October 8, 2009


There are days when I think I am weird. Then I look at my friends and I think, Oh but wait, I am not any weirder than THEM, so if that is the standard level of weird then by definition this level of weirdness is normal. Then I realize that to try and quantify how much weirdness must be included in the Normal Person package to make a normal person correctly weird enough to BE normal is NOT NORMAL. And that realization is usually followed up by a piece of behavior SO VERY ODD on the part of one of my friends that I come to understand that, yes, indeed, I must be a complete freak if these people want to hang out with me.

Today, for example, out of a clear blue cloudless conversation about her edits, Karen said to me...

Karen: I’m concerned. I feel like you are not getting your money’s worth out of this friendship.

Me: You are concerned I am not getting my... what-y’s what?

Karen: Like, you aren’t getting your full friendship value.

Me: *laughing* My FULL FRIENDSHIP VALUE? Like, I could have SUPERSIZED it but instead I just got a small cup o’greasy-friend-fries? What do you get out of my friendship that is your “money’s worth.”

Karen: Are you kidding? I get tangible sprongs of pleasure when I talk to you.

Me: Tangible what of whats???

Karen: Pleasure sprongs. I talk to you and they come out of my head, all around. I picture it as looking like the crown on the Statue of Liberty. SPRONG! SPRONG!

Me: *DYING LAUGHING* And you think I don’t get tangible pleasure sprongs when I talk to you?

Karen: I worry that you do not. I think I come along with my carnivorous little teeth and gnaw at you as if you were an ear of corn. I gnaw away at you in rows until you are all exhausted COB. Just COB.

Me: No, no, I am NOT a cob. I have MASSIVE pleasure sprongs.

Her: Are you POSITIVE?

Me: Quite. I think mine might be PINK.

It is true. My pleasure sprongs are a good thirty feet long. Alas, I suspect my WEIRDNESS sprongs may be EVEN LONGER.

Posted by joshilyn at October 8, 2009 11:28 AM

Well, I don't "know" either of you, but I get massive Sprongs of pleasure when I just hang out in your internet space, so clearly I'm much weirder than either of you. But still getting much out of the non-relationship...

Posted by: Jen at October 8, 2009 11:38 AM

No more bad hair days for me. I'm blaming my pleasure sprongs.

Posted by: Kim at October 8, 2009 11:56 AM

I love it!

Posted by: Jill W. at October 8, 2009 12:17 PM

OMG. Dying laughing here.

Posted by: Michelle at October 8, 2009 12:28 PM

Okay, I admit it: I haven't read Karen Abbot. Felt kindly disposed toward her, yes. Entertained the perfectly reasonable possibility that I might someday read her, yes. Read her, not. Sprongs? Anyone who spontaneously thinks like that just sproinged to the top of the list.

Posted by: rams at October 8, 2009 12:29 PM


Posted by: JMixx at October 8, 2009 12:33 PM

What a true friend she is if she worries that she is chewing you up!! Such a keeper.

Posted by: Linda J at October 8, 2009 1:14 PM

Well you surely give me fits of sprong.

Posted by: pam at October 8, 2009 1:56 PM

I am now spronging all over the place. Thanks, I needed that :)

Posted by: Heather at October 8, 2009 3:25 PM

@rams: omg, READ her.

Posted by: christina at October 8, 2009 3:32 PM


Posted by: jean at October 8, 2009 5:12 PM

Not only does Karen give Sprongs, she is lovely and generous and encouraging to new (want to be) writers.

A+ to Joshilyn in her ability to pick sprong-inducing friends.

Posted by: Mit at October 8, 2009 6:09 PM

y'all rock! Sprongs and everything!!

Posted by: Julie at October 8, 2009 7:09 PM


I pink fluffy heart both of you and your insanely high mental illness numbers!

Geeks of the world unite :)

Posted by: Beth R at October 8, 2009 7:37 PM

I saw Zicam swabs in the CVS today when I went for my flu shot......

Posted by: jean at October 8, 2009 10:26 PM

I want friends like this. Can I have her?

Posted by: pam at October 9, 2009 6:25 AM

*dies laughing*

MY sprongs are Lilac, I think. Anyway, I definitely get them from reading your blog and your books, so...!

Thank you for the reminder to read Karen's book -- it's been on my list for a long time, and I think I shall get it this weekend.

Posted by: Aimee at October 9, 2009 10:38 AM

I shall ditto poster number one! And say that weird is so much more fun and funny than normal.

Sprongs to you!

Posted by: Gail at October 9, 2009 12:07 PM

Josh, I really hope you don't mind, but I have lifted this explanation of friendship (with credit) to pass on to someone who has become a dear friend in the last year. She will be 101 next month, and is going blind, so cannot even see a computer, or I would have referred her here. (I have already addicted my daughter to you - is that enough?) She sometimes thinks I do not get my money's worth out of our friendship, either, and this is simply the best explanation of friendship I have ever encountered.
And I do not care whether it is your friendship sprongs or your wierdness sprongs that make you such a good writer, so long as they continue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: Judy at October 15, 2009 11:32 AM