Do you remember a little game we played in grammar school and birthday parties? It was called “tongue twister”. We would form a long line and the person at the beginning of the line would whisper a secret to the following person. By the time the secret message had reached the end of the line, the message had been drastically changed from the original one. It seems that each person had added his or her own twist to the message, and by the time it came to the end of the line, the message was no longer valid as the first one had been.
No one knows for sure, but some say that little game came from the book of James in the Bible. The message reads, “That little member, the tongue, has great power. It is like a fire that can set a great woodland on fire. Wild animals can be tamed more easily than the tongue.”
Everyone has told a few fibs in their lives, which has caused little harm. But when those little white lies get out of hand and turn into full-fledged gossip, we have a problem.
My great aunt was a gossiper. She had rather hold a landline telephone close to her ear than chew on an expensive steak in her mouth. Every time I visited her, she would ask, “What’s the news?” She held onto a list of gossipers called the “Fabulous Twenty-four,” whom she talked to daily. These women could tell you who died, who stole, and who cheated, before The Forest-Blade came out on Wednesday. Sometimes, their rumors were total trash, but on other occasions, they were right on cue.
My aunt seldom left her house for the latest news; it came to her. She gave me her secret years ago. “If you want people to open up to you and confide in you, always end your telephone conversation with ‘Bless your heart!”