September 20, 2012

Behold the New Official Show & Tell Timer


Show & Tell's format allows anyone to talk about an object of personal significance for up to three minutes. The time limit has never been strictly enforced — there's no gong that sounds at the three-minute mark, no trap door that opens up beneath the speaker — but the idea is to keep things moving, let everyone have a turn, and discourage extended theatrics.

For the first 21 months of Show & Tell's existence, those three minutes were measured by a three-minute hourglass timer that I had purchased in the fall of 2010. It was a handy little device, literally and symbolically, and I liked the idea of each speaker — as well as the audience — being able to see the sands of time slipping away during a presentation.

As I was preparing for this month's Show & Tell event on Sept. 12, however, I couldn't find the timer. I probably left it behind at Freddy's back in August, or maybe it just fell out of my bag at some point, or whatever. In any case, it was gone. There was no time to procure a new one, so the digital timer that I use in my kitchen was pressed into emergency Show & Tell service. It was fine from a functional standpoint, but it lacked the charm of the old timer.

So the other day I went out and got myself a new three-minute hourglass timer (along with an extra one, in case I lose the new one). As you can see in the photo shown above, it has the added bonus of matching the color scheme of this web site. It will make its Show & Tell debut at Freddy's on Oct. 10. Hope to see you there.

September 14, 2012

Show & Tell Participants from September 12, 2012


Andrew Linderman was training to be a stand-up comedian when he was told "the secret of comedy," which is that every comic must carry a Joker on his or her person. If someone asks you for a Joker and you don't have one, you have to pull your pants down. Andrew dutifully went and purchased a deck of cards, removed one of the Jokers, and put it in his wallet. He later found out that the whole thing was a hoax, but he keeps the Joker in his wallet anyway, as a reminder of his training. (Photo by Deb Klein)



After years of wearing cheapo sunglasses that she invariably lost, Sarah Lasko felt she was ready for expensive shades that she wouldn't be able to afford to lose. "I saw it as a symbol of becoming a grown-up," she said. So her father bought her these designer sunglasses for her birthday — and then she promptly lost them while traveling. But then she got them back! She says the sunglasses cost about $300, making them "the fourth-most expensive thing I've ever owned." You can see her wearing the sunglasses here. (Photo by Deb Klein)



There isn't a whole lot to say about this peach that Lisa Madison got from her CSA, except that it's one of the most stupendously gigantic peaches ever. It was grown by "Farmer Phil" in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Lisa also brought a bunch of CSA peppers, which she generously gave out to the Show & Tell attendees. (Photo by Deb Klein)



A few years ago, Heather McCabe had to get some paperwork certified by a city agency, which meant she had to show her I.D. to a clerk at a window. But instead of providing her own I.D., she gave the clerk an I.D. card for Jesus Christ (with the eye color listed as "Heavenly"), which she had purchased at a novelty shop. The clerk nonetheless approved the paperwork. (Photo by Deb Klein)



Faith Rowold was involved in a relationship with a journalist who frequently traveled for work and sent her love letters, which she kept in books, in her purse, and so on. Unfortunately, he recently broke up with her, and now she keeps finding his notes in the various places where she'd stashed them. She brought one of them with her to Show & Tell. (Photo by Deb Klein)


While Elana Haviv was backpacking in India, several people told her she "looked like Krishna." Hoping to find the connection that people saw, she purchased this baby Krishna figurine. (Photo by Deb Klein)



We conclude with Show & Tell host Paul Lukas — me. I inherited my grandmother's toaster when she died in 1980. It's an unusual toaster, because it doesn't have a knob to depress. Instead, you just drop the bread into the slot and it trips an internal lever that activates the toaster and causes the bread to "float" down. I love toast, I love my grandmother, and I love that I think of her every morning when I use this toaster. It was made in the early 1960s, which means I've now owned it longer than she did, but I still think of it as hers. (Photo by Deb Klein)


Big thanks to all participants, and extra-special thanks to Deb Klein for handling the photo duties this month. See you all on Oct. 10.