MYSTERY STORY: An Event of Endless Attendance

This isn’t your usual event. Have you heard about it?

It includes all ages, from infants to grandparents. Attendance is in the thousands.

There’s no real dress code for this event. Some have arrived in church or business clothes. Some arrived in medical scrubs. Others arrived in military fatigues. Many are wearing casual attire. Occasionally, some are carrying scripture books like Bibles, Torahs, or Korans. Others are wearing book satchels.

Among the adults, no professional wardrobe prevails, though there are several teachers, coaches, journalists, pastors, and soldiers. There is even one person that might be a state senator.

There’s a list of cities where the guests come from on the wall. The cities listed are rural, suburban, and urban. They aren’t all on the coasts, or in inland areas. New cities and towns keep getting added all the time. On first look, it seems like a concert tour listing. But here, no one is carrying instruments, and no one is setting up for a performance. Perhaps this event is in demand and something many places want to be a part of.

But there are no snacks. No tiaras, sashes, or bouquets. No participation certificates or trophies. No dance in the spotlight for anyone in this room.

So many people have showed up to the event, yet an informal poll around the room has indicated no one got an invite in mail or email. There was no virally shared post on social media encouraging turnout. There was no announcement on broadcast news or in a newspaper.

No attendees told others where they were going. When pressed further, some have suggested they didn’t know they were going anywhere unusual, or they thought they would return home on schedule. They always had before. This time, they did not.

There are rumors outside this event that it isn’t real, that’s there’s deceit at play. But if you stood in this room and saw the sheer numbers of people crowded into this hall,  you would know that there is no hoax. It’s no lie that people continue to arrive, either.

One woman commented,”I didn’t know it was time for the event, but suddenly, I was here. And now that I am here, I thought I would be the last one here. I arrived with others who are similarly perplexed. They thought as I had: surely, we’re it. But every day there are more people who come in.”

She looks around, and swallows hard, then continues: “This space is packed. Surely the fire code limit for this room has been reached. There can’t be any more room to this… auditorium? Is that what this room is called? Or, people will stop coming. But they haven’t so far. It’s really surprising. How can a room get bigger to accommodate everyone? That never happens. None of this makes any sense, I mean, does it? I’d like to go home.”

So this is a strange situation. But maybe the oddest thing of all is this: the highly anticipated moment for this event, referred to as the Happening, is in the hands of people who aren’t even here.

Some of the people here thought the volume of their group’s numbers might make the Happening sooner.

Others thought where it happened might urge the Happening’s occurrance.

Still others thought how young or old some of the attendees are might move things along.

But none of the above has had the desired impact of forcing the Happening to start. Some of these attendees have been waiting over twenty years from today’s times, close to 7600 days now, for the Happening.

Alas, it hasn’t happened yet. It’s hard to know what it’s going to take to force the Happening, but it’s painful to think how many more people will stream in, caught in the same limbo.

How many more people will attend this event?

How many more cities will make the list on the wall? Will there be one in each state? In each county?

Do you know what the event is, and what the Happening is?

Easily Confused Words: Mammatus vs. Mammoth

Mammatus and Mammoth are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. 

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Mammatus (pronounced “muh-MAH-tuhss”) is a type of cloud, also called mammatocumulus. It is named for mammory glands, the glands responsible for milk production in mammals. Another way to describe these clouds? They look like cotton balls covering the sky, or scattered across the sky. If you live (or visit) the American Plains–Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, you have almost 180 degrees of sky to enjoy interesting cloud formations, stars, and sunsets.

  • Mammatus clouds in Oklahoma
  • Mammatus clouds in Nebraska
  • Weather Channel video about these clouds featuring Paul Goodloe.

Mammoth (pronounced “mam-uth”) has multiple meanings.

  • As a noun, it means a large, furry pachyderm with huge curved tusks and small curved ears. That lived during the Ice Age in what is modern day Russia, Alaska, Canada, and the northern United States. At one time, a land bridge connected these lands across the Pacific Ocean making massive migration 100,000 years ago easy for these beasts, which fed on grasses. Check out more information here. Since these creatures went extinct a long time ago, modern CGI is used to animate what a migration might have looked like here.
    • In pop culture:
      • A mammoth named Manfred was featured in the animated movie franchise Ice Age (2002, 2012, 2016.)
      • Mr. Snuffleupagus, Big Bird’s formerly imaginary friend on Sesame Street, is loosely based on a mammoth.

