Metaphor MouseSo. Exactly a month ago, I announced our big new fun-brewing thing.

It is gorgeous and wonderful.

How could it not be?

We brew fun to support the Playground, which is my tiny, sweet thing that is now becoming a big real-life thing.*

* Translation: My duck and I are opening a studio where we will teach destuckification and biggification stuff in real-time. And we are raising money in cool and weird ways.

But I realized that I never told you how we got to call it fun-brewing. And the story of the naming of things (like how The Fluent Self got its spots) is often useful.

When in doubt, ask a superhero.

I was at Drunk Pirate Council (because I can’t go to “meetings” or I’ll die), going over the “fund-raising plan” with Selma the duck and the First Mate.

And it was kind of a disaster because good grief if there’s one thing more depressing than fund-raising, it’s having a plan.

We quickly realized we couldn’t do this alone. This called for a) more pirate whiskey and b) invoking the mighty Metaphor Mouse to come and save the day.

This involved yelling things like “Metaphor Mouse power ACTIVATE!”

And singing I am Iron Man but singing it I am Metaphor Mouse, which weirdly didn’t get us kicked out of the pirate bar.

Anyway. Here’s what happened when we metaphor-moused it.

Unpacking my current relationship with this. (FUND-RAISING = ?)

What are the qualities, aspects and attributes of the thing that isn’t working (including what *is* working — if anything)?

[+ stress]
[+ awkwardness of asking]
[+ shame]
[+ ew “funds”]
[+ grownup]
[+ boring]
[+ I can do it]
[+ But aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh]
[+ power]
[+ board room]
[+ banquette]
[+ lectern]
[+ terrible music]
[+ agonizing]
[+ doilies]
[+ shoulder pads and blue eye shadow]

Learning more about my IDEAL situation (X = ?)

What sort of qualities, aspects and feelings does the thing I want contain?

[+ playful]
[+ carefree]
[+ fun]
[+ community]
[+ helper mice]
[+ not scary]
[+ me-ish]
[+ an adventure]
[+ ease]
[+ surprises]

And the name-storming begins.

What is this place that is not a fund-raising dinner?

Is it a fairground? A fun-ground!

Fun-raising instead of fund-raising. Hee.


Once we ended up there, everything fell into place. We came up with the wishing well and the whole fun-brewing page. And it was perfect.

Metaphor Mouse was a little disappointed at first.

Because what we ended up with is not technically a metaphor.

It’s just wordifying. Word-generation. You know.

Kind of like how I say brunch instead of “launch”. Because launching is weird. And brunching is fun. Mmmmm. Brunch.**

** Borrowed this from Tara the Blonde Chicken, and it’s so perfect that I can hardly stand it.

Metaphor Mouse was therefore of the opinion that he hadn’t helped.

We said, sweetpea, of course you helped!

But he thought he hadn’t helped enough.

He wanted to make stuff happen. Tear things apart. Do some damage!

So we let him crash a fund-raising dinner. Here’s what happened.

It’s the night of our big (completely imaginary) fund-raising event. Black tie only.

Champagne in fluted glasses. Waiters with impeccable hair. Chamber music.

I’m wearing a ridiculous dress. But I’m totally pulling off the hot Grace Kelly look. Oh yes.

Selma is wearing a fabulous scarf.

Suddenly Metaphor Mouse swings down a rope onto the stage. Bounds up a wall. Swings from a chandelier.

He sweeps me out of the way, trips the evil mustachioed marketing guy, snatches a pie from the waiter and pops it right in someone’s face.

The shocked silence that greeted his entrance is followed by excitable hub hub hub hub hub rhubarb rhubarb.

Who is this masked mouse and why is he so awesome?

Chaos, unsurprisingly, ensues.


The thing with metaphors is that one word builds an entire world. One word contains infinite possibility and endless variation.

And the thing with inventing your own is that these worlds are your own.

It doesn’t matter if fun-brewing doesn’t conjure up magic for everyone.

It only needs to speak to me and my people. And it tells us everything we need to know.

Where does fun-brewing happen? Is it indoors? No. It’s in a forest clearing.

Is it loud? No, it’s understated and kind of hidden.

But there’s also a lot of excitement. And magic.

And fun. And stuff to drink.

So we just keep going from there.

p.s. I have a big news.

Best. News. Ever.

As of THIS MORNING we have the lease for The Playground.

Fun-brewing is go! Crazy, beautiful things are about to happen! Be joyful with me!

The Fluent Self