the invention of games

[Late afternoon. Schmutzie and Palinode in the living room. The sun begins to droop in the sky, laying out its long lazy beams over the floor. It is dangerously close to dinner.]

Palinode: I have devised a game.

Schmutzie: I don't want to play your game.

Palinode: You mention an object - any object - and I will tell you whether I would put rooster sauce on it.

Schmutzie: Why?

Palinode: Any object.

Schmutzie: An ottoman.

Palinode: Yes. Name another object.

Schmutzie: What is the point of this? Okay, Lula. [points to cat]

Palinode: Yes. Name another object.

Schmutzie: I'm bored with this game.

Palinode: It's best two out of three, come on.

Schmutzie: Your PS3 controllers.

Palinode: No.

Schmutzie: Are we done?

Palinode: It's ridiculous to think that I would put rooster sauce on my PS3 controllers. They'd be all sticky.

[long pause, in which Schmutzie studiously ignores Palinode in the hope that he'll go away]

Palinode: Do you want to know a secret?

Schmutzie: No.

Palinode: I said the game was best two out of three. You didn't even need to ask me that third time.

Schmutzie: You have no idea what a game is.

Palinode: I admit to being unclear on the concept.