Mammoths are related to mastodons, but the latter is shorter, stockier (more muscular), with straight tusks and pointy teeth. The mammoth’s teeth were more flat.

As an adjective, it describes some huge or gigantic in size, like this creature.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Marisol had had an incredible day. Her dad Miguel had taken her along on a paleontology trip to unearth a huge mammoth skeleton in western Canada. She got to try using the picks and soft brushes used to to expose the long buried bones. She got to watch them compare them to computer images of a full skeleton to match the bones to the right parts of its body.

That night she fell asleep under sky full of mammatus clouds. She dreamed the mammoths were alive again and playing in the snow. The snowballs they tossed around with their trunks looked like these clouds.

The above story is fiction, but recently, 60 mammoth skeletons were found on the site planned for a new airport in Mexico City. Click the link to learn more.

The following post also discusses clouds: Easily Confused Words: Cirrus vs. Sirius

Easily Confused Words: Challis vs. Chablis

Challis and Chablis are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. 

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Challis (pronounced “shall-ee;” rhymes with rally, dally, galley) is a noun. It means a type of fabric traditionally made from silk and wool, but in modern times, is commonly made from cheaper materials like polyester. It is a type of rayon. It is popular for summer dresses because it is smooth, lightweight, has nice draping, and can be printed in all sorts of patterns.

Chablis (pronounced “shuh-BLEE”) has multiple meanings.

  • It is the name of a wine from the northern part of Burgundy, France. Burgundy is about 3 hours south of Paris.
  • In pop culture, the late Lady Chablis was a famous author, actress, and transgender performer in Savannah, Georgia. She was featured in 1997 film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Chalena held a chilled glass of Chablis and waited on the porch. She had just moved to town and was throwing a party to get to know people there. She had bought a brand-new challis dress for the occasion and spent hours on her hair. A lot of work had gone into the preparation for this fete. Unfortunately, more well-known people in town decided to have a barbecue the same day, at the same time. She waited for two hours, and no one came. She had finished the bottle at this point. Her shoulders slumped and she turned to go inside.

Easily Confused Words: Mandalorian vs. DeLorean

Mandalorian and deLorean are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. 

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Mandalorian (pronounced “man-duh-lore-ee-uhn”) is an adjective in the Star Wars universe. Mandalore is the planet and its people are Mandalorians. The second and third Star Wars films made Boba Fett the most well-known Mandalorian, but a list of other Mandalorian characters can be found here. Today (in 2020), The Mandalorian is a Disney+ series that’s been a huge hit, in no small part to a puppet that’s been nicknamed “Baby Yoda” by fans.

DeLorean (pronounced “duh-lore-ee-uhn”) is a proper noun. This is a model of sportscar made in the early 1980s by the DeLorean Motor Company, created by John Z. DeLorean. Only about 10,000 were produced. This car is known for its doors that open vertically (straight up) instead of horizontally by pulling a handle like most modern cars.

A silver DeLorean was made famous by the Back to the Future movie series. Check out videos here. In advertisements that play on 1980s nostalgia for this movie or the 1980s in general, you will likely see this car used. For example, Walmart used the Back to the Future DeLorean to promote their new online grocery shopping service. Shoppers select their food and pay online, and they drive to the store to have the food loaded into their trunk.The ad was intended to appeal to the 80s kids that are now 30 and 40 something aged adults. The Walmart ad also featured other cars associated with movies and television.

Fun trivia? All but four DeLoreans are silver because the creator wanted them to be rust-proof. It’s fiberglass covered in brushed steel. If you have had others cars rust because they’ve been in salt water, on salty roads in the winter, or other corrosive conditions, you can really appreciate this feature. Check out more DeLorean trivia here.

The following story uses both words correctly:

It was going to be the first night out in months, so it needed to be special. Amanda asked to borrow her uncle’s DeLorean so she could take Jamie out for the evening. Amanda had Back to the Future loaded on her phone and had popped some popcorn, and brought sodas and M&M’s.

