It started with a legitimate gift. Someone made a photo made of text on a website and gave it to our grandma. She loved it to the point of carrying it with her from room to room. One day while she was sleeping, my brothers and I sat and stared at it.
Sure, it was a great family photo so we could see why she liked that part but what made it so special to her? Then we started reading all of the words that were used. That was when my oldest brother got an idea of his own. Every year we would make one of these and add in a special word. Then, we decided to set some rules for our new game.
Photo Made of Text
First thing first: the photo made of text would be agreed on before anything else happened. We would each take turns creating the photo and the goal was to add one word that would be different from all of the other words. The longer the mystery word went unnoticed, the better. Our rules were fairly simple. The words that we used could not be rude, offensive or cruel. It would be one single word that was just slightly out of place intermingled among all of the other words on this photo. No one could point out that there was anything unusual or out of the ordinary with this gift. No one could suggest that there was any reason that special attention should be paid to it.
The first year that we did this, my brother, Mike won the draw. He picked a photo of our parents on their wedding day as the photo made of text that he would be creating. For months, the photo hung in the living room of our parent’s home until one day, out of the clear blue Mom gasped and asked why the word “dishwater” was included. Was there a mistake? Should Mike ask for a refund? We told her it was fine and that we would get it taken care of. Now we had a new version of the game to play. We would continue using this photo and we would change just one word. It would be up to the new “it” to decide if dishwater was going to stay in the picture made of words line up or not.
So, the photo is remade. This time it is my brother Nick’s turn. Mom hangs it in the same spot and months go by. Our sister, a real stick in the mud type is visiting from several states away. She spends five seconds looking at the picture and becomes enraged because not only did dishwater stay but now pepper shaker has made its debut alongside the words love, commitment and honesty. She wants to know the website and/or the phone number because heads are going to roll! My brothers and I are hysterically rolling on the floor. We promise to get it fixed.
It is my turn. I take out pepper shaker and dishwater. I add my new mystery word and the photo is once again presented to my mother. She stares for a long time and I fear that I am going to have the shortest record in this game. She smiles and hangs it on the wall. Now, for some reason no one pays any attention to the photo for a very long time.
Put your own Words on your Photo
Even my picky sister misses it when she comes for her next visit. I am killing this competition. My brothers decide that it is unfair and maybe no fun if no one is even going to pay any attention to what is going on with this picture. Nick asks grandma if there is anything interesting she notices about this picture. She smiles and winks but doesn’t say a word.
Another month passes. Nick and Mike are both chomping at the bit. Maybe I had fooled everyone and had not added a strange word after all. They both clonk heads as they crowd in at the photo poring over every line and word trying to find the mystery word that may or not be there in this photo made of text. Finally Grandma chuckles and tells them to look at the line just below Mother’s elbow and they find it.
She laughs and tells them that it is almost as funny as the mistake that had been made in her own photo so now the game it trying to find the mystery word in a picture that Grandma will not allow to be out of her sight for more than 5 seconds. It is going to drive us all insane.