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You know you've read too much Card when...


...during Thanksgiving dinner they ask if you want some breast meat and you think of the girl down the street.

...every time you become sexually aroused you buckle over in spasms of pain.

...you start selling body parts for chunks of metal.

...you nurture a grub farm around your neck in case your head is ever cut off.

...when you sing, emperors start weeping.

...your excuse for your messy room is, "The Unmaker did it."

...you instruct your travel agent to locate flooded religious shrines so you can drop notes into them.

...each time your son's friends come over, you poke them to see if they're still real.

...you want to get married and stay celibate.

...you give up toilet paper and resort to sand and spit instead.

...you give up toilets and resort to leaning back in tall trees.

...you try to slow time so you can see if Bill Clinton is really an illusion.

...during hunting season you won't shoot without asking the deer if it's okay first.

...you start calling the closet door in your bedroom "down."

...you think your satellite TV is ordering you to get hold of the Index.

...you can't walk past large piles of leaves without nudging them with your foot to see if anything is underneath.

...you show your pre-schooler ten ways to play with a cardboard box.

...you always type in your password wrong the first time, and you leave a hair on the latch of your medicine cabinet when you're expecting a babysitter.

...you beg the cockroach's forgiveness after you step on him.

...you look at the Salt Lake Valley and envision a huge lake covering it all.

...you find your fingers weaving the grass into baskets when you are sitting idly on the grass.

...you try to never, ever cut someone off in traffic.

...your eyes follow the woodgrain lines of the pew in front of you.

...you stay very, very close to your young children when the elderly janitor is in the apartment.

...you pay special attention to Eliza Snow's hymns.

...you have actually cooked feijoada.

...you can't go through a revolving door without thinking about the novel you want to write.

...speaking of doors, you pass through those air curtain doors at the grocery store and wonder if you could say that the door "dilates."

...you've got the poverty part down, but you're still trying to figure out how to decorate with "quirkiness and exquisite taste" in spite of it.

...you're suspicious of laughing Polynesians (no racism intended).

...you keep hoping to hear your 6-month-old babble in three syllables.

...you have actually pretended to be the walls of Jericho while your kids shout you down.

...you start posting "you've read too much Card" messages.

...You notice whenever you're breathing the same as someone else and deliberately change your timing.

...When you're driving alone late at night, you watch out for white-robed figures in the median.

...You check carefully inside the tanks and under the lids of all public toilets.

...If your new boyfriend seems too good to be true, you make sure you don't open any boxes for him.

...You negotiate interspecies treaties with your cats.

...you refer to your urgent need to visit the restroom as "the Cranning Call."

Here's a true one: I knew I'd read too much Card this morning when I saw an ant eating my breakfast and tried to communicate by philotic connection to tell it to go away.

...Your brother starts calling you 'Turkey Lips'

...You picture the open space of the church as the battle room, the alter being the gates, and getting to heaven after going through the gates.

...You start searching your 'dung' for a little glass ball.

...You start banging on the tree in your backyard with wooden sticks made from the tree.

...You tap your BROTHER to see if he is still there.

...You smash a wasp because it's a nasty breed and then appoligize to it and ask for its forgiveness.

...You start tracing the woodgrains on your desk at school after realizing that you couldn't type on it.

...You create a font that flips letters upside down and a program that makes them march around the screen.

...You name your two shih tzus Reck and Ruin because you can picture the resemblance.

...You search behind all rock-piles for hidden tunnels.

...You picture the screen on your monitor as a hologram.

...Your stalkers' name is Jane.

...every time you hear the Eagles' "Desperado," alternate lyrics about an extremely adaptable virus pop into your head, focring you to sing "Descolada."

...you name the hard drive on your PC "Jane."

...after you swat a fly, you feel the need to speak its death.

...you refer to your answering machine as the ansible machine.

...you start wearing your favorite jewel earring _inside_ your ear, and get annoyed when it doesn't talk to you.

...you constantly scrutinize your coworkers in order to determine whether should be considered framlings, ramen, or varelse.

...you slip into Portuguese whenever you get emotionally intense, even though you don't actually speak it.

...you cajole your little sister into helping you take over the world by making names for yourselves in AOL chat rooms.

...You know what all of these are referring to.

Compiled by D. Michael Martindale, Darlene Young, Martha Plotz, Anne Kate Ard, Cassa Shafer and others.


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