Jamie was really ecstatic about the car. When they arrived at the shore and Amanda pulled out her phone, Jamie told her she’d seen Back to the Future already, could they watch a couple episodes of the Mandalorian instead? Amanda complied. When the episodes were over, they shared a kiss as the sun set. Maybe it was okay that prom was cancelled after all.

Easily Confused Words: Goggles vs. Google

Goggles and google are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. 

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Goggles (pronounced “gawg-uhlz;” rhymes with toggles, boggles) is a noun. It means eyewear worn for protection. Usually goggles are worn for sports, chemistry, medicine, manufacturing, and when doing mechanical tasks at home.

In each instance, either toxic gases, viruses, or flying debris can cause eye damage or infection, so the goggles protect the eyes from these harmful things.

Google (pronounced “goo-guhl;” rhymes with oogle) is a proper noun. It means a search engine introduced to the Internet in 1998. Prior to this time, Altavista, Netscape, AOL, Yahoo, Lycos, Ask Jeeves were search engines, but Google would quickly come to dominate the market. They would expand into email services, phone numbers, voice calls, video chat, and all kinds of communications services. Many of these didn’t last.

Google restructured in 2015 to become part of a company called Alphabet, which does many things outside of online communications.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Georgina passed her father’s doorway. She thought she saw he had goggles on. She took a few steps backwards and sure enough, he was on the computer, and had goggles on.

“Dad, why are you wearing those?”

“They said there’s all kinds of viruses on these things. I wanted to practice safe searching on Google.”

“The viruses hurt the computer, Dad, not your eyes.”

“What?!”

Easily Confused Words: Violet vs. Violate

Violet and violate are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. 

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Violet (pronounced “veye-oh-let”) is a noun with multiple meanings.

  • It means the final color of the visible spectrum with the shortest wavelength.
  • In paint and ink (additive color), violet is created by mixing red and blue, but leans more toward blue.
  • It can mean a wildflower that grows low to the ground in spring, and features 5 petals.
  • It can be a female first name.
    • Violet was the first name of the eldest daughter of the Incredibles, a 2004 Pixar film
    • Check out a list of real-life and fictional Violets here.
  • The colloquialism “shy violet” means a wallflower, someone who isn’t sociable.

Violate (pronounced “veye-oh-leyt”) is a verb. It means to disobey rules or laws, or in person to person contact, to assault someone else.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Violet really wanted to see Vann. However, she didn’t want to violate the rules of her school. All students had to be in their dorms by 9 pm. Her roommate, Liv, also liked Vann. She climbed out the window at 10 when the coast was clear.

This post relates to another post:

Easily Confused Words: Volition vs. Violation

Easily Confused Words: Dallas vs. Dulles

Dallas and Dulles are easily confused words.

The spell-check application of most word processing software programs would not catch a slip-up of these two words. Spell-check is looking for words that aren’t in its dictionary, and words that resemble words in its dictionary, but are possibly spelled wrong. Spell-check isn’t perfect. It doesn’t know and can’t guess what word you wanted, or what word you meant, it can only judge the words on the page. If you used words that are all spelled correctly, it gives you a pass anyway. 

Autocorrect suggests words that start with the same letters. It’s suggesting what word you may want to save time, but quite often, its suggestions are pretty off base. They don’t help you out, but they do make you laugh.

Dallas (pronounced “dall-uhss;” rhymes with palace) has multiple meanings.

  • It is the name of a large city in north Texas, a state in the US Southwest. Today that metropolitan area is referred to as DFW, or Dallas-Fort Worth.
  • It is an Irish first name for a male of female, it means “skilled.”

Dulles (pronounced “duh-luhz”) has multiple meanings.

  • It is the surname of John Foster Dulles, a former US Secretary of State (1953-1959) in the President Eisenhower administration.
  • It is the names of an airport in Washington, DC, named for John Foster Dulles.

The following story uses both words correctly:

Dolores was frustrated when she arrived in Dallas, Texas, for a much needed vacation. Somewhere between here and Dulles airport, her bags had been flown to Mexico City by mistake. Now she would have to go shopping for toiletries and a week’s worth of clothes.