One of the great inventions of the 20th century is Refrigerator Poetry, little boxes of magnetized words with which anyone with a rudimentary understanding of grammar can make unfathomable stabs at Poetic Meaning or at least Colorful Descriptions of Nothing Much. For those of us with decades of practice and training, we can make (with enough words, including articles, prepositions and S’s) Art Sublime, or At Least Almost.
It is one thing to do this on one’s own refrigerator. In that case, you are the person responsible for all the lost articles and S’s, so if you can’t make it work, you have no one to blame but yourself (and possibly your roommates).
Much more fun is Stealth Refrigerator Poetry, which is when you go to a party and, when your Host is off Hosting, you steal into the kitchen and rearrange their words to be something sublime, humorous, useful, or at last resort, unfathomable. When it is someone else who is to blame for too much penury and not enough the, you can claim to be Tragically Limited by your Medium, with which You Did Your Best. It can help, if you know in advance that the party will have magnetized words, to wear a beret to the party. This is called Priming your Audience.
A friend whose house I visit for Christmas every year has a magnetic snowman on her refrigerator and letters that spell out “LET IT SNOW.” Every year, I rearrange the letters into something funny but (usually) not obscene. She never notices until hours later. . .
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