I saw something yesterday on The Ellen Degeneres Show
, and just had to comment. She had Darryl Hannah
on, who was promoting a board game she "created" called Liebrary
. I put created in quotes because the game's premise is pretty old, and Hannah and her friend just formalized the rules and packaged the game.
Liebrary is basically like Balderdash
, except Liebrary focuses strictly on books instead of weird words, people, laws, movies and initials. The liebrarian reads the title and a brief plot synopsis of a real book, and the players write fake first lines for the book. The scoring and object to the game is the same as Balderdash. You try to lie as believably as possible.
I think the game would've been better if the players simply wrote fake summaries. The first lines of books are so different and often memorable. It could be one word, a paragraph long sentence or anything. The first lines are supposed to be special. Here's a few first lines with titles to show what I mean, all were gathered from First Lines: A Sort of Literacy Test
"Where's Papa going with that ax?" said Fern to her mother as they were setting the table for breakfast.
--Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Once on a dark winter's day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares.
--A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson
Burnett Isaac McCaslin, 'Uncle Ike', past seventy and nearer eighty than he ever corroborated any more, a widower now and uncle to half a county and father to no one ---- this was not something participated in or even seen by himself, but by his elder cousin, McCaslin Edmonds, grandson of Isaac's father's sister and so descended by the distaff, yet not withstanding the inheritor, and in his time the bequestor, of that which some had thought then and some still thought should have been Isaac's, since his was the name in which the title to the land had first been granted from the Indian patent and which some of the descendants of his father's slave still bore in the land.
--Go down, Moses by William Faulkner
--The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
So you see, first lines vary a lot. I don't think the classics are heavily covered in the game, but it's still going to be an odd game to play. I wonder what criteria was used for choosing the books for this game. If they were marketing whizes, the developers would've invited publishers to send in their titles and summaries with a small fee for inclusion, but I doubt that happened.
What made me sit up and squawk was what Hannah said on Ellen
. She came out with an eyeglass case, and Ellen commented on it. She asked if it were a purse. Hannah said, "No, they're my nerd librarian glasses."
Nerd librarian glasses.
Oh no, she didn't.
As a glasses wearing library worker, I take exception to this.
Why are they librarian glasses? Is there an ALA stamp on them? Why must they be nerdy? Are glasses inherently nerdy? And if glasses are inherently nerdy, does that mean librarian glasses have to the nerdiest of the nerdy?
The game doesn't have any major distribution deal. You can't pick it up at Target or Walmart. You've got to order it directly from the website, and at $48 (+S&H) that's a pretty steep purchase. The most likely people to seek out this game and purchase it are, you guessed it, librarians. Alienating us by attributing her failing eyesight and ugly choice in eyewear to some disliked antiquated stereotype is a swift way to get her precious game scratched off our X-mas wish list.
She didn't get to put her 'nerd librarian' glasses on, though she tried. Ellen cut her off before Hannah could demonstrate the game and threw it to commercial. I'm hoping Ellen did this because she was as appalled as I was by Hannah's gaffe, but probably they just ran long talking about Hannah's recent trip to Africa.
To even the score, henceforth I'm going to refer to my crap one lens tinted red, the other tinted blue, can't break with a sledgehammer, can't lose no matter how hard I try, three prescriptions too old, coke bottle bottom, spare glasses as my Darryl Hannah specks. So there. Actually now, it'll be much easier to refer to them, previously that other bit had been quite a mouthful.
I guess since I went to the trouble, here's some other things I learned. It seems this is Hannah's 2nd game she has developed. Her first was "Love it or Hate it". You can find a summary here
. Frankly, I don't really see how much fun that one could be unless it was changed into a drinking game.
Also the company SimplyFun is one of those companies that throws in home parties like Home Interiors or Southern Living, so I'd be leery of purchasing something from them because they may decide to try and recruit you, but it looks like you could possibly simply purchase the game, unlike those other companies.*Disclaimer, I think this should be obvious to regular readers, but I like to make mountains out of mole hills. Yes, I know Hannah isn't the spawn of the devil but instead is probably a very lovely woman. I was surprised by how varied her career has been, and I wish her nothing but good will. Her comment was probably just an unfortunate mistake, but it still doesn't change the fact that I don't want her game and what she said just reinforced my choice. Wait, is this still a disclaimer?