisper the instructions on how to make the recipes turn into yummy food (keep stirring… now add the onions).
I want a “found money” fairy – one that casually directs me to unclaimed money. Not so I can pay my bills, I have a job. I want it for the “extras” like buying books.
Oh, who needs to eat anyway. If I just buy the books instead of food, I won’t have to worry about my weight, now will I?
I would like a “Line Memorization” fairy. Because I’d love to be able to walk into the second week of rehearsals with my lines down COLD.
I want the Makes Bureaucracy Work fairy. As in, monitors all interactions with bureaucracies and makes sure they go properly. Insurance companies billing properly (and paying when they should pay), phone companies working properly, utilities, lawyers, accountants, tax people…. all of it.
Or at the very least, fixes it before you get dinged on your credit score for something a credit card company did to an account that you closed a year ago, so of course you’re not monitoring it any more…
Does it really need to be said?
Every man on the planet would want one.
It would be the, “Keep my you-know-what stiff and make my wife orgasm loudly and in multiple series, every single time we did it!” fairy.
I want the “Here’s another bag of Money” Fairy. That would make so many things easier!
I want the “what the hell is my password for this site again?” fairy. It’s getting worse now with multiple sites forcing me to change my password (without repeats!) on a regular basis.
I want the ‘stress reduction’ fairy. Every time I start to gets stressed about something she pops up, says how can I help, then offers a choice of her extremely useful skill set:
1) perfect active listening / reminding me about a real person who is a good listener I can call;
2) master at ‘TPS report’ memos (for bureaucratic nonsense)
3) instant ‘to-do’ list prioritizing and cleaning
4) eliminator of red-tape / cutting through to someone who can solve the problem / or just waiting on the phone for me
5) validator: ‘You are worth it!’
6) appropriate, careful advice, like ‘how about some exercise? what about eating something?’
It is like a combination of apple-pie-totin’ mothers and the perfect assistant. If that sounds like too many for the conceit, then #1 – a good listener. Hooray!
The “I really need to vomit right now” fairy.
I have thought about it in terms of superpowers, but having a fairy is similar. There are two benefits, one of which would be useful to anyone and one which is of particular use to me, a lawyer who frequently litigates.
The “I really need to vomit right now” fairy would be useful to everyone who wanted to, occasionally, skive off of work.
From the litigation angle, I almost never know who is going to be judging my case, and you cannot ask for an adjournment of the matter just so that you can get a new judge. The judiciary, for some reason, frowns on that practice.
With the ability to to vomit on command, as soon judge “I don’t like you, your client or your case” comes into the room, you can vomit and you will get your adjournment fairly easily.
Of course, you would have to be careful when you used this power.
You know how sometimes kids won’t go to sleep–no matter how tired and cranky they are? I’d like a fairy that can overcome that and make them go to sleep when they need it, please.
I’d also like the borrow that hair-defrizzing fairy from time to time …
The fitting-all-my-crap-in-my-pockets fairy. (Let’s see… keys, wallet, bluetooth headset, cell phone, iPod, blackberry, earphones….).
I want a “Shouldn’t you be practicing?” fairy. This fairy would nag me every day to practice my guitar, which I’ve slacked off playing since I started working full time. As an added benefit, the fairy would give feedback on my technique and tone, and would suggest new things to work on.
I want a fairy that mends the holes in my pockets. My pockets always get blown out long before the pants are ready to fall apart.
The “writes a perfect first draft” fairy. That way there’d be no sender’s remorse when I post a comment or blog entry or email someone. And all my stories would sell. (grin)
And think of how many more stories one could write if one never had to revise. On the other hand, like the Midas Touch, such fairy powers would never quite work right, I’m sure. (double-edge-grin)
I guess I’ll suffer on.
I think I’d like #18’s “never need sleep” fairy. A la Nancy Kress’ Sleepless series. Because as talented as I am at procrastinating, I don’t think I could procrastinate through that many extra hours.
Although a personal beaming fairy would be nice, but I think that may break the rules of the game. If it just beamed me around that’d work right?
I’ll take the “make me invisible” fairy. I have always wanted to be able to be invisible. Or is that too hard a task for this type of fairy?
I should want Skip’s bill-paying fairy, but I don’t. Instead I want a fairy that makes my clothing continue to fit even if I gain and/or lose seven pounds.
And I would pretty please like a “always offered a ride” fairy for my son, so I can stop picking him up from school and taking him home, to the rink, etc., in the middle of my workday.
If I can only have one, I’ll take the driver-fairy for my kid.
