sad libs

chris0129

Senior Member
Polish
The same routine, day after day after day: instant black coffee and cantaloupe; crawl through the Jewish Week with that enormous magnifying glass; check the house to make sure all the lights are still off; push a walker on tennis balls to shul to have the same Sad Libs conversations with the same macular degenerates, substituting different names into the news about prognoses and graduations; thaw a brick of chicken soup while flipping through the same photo albums; eat the soup with black bread while advancing through another paragraph of the Jewish Week; take a nap in front of one of the same five movies; walk across the street to confirm Mr. Kowalski’s continued existence; skip dinner; check the house to make sure all the lights are still off; go to bed at seven and have eleven hours of the same nightmares. [Foer, Here I am]

My question is: what kind of game is "sad libs"? I kind of get it, but I'm not sure, if I get it right.
 
  • waltern

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    It is a joke based on "Mad Libs", a game in which you insert (usually funny) words into blanks in a story - here, different names are regularly inserted into the same "sad" stories.

    Mad Libs - Wikipedia
     
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    chris0129

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thank you, waltern, I've translated it somewhere near to "playing the same sad word-filling games", so I guess I guessed it right:)
     

    MinaDidi

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    The only caution I would make is that it's not literally about playing word-filling games, right? I can't quite tell if that came through in your translation. The author is using the game of Mad Libs (and the pun Sad Libs) to evoke the sense that every day the same conversations are being had--but like the author says key words are swapped out.
     

    chris0129

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Yes, I understand it as a routine thing. Swapping names makes no differance, but it's the only thing that changes (because everyone's grandson is graduating, and everyone is permanently ill, so the prognoses are different).
     

    chris0129

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I know, thank you very much MinaDidi :) I'm trying to make him sound as Polish, as he can, but some things are a bit lost in translation (I hope not many of them).
     
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