There’s a squeaky pig in my book group. Let’s call him Fluff (just because).
I’m pretty sure Fluff was my suggestion. One of the quieter members of our group brought it to our notice that some people, ahem, hogged the limelight while the others didn’t get to put across their views. She was particularly disturbed by people talking over each other – something that happens a bit during the frenzy of excitement which is caused when talking about books.
The thing about Fluff is he’s invisible. I just suggested the idea that we needed a ‘squeaky pig’ – the kind you find in the pet aisle at the supermarket – and we could squeak said pig when things got out of hand. So what happens now is, someone starts talking, someone else butts in, a couple of others start a conversation up the other end of the table and before you know it one or more people are yelling ‘SQUEAKY PIG!’
And it works!
Every now and then I see an actual squeaky pig at the supermarket and I’m slightly tempted. Then I think, what a waste of money (yes, I’m a bit of a tight-wad – it’s hereditary).
But I also think something magical would be lost by having an actual object.
So, here’s to Fluff. And, you know, if you have this problem in your writer’s or book group this is an idea that is free to good home. The more Fluffs, the merrier