I keep thinking of that line from “Dune” (paraphrased since I don’t have the book on hand): The mind orders the body and the body obeys; the mind orders itself and meets resistance.
I’d like the stop-meeting-mental-resistance fairy.
I need the typo fairy. As in I don’t make them anymore. Spending most of yesterday tracking down a problem that was made a lot harder to troubleshoot because of a one letter typo is only the latest in a list of reasons why.
I would like a fairy that tells me the things that I should have said – the things I always think of waaaaay too late to be of any use to me. But the fairy would have to tell me these things in time for me to use them.
I suppose there ought to be a “discretion fairy” to go along with this, to remind me that sometimes not saying those things would be beneficial to my health/employment/marriage/community standing, but if I had to choose one, I’d just go with the first fairy and take my chances.
I had the parking-spot fairy, when I still had a car. This was extremely cool when I was living in L.A., but nowadays I wish I’d been able to trade it in for a “bus/train arrives at the station two minutes AFTER I do” fairy.
‘Cause that fairy, I do not have. Emphatically.
I want the “encyclopedic knowledge of current events” fairy, so any time someone starts advocating a politician or policy, I can just raise my eyebrow at the fairy and get the Snopes.com/FactCheck.org/Politifact.com on it as well as the editorial opinions from sources I respect.
Or, even better, the fairy that can scan through probable future timelines and tell me what to expect from any given decision point, whether it’s “should I eat that exotically spiced dish?” to “should my state vote for that proposition?”
I’d like the “hardcore bookworm speed-read” fairy, please. ‘Cause reading burnout just sucks.
The Focus on the Task Until It’s Done fairy
With the freedom to take on another task when I need a break from the first one, but always return to the first task when I’m ready to face it again.
I already have the “bladder fairy” listed on Justine’s list. The one where I can drink as much as I want & never have to go to the bathroom during a long movie or car trip. And should I ever have to go, there is always a bathroom readily available. It’s a good fairy to have.
But if I ever decided to trade it for something else, hm…lately I’ve been wishing for a parking fairy. Parking at my school is ridiculously bad & I’m a day student. But the good health fairy is looking really good right now too, it could combat my tendonitis so that those far parking spaces don’t bother me as much. And get rid of my thousand allergies too.
Probably the health fairy then.
The Personal Tailwind Fairy. Once during every race, I’d get a nice ten mph gust that pushes only me for sixty seconds, just enough to make a good breakaway.
I want the “you really don’t want to eat that” fairy.
It would save me from eating that one more piece of turkey that makes the rest of Thanksgiving painful.
She’d prevent me eating the taco from a street vendor in San Ignacio, Belize, that made me stay within 8 feet of the toilet, rather than going snorkeling.
And I wouldn’t have eaten that durian. (Truly it was not as bad as I thought it would be — half-frozen, it’s kind of like vanilla custard with bits of spaghetti squash in it. That tastes of rotting onions)
I seriously want the “no more whacking my head” fairy. I can consistently, and for all time, avoid major headaches and possible concussions by no longer banging my head on exposed beams, poorly placed light fixtures, the underside of tables, and the like.
It works for me because I’m a tall man, and I inevitably have friends who feel the need to put things at a convenient height for themselves. This is not a knock on them, but dammit, it gets annoying hitting my forehead on a cabinet door left carelessly open, or whacking the top of my skull on an entryway hanging lamp (usually brass, weighs about 80 pounds, and would crack the skin on a coconut), and this is the worst, being asked to move things in a low-ceiling basement. That’s a recipe for several disasters, right there.
This is my wish. No more of this, please.
I want the “where the heck did I leave my book?” fairy. I read as I do projects and end up setting them down everywhere. One memorable example – the husband asked why there was a paperback in the freezer one day after I had cooked dinner. *sigh*
I’d borrow the frizzy hair fairy on occasion too.
I’m thinking given the twitchiness of the website, I’d be happy with the “never run into a server error” fairy.
I want the “works on my machine” fairy. Basically, anytime those words come out of my mouth, the code on the test/production server that is experiencing problems immediately begins to work the same as the code on my development machine.
My Faerie would convince agents and publishers to buy my books…for lot’s of cash.
And if I can’t have that one then I want the “no more tripping over the shoes spread out in front of the garage door” faerie.
Now that I think about it, that second one may be better. What good is becoming a bestselling author if I break my neck on my kids shoes and spend it all on therapy?
I want an anxiety sponge fairy. She wouldn’t really do anything proactive, she’d just be there to soak up my nerves and let me get on with life.
If she’s busy I’ll take the no more migraines fairy instead.
