Photography By Kathleen Mailliard Solmssen




And That’s PIZZAZZ




Today the phrase “might I have a word?”, or even shortened to “a word”, is at the top of every stock dialogue list in movies and TV. “A word” has become so ubiquitous; it is now Hollywood’s trending deus ex machina. “Upstairs, Downstairs” and all around “Downton Abbey”, blue bloods and blue collars alike seem to have an immediate need for “a word” that allows a pause and a new purpose in the direction of the plot. A game changer, a mood changer and even a convenient trick, writers are able to “bait and switch” an entire scene by simply “scripting-in” these two thought provoking words.


Every time I hear this overused catch phrase, my own personal tape rewinds, finding me walking down a dark and scary corridor to the principal’s office, knowing nothing good would ever occur in that daunting and sterile room. Although “a word please” could evolve into a positive experience, nine times out of ten someone is about to be gravely chastised or have a hand slapped with a ruler. From the Bible to the law, “a word” can captivate, counsel, cuddle or kill. “GUILTY” for example, is as cold and multi-faceted as a black diamond, whereas “YES” is always connected to a joyful, positive smile.


Threading words together can be as delicious as a heavenly seven-layer cake and as rewarding as stringing lights on a magical Christmas tree. At this very moment, just thinking about “a word” has me curious, in a state of wonder and actually writing about it. With all due respect, it’s clear that “a word” demands that the hearer pay complete and focused attention to what is to follow. As I write my article for each issue of JO LEE Magazine, my only parameter for this Pizzazz column is: 400 words. So, as an idea comes to mind, I connect words together until, like a 400-piece puzzle, they all become a “once upon a time” kind of story that might hopefully provoke wonder and evoke pleasure.


If only, just for a moment, I could get my tongue out of my “funny bone” cheek, I would be delighted to request “might I have a word?” from anyone who would take me seriously.


Now that would be PIZZAZ!





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