The search for authentic originality

Have you ever had a thought or an idea that by all logic no-one else in the history of humankind would ever have thought of?

I remember at one time I went through a phase of trying to say a sentence that had never been said before, in as few words as possible – “the unsightly sheen of walnut mash” – with the sole aim of rare authentic originality. It was probably around the same time as the GoogleWhack phenomenon was gripping our school providing a welcome diversion in IT lessons.

There is something so appealing, though, about being the very first person ever to do something. First man on the moon, first person to the South Pole, first up Everest.

My journey to attempted authentic originality started when my older brother Nick asked me 6 years ago what one animal I would choose to protect myself from an oncoming army of relentless waves of penguins… A question that, in spite of its obscurity, has probably been asked hundreds of times over the trillions of conversations out there. I plumped for a polar bear companion and he sagely chose to ride an elephant as his steed.

I watched in horror, in my mind’s eye, as my polar bear was overrun within minutes by those darn persistent penguins whilst Nick was mocking me gently from his safe station on the elephant’s shoulders, the giant beast stomping around blissfully unaware of any danger.

It hurts to think back on that decision as I clearly missed a key issue in the scenario – penguins can’t fly and that changes everything.

It got me thinking about animals, though, and over the years since that conversation, I have gone on to painstakingly develop a card game which I hope will bring a swathe of similarly bizarre and interesting scenarios away from the dark corners of my mind and in to the bright light of the public eye.

And there you have my attempt at authentic originality. Neil Armstrong may have been the first man on the moon, Roald Amundsen may have been the first person to reach the South Pole, but I was the first to design a card game involving a horse trying to dig a hole…

In the unlikely event that anyone actually reads this, I’m told it’s good to end a blog with a question. So, what’s your original thought or idea? How did it come about?


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