I want a sleep fairy. Namely, she will keep me awake when I need to be awake and send me to good sleep when I need that. No more insomnia. No more sleepy struggling days.
I would like a “what the [bleep] is wrong with my sewing machine?” Fairy. It would have saved me the hour I spent yesterday trying to fix mine.
Alternately, a “mechanical equipment always works how I want it to” fairy would be nice, because it would cover not only sewing machines and sergers, but also my motorcycle, my computer fans, and those claw games at the mall.
I want my “Always get Front Row Tickets for Concerts” fairy! Or more generally “Always get the best seats for shows” fairy.
I have “bad line karma”; any checkout line I get in is guaranteed to have a 30 minute wait time. So my fairy would get me to the best checkout line with the friendliest and speediest checker. (That or my fairy would assassinate anyone ahead of me in the self-checkout line because I’m obviously the only person in the world who knows how to use the damned things efficiently.)
I’ll take the sure-you-can-eat-that-greasy-cheeseburger fairy. Or maybe a general fat-burning fairy so I never have to run on the treadmill again!
I changed my mind. I’ll take the teleportation fairy so I never have to sit in traffic again!
I’d like the “nothing in life will be late” fairy. I rarely miss a deadline, but I worry about it a lot. But maybe that’s cheating, since it would mean getting the “never procrastinate” and “the doctor will see you now” fairy tossed in for free.
The “maintain optimum weight no matter what” fairy would be nice too.
I want a “Fixes My Wife’s Desktop” fairy. Whenever she screws something up on her laptop’s desktop, this fairy will appear and return everything to the default setup.
Right now, I seem to possess the other-peoples-computers-work-fine fairy. That’s the one where, whenever someone else’s computer breaks and I sit down at it – it works fine. I often think of it as auto-mechanic syndrome (“but it makes an awful noise when I drive it!”).
The fairy I’d like to have…well, it’s a toss between the eat-anything-and-remain-thin, and you can’t tell me some people don’t already have that one, and the sleep-whenever-I-want fairy. It often takes me 1-2 hours each night to nod off, and any distracting noise can wreak havoc with that estimate. Meanwhile, my wife sits on a sofa and is out in 10 minutes.
Which means I’ve seen more movie endings then her. :)
I’d like a”pick-up girls” fairy, which would give me the guts to introduce myself in a charming and witty way to one girl each day.
I already have a “When-I-hold-a-baby-it-falls-asleep” Fairy. It’s a shame I don’t have any kids, but it makes me a popular aunt.
I would like the “Always Remember Every Person I’ve Ever Met” fairy. I suck at the whole names/faces thing, and this would indeed be a useful fairy to have, especially with my 30 year high school reunion coming up.
Because it’s way too late for the “You’ll Never Have To Worry About Gray Hair” fairy…
I’d like the “undo” fairy. This fairy would let you undo the last 5 minutes, so you could wipe away those really stupid moments, like when you yelled at your kids, stuck your foot in your mouth when speaking to someone, backed your new car into a concrete abutment, etc.
I’d like to have the “helps you find and keep the optimum job (there is no perfect job) fairy” or failing that the “makes sure you know anything you need (or optimally want) to know fairy”.
When I was a kid I had the “I don’t care what they said, it’s never locked fairy”. Talked about it once too often, got called on it, proved it and immediately lost her. Well. I was a kid.
I have an ‘unluck’ fairy: I can be lucky, but only when it doesn’t matter.
So, I have the mystic power to do things like guess winning roulette numbers, but only if I don’t have a stake either way in the outcome.
Another Seattleite here – and I’d have to go with either the parking fairy, or the no-traffic fairy.
I’ve got the book coming via Amazon’s book fairy; should be here tomorrow, yay!
The book fairy – yeah, okay, that’d be a pretty great one for me to have, plus it would cut way down on my monthly expenses.
I’d love an “I actually understand the scope of this assignment better than the person assigning it” fairy, since lawyers rarely – if ever – know what they are after when they assign their colleagues a task. I can do the work, assuming I know what the heck they want, but often don’t – because they don’t.
The one that would walk the dog for me.
the – “when playing games of chance and the odds are inversed” fairy – Lotto – odds of winning 1 in 1,000,000 w/ my good luck fairy odds – 999,999 in 1,000,000 (1 million to on e in my favor) – I’d be a philathropist super hero/ Robin Hood – go and win at a casino and donate to charities !
I want the Fabulous Fairy: no matter what I’m wearing, how much I weigh, whether I’ve slept, or what I’m doing, I appear perfectly put-together and competent.
