Ever come up with a line so awesomely perfect for the moment that everyone is convinced you ripped it off from someone else?
This afternoon at work my boss and I were trying to figure out some stupid problem with our web site. In frustration I said “Technology isn’t just a bitch. It’s wearing thigh-high boots and carrying a whip.”
She loved the comment. She’s also convinced I couldn’t have come up with it spontaneously.
What have you said that you’ve been unjustly denied credit for?
Oh, now here you’ve triggered a bitter memory. I was in grade school. Maybe grade 4 or 5. I wrote a Christmas poem. Teacher thought it was so awesome that I should read it over the PA system as part of the morning announcements and such. I did. Arrived back in class thinking I might get a kudo or two (I was pretty shy - a kind word from a peer might’ve been nice). Instead, I was met with skepticism. My classmates said it was so good I had to have plagiarized it (I was a ‘smart kid’ so had long before learned to hide my light under a bushel). Nobody would believe it was my own work.
That was the end of my writing career. I used to love to write and got good marks in writing but figured it was pointless to do if it couldn’t be appreciated.
You’ve heard of Mind Mapping? It just seemed like a completely natural way to organise ideas to me (I didn’t call it ‘Mind Mapping’ - I didn’t really call it anything - I just did it). Then one day, I read an inflight magazine and there was an article about it.
Of course I don’t deserve any credit for this, as I wasn’t anywhere near the first person to start using it, but I just wish I didn’t have to keep explaining to people that it isn’t some gimmicky fad I picked up at some seminar - it’s just the way I work.
I considered my dog to be very smart. I used to tell people, “The only thing he can’t do is play poker. Everytime he gets a good hand he wags his tail.”
Anyone could have easily come up with a line like that but when I started saying it it was an original from my musings. A few years later I saw it on the internet. I’ve always wondered if it’s roots go back to me.
A few years ago I was on vacation with my wife & kids, as well as my parents, siblings, and their kids. Big group. A day or so before it started my kids came down with colds, but the deposit was non-refundable, so we went anyway. By the end of the week, most of the other kids had started sniffling, sneezing and hacking up phlegm- no doubt caused by exposure to my sick kids.
My parents, siblings and I were discussing what a shame it was that we caused everyone in the house to get sick, and without any real forethought, I uttered “vini, vidi, virus- we came, we saw, we infected”. It pretty much brought down the house, and I think everyone thought I was waiting all week for just the right moment to say it. But when I started with “vini”, I really didn’t know where I was going with it. It evolved as it was coming out of my mouth.