My 15 year old son is on the spectrum, where empathy can be somewhat of a challenge. So to help him brush up on his social skills we play a game at dinner where we all ask very specific questions of each other. The point is to get the kids to think what someone else might be interested in and asking them accordingly. It’s designed to help my son pay a little more attention to the interests of his siblings during the day so that he has topics to work with at dinner. Though it’s designed for him, I find that it helps all of us be a little more connected in an era where many of us like nothing better than to sneak away and silently stare at a screen.
In the course of this game the other night, I asked a question of Lady C that was such a hit that all the kids wanted to answer it, too. And when that happens, I’ve usually struck upon something fun, so I decided to throw it out there today.
Who would you cast in the roles of the devil and angel on your shoulder?
You can choose anyone, a real person or a fictional character. You can cast a banana if you think that’s the best berry for the job.
One note: These characters work for you. They’re there to get you to be the version of yourself you want them to help you be. The devil on your shoulder works for you. The advice they whisper may influence you, but they can’t somehow take you over. Likewise the angel can’t guilt you into doing anything. You’re the boss. You’re always going to be the boss.
So here’s what we came up with!
My 5-year-old daughter didn’t really get it but her angel was her mommy and her devil was Mayor Humdinger on Paw Patrol.
My 9-year-old son chose Chidi Anagonye from The Good Place as his angel and Darth Sidious as his devil.
My 13-year-old daughter chose Lord Voldemort as her devil and Evie Frye from Assassins Creed: Syndicate as her angel.
My 15-year-old son chose President Coriolanus Snow from The Hunger Games as his devil and Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird as his angel.
Lady C chose Hillary Clinton as her angel and Bill Clinton as her devil.
What I like about this game is it gives you a sense of where people are. For me, I was tempted to choose someone like Sauron as my devil but can you imagine that bastard hissing in your ear for the rest of your life? You really need to pick your devil carefully. It has to be someone you can stand, I think. I like the President Snow choice because I’m a huge fan of Donald Sutherland and I wouldn’t mind that voice purring in my ear al,l day.
Likewise for the angel, I was thinking Athena, goddess of wisdom or maybe Lady Galadriel, but my number one, favorite favorite favorite thing in the world is laughing as hard as I can, and while my wisdom quotient would skyrocket, I doubt either of them would get me to crack a smile.
Also, I don’t want to deal with judgement from my shoulder team. I put Barack or Michelle up there and I’m going to spend like 30 percent of my mortal existence listening to silent judgement as I faceplant through life with them in the front row. No sir. No, ma’am. Not doing it.
Ultimately, I’m not cornering global markets, or sinking ships or carrying the one ring to Mordor. I don’t need some epic Shakespearean muse. I’m just trying to get through the day without showering and hoping no one notices. (Don’t get me wrong — I LOVE showering. It’s where I do my best thinking. But we have six people and one bathroom and sometimes I draw the short straw, so to speak.) To that end, my choices almost picked themselves.
My devil is The Pontiac Bandit, Doug Judy. The second I see Doug Judy everything in the world is like 16 percent better. If I’m going to have to endure a devil on my shoulder, he’s gonna be sexy AF.
“Rosa, Rosa, Rosa, Roooosa …She’s the Girl I need. Right there on the floor, is the man you’re looking for… He’s right in front of you. A little bit to the left. My left, my left, my left. Come on this way, he’s in a red shirt. No, not the Asian dude, I’m talking ‘bout a bright red shirt! That’s the man you’re looking for, that’s the man you’ve been looking for. This is still a love song people, this is still a love song.”
My angel is Maya Rudolph.
Human being Maya Rudolph. Maya Rudolph in any role and Maya Rudolph in no role. Maya Rudolph raising kids and buying groceries and stepping on legos with bare feet. Maya Rudolph in toto. Pretty sure I could get through anything with her whispering bullshit into my ear every day.
Your turn! Who you got?
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