Because I already have the Wing-and-a-Prayer-Head-First-Tail-Flapping-In-The-Wind fairy, but I’d really like to look good doing it.
PS: the Frizzy Hair Fairy lives in the expensive little bottle that says “John Frieda’s Secret Weapon Hair Serum” on the side. I do not normally endorse overpriced commercial products but I make an exception for this stuff – I keep it on hand for Bad Hair Days but it’s more than I want to pay for day-to-day fabulous.
The “You do/do not need your umbrella” fairy.
If you leave it at home and it rains you get wet.
If you take it and the weather is sunny, you look like a berk.
I’d like to be adopted by the “Put Editors and Referees in a Good Mood” Fairy.
Whenever I submit a poem or story or article to a magazine or newspaper editor, the “Put Editors and Referees in a Good Mood” Fairy waves the magic meta-pen (which is mightier than the meta-sword) and the Editor decides, what the heck, might as well send an acceptance letter, check enclosed. “Let the readers judge,” said Editor thinks. “I know this guy acted oddly at a con some years ago, and both style and content are outside my usual preferences, but for some inexplicable reason, it just makes me feel good.”
Whenever I submit a technical paper on Mathematical Physics, Mathematical Biology, Mathematical Economics, or the like to an editor, and that editor (feeling good) sends it off the the usual gang of anonymous referees, they are all (***wave: aaahhhh***) likely to jot down or email something such as: “while there are a few things I don’t clearly understand in this paper, that is no doubt due to the author being closer to the happening thing and cool stuff than I am, so I say give it an accept and see what letters to the editor result after publication.”
Step 2: Hugo and/or Nebula and/or Pulitzer and or Nobel Prize.
Step 3: Profit!
The “perfect snack” fairy. I never know what kind of snack I want, and I wind up snacking far too much, just looking for something that will satisfy my craving. My little fairy would lead me to the kitchen and open the right cabinet or the fridge or page in a cookbook. Preferably, he’d also bake stuff, but that might just be a wish for domestic help.
A “pays the bills and keeps me on budget” fairy. sigh.
I think I’d like the domestic help fairy, that will keep my house clean and organized, my laundry done and my teens’ piles o’ mess under control.
We’ve hired a housekeeper at times, but they don’t take care of the picking up, organizing or laundry part of the job, and that’s 2/3 of the battle.
Everyone in my family seems to have an Avoid Jury Duty Fairy. We don’t want her; in fact, my father (a political scientist who teaches at a law school, his specialty being the American judicial system) would willingly pay for the privilege of serving on a jury. We’re law-abiding people who drive and vote and do all the other things that normally put you on the hook for jury duty, and none of us has ever so much as spent a week calling in to see if we’ll be needed at the courthouse that day.
My husband, who like the rest of us thinks it would be really interesting to serve on a jury, appears to have married into this fairy. He’s never been called, either.
(On the other hand, she seems to have some other areas of specialization that I’m less inclined to complain about. But I’m afraid if I mention them out loud, I’ll jinx myself.)
I want the “Don’t buy that book/dvd/cd you or your husband already have it” fairy.
The Zen Fairy.
Every time I get stressed, angry, or upset, my fairy would fill me with a zen-like calm, so I don’t have the urge to yell, cry, head-desk, or climb the nearest tall building and snipe at innocent strangers.
Why, yes, I do work on a helpdesk. How did you know?
I need an “Always Draws Well” faery. I almost thought I had one this last Saturday…
I want a food fairy that would make sure that every time I get up to check in the fridge or pantry, the perfect whatzit that I’m craving but can’t articulate (and certainly never think to buy during grocery shopping) is sitting right there on top.
Me, my first line of thinking is that I’d like to have a ‘Just Shut the F*ck Up!’ Fairy to gently prod me when it’d be better if I, well… would just shut the f*ck up. Failing that, an Apology Fairy, to suggest that perhaps now might be a good time to beg forgiveness.
But then, having just returned from errands that treated me to a blood red moonrise over the Green Mountains, and, moments later, to a flaming sunset over the Adirondacks, my second thought is that I’d like to have a Camera Fairy to ensure that I was properly equipped to capture such moments.
Since both of these seem quite a lot to ask, I’ll settle for a little pixie that keeps my reading glasses sparkling clean.
I need a “burst of focus” fairy, for when I have studying to do. OR a linguistics fairy; that’d be nice.
I would like an “always feeling cool” (temperature wise) fairy, god I hate the heat. Hip hip hurrah for the end of summer!
