Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Return of the Table Topics Bunny
No, the title isn’t from a Hollywood cartoon movie sequel. Every year on February 22nd the Table Topics Bunny (TTB) hops by and leaves me a basket full of questions. Table Topics is the impromptu speaking portion of a Toastmasters club meeting. The bunny visits to commemorate the birthday of the founder of Toastmasters, Dr. Ralph C. Smedley.
If the Bunny didn’t visit you, then you have to make up the questions from scratch. There’s an art to doing this. Questions shouldn’t be too hard.
I had an easy time making up the questions for the February 2nd meeting of The Capitol Club. Sonya Harris was Toastmaster and her theme was Pets: Past and Present. Most people can recall stories about pets. I just needed to ask for them by categories: largest or smallest, best or worst, oldest or youngest, etc. On February 1st Kathy McIntosh had blogged about how she both loved and hated answering Table Topics questions. She won as best Table Topics Speaker for a story about the time her daughter put a live pet rat into the freezer.
My favorite pet story is about back when I had a two-story condo and Finster, a curious little black kitten. One late-spring day I opened windows for the upstairs master bedroom (front) and bathroom (rear) for cross ventilation. Then I left to run errands for a couple hours. When I returned and opened the front door, I found a mound of toilet paper on the landing. The trail led all the way up the stairs, and into the bathroom. Finster obviously had jumped on the windowsill to look out. As he jumped back down he had brushed the toilet paper roll in the holder on the back wall, and it began to rotate and unroll. Once he got it started he just kept unrolling it and playing. I turned the roll around to feed out underhand rather than overhand, and I never had that problem again.
February 22nd also actually is George Washington’s birthday, but we always instead celebrate that holiday as President’s Day. That’s held on the third Monday in February (which floats around between February 15th and February 21st).