I would want a calorie-counting fairy who would know exactly how many calories were in Aunt May’s pie and could yell “Don’t eat that!” or “You’ve reached your daily maximum caloric intake!”
I want the ergonomics fairy, that always helps me to sit and move in the best way possible. Because I always end up in less-than-ergonomic working situations and I’d like to not have my muscles suffer the brunt.
Thena, there’s a definite downside to the Fabulous Fairy (who seems to hang around me intermittently or rather her little sister the Appear Extremely Competent Fairy). It is exceedingly uncomfortable to have everyone around you complacently convinced that you will come through magnificently because you’re just so competent, when you know you’re riding a wing and a prayer.
i’m thinking either the free(or cheap) stuff fairy or the “bus arrives soon after i get to the bus stop” fairy
I want the “Stop mindlessly surfing the internet and do something” fairy, who will give me about ten minutes to surf and then remind me of something else that I really want to do or should do.
I want the “always be motivated to go to the gym” fairy. Although I’m edging closer and closer to it, so maybe I don’t need it… In which case I want the “keep the cat from waking me up before I want to get up because she wants to be fed” fairy.
I want the Kevlar fairy that will always shield me from the p_nct_r_ p_x__s* feared by cyclists the world over.
*Feel free to fill in the vowels if you don’t mind calling their dread might down upon yourself. :)
I would like the “write the correct answer on the exam” fairy.
Or the “cleaning made fun and easy” fairy.
Or the “don’t be so awkward” fairy.
The “Man, but I wish I could just snap my fingers and have the next few hours at work be instantly over” fairy. I’d still spend those hours at work, doing my work, they’d just go by instantly.
Dang! I’m actually incapable of snapping my fingers! What a waste of a perfectly good fairy!
I’d like the “easy button” fairy. That way every time I think something is going to be hard, my fairy could give me just that little extra boost of brain power so that it comes off feeling ridiculously simple.
How about the eternal high-balance checking account fairy?I could go with that – no matter how much I spend, the account stays at the same level.
I’d like a ‘just one look and you feel young and vigorous and ready to take on the world and win again’ fairy.
Failing that another photo of my beloved will do.
Laundry fairy- no question.
(Thanks for the heads-up on the book- it sounds like fun!)
I’ve thought of two more fairies that I would most definitely want to be paired with:
The “Remove The Earworm” Fairy: I think that one is self-explanatory.
The “Form-Filler-Outer” Fairy: When filling out forms of any kind, I always have the correct and relevant information flow from my pen without the need to look it up or puzzle over exactly what the form is asking for.
Oh, and the “Form-Filler-Outer” Fairy would also know exactly which form I would need to fill out in any given form-filling-out situation.
I still want the “world piece” fairy, because I still would like to be able to get a piece anywhere in the world.
How about an “always being organized ” fairy. I need one of those badly. The anti procrastination fairy might be good for me as well.
The ‘don’t lose things on the train’ fairy would be nice. I’m doing better on that, but not great.
i want the “kids never make a mess in the living room” fairy. or, a laundry fairy. either one would make me quite happy.
Cam Turner @35: Believe it or not, these fairies do exist and are known to be attracted by the music of Rush.
WC @55: Your fairy awaits you at Password Safe. Don’t let the apparent lack of pixie dust fool you.
RG @72: I’ll loan you mine, provided you treat it kindly and give it at least one week in three off. (Worked o/t over the weekend, took Monday off so fairy and I could finish Anathem. My head go ‘splodey any day now.)
Me? I’d like a Cattle-Prod Fairy of Motivation…
My fairy would ensure that my drive thru order was correct.
“Lucky Lottery Fairy”…. nuff said
I want the constantly-remind-me-of-what-I-told-my-wife-I-would-do fairy.
My nickname is Tinker Bell. Enough said. :)
Love this book!
The “That’s good enough. Really. Stop already” fairy – because it shouldn’t ever take anyone 4 hrs to wash a car.
I would like the “Sussing out Other People’s Motivations” fairy. I’m always confounded about why people do things, and to have a little fairy whispering explanations would be of immense assistance.
The “Spot a cool animal” fairy. She could sit on my shoulder and murmur at opportune moments, “Hey, is that an osprey?” “Check out the moose!” “Coyote at four o’clock!”
I’d really like to see a moose. Just a bit too far south, I guess.
I’ve got dibs on the “time to take your meds again” fairy. For obvious and some not so obvious reasons. At least, not always obvious to me…
i claim the “you’ve stepped over the line…AGAIN” fairy or the “boundaries? what boundaries?” fairy. what can i say? i like to talk about things that make others uncomfortable *shrugz and smiles deviously*