One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

Remember the old Sesame Street song, “One of These Things”? If you aren’t, check this out.

The other week I headed to GameStop to pick up Pokémon HeartGold. While I waited in line, the guy at the counter talked to an eager Fortnite player. If you’re not sure what Fornite is, click here.


Now, when you think of the average Fortnite player, what demographic comes to mind? If you have no idea, click here to view a chart on the average Fortnite player. A guy in the line behind me fit that exact profile.

But the person who talked to the store clerk didn’t. At all. Picture a grandmotherly type with white hair, a soft smile, and an equally soft voice. Someone who might read a picture book to sick toddler. Someone you might find behind the checkout desk of the library. Now picture her mowing down husks (zombie-like creatures) or other players in the game, Hunger Games-style. It almost breaks your brain, doesn’t it?

One of these things is not like the other. . . .

But there’s something about that image that delights me. Oh not necessarily the zombie destruction, though I have destroyed many a zombie in the video game, Plants versus Zombies, but the fact that it goes against what’s expected. I think that woman would make a great character in a book. I wish I’d talked to her, and asked her questions to learn more about her.

A character who surprises a reader in a good way is a delight to discover. I especially love quirky characters who are just being themselves. They aren’t shouting from the rooftops, “I’m quirky! Look at meeeeeeee!” They’re just quietly going about their business, like the woman at GameStop.

Who was the last person (a book character or a person in real life) who surprised and delighted you?

While you consider that, here is the moment you also may have been waiting for: the announcement of the winner of The Way the Light Bends by Cordelia Jensen. (See interview here.)


The winner of The Way the Light Bends is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Is . . .

Nicki Chen of Behind the Story!

Nicki, please confirm below. Thank you to all who commented.

Black Panther figure by Funko. Shopkins Cutie Car Perfume Le Zoom by Moose Toys. Shuri action figure by Hasbro. Photo by L. Marie. The Sesame Street song lyrics can be found here. Pokémon Heart Gold image from Author photo courtesy of Cordelia Jensen. Plants versus Zombies image from somewhere on Pinterest.

30 thoughts on “One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

  1. Congrats to Nicki! I love characters that surprise me, that remind me not to judge too quickly. I listened to the Vera Stanhope series recently. Crime fiction set somewhere in the UK. Stanhope is the detective and she’s nothing like any other detective I’ve read about. She’s overweight, middle-aged, egotistical, and lonely. She’s a crack detective but socially inept. I love her because she makes very human mistakes and there’s a poignant story behind her loneliness. I wouldn’t say she’s quirky but she surprises me with her insights and her failings.

  2. SO COOL! When his age was in the single digits, one of my grandsons asked for a Pokemon index, a fat-paged book with 7-pt font size lettering. Today his brother and I will go to the toy store and look for a Nerf shooter, whatever that is.

    I always look forward to your lively topics, and you never disappoint!

  3. Thanks for the ear worm.
    That song will be in my head all day . . . along with the blue balloon.
    I could try to let it go . . . but then “Let It Go” (Frozen) will take up residence instead.

    And congrats to Nicki!

  4. I remember back in the day when my gram came to visit me in Florida, and we played Super Mario Brothers together. She was so funny, cussing at the screen. Hey, could that lady have been buying for a grandchild, or did it sound like it was for her?

    Hope you got to enjoy the lovely weather over the weekend. Simply gorgeous. BTW, I have a post coming up tomorrow with photos that may look familiar to you. 🙂

  5. I don’t want to spoil a vignette I wrote that’s yet to be pubbed outside my immediate circle (if ever!!!)…but I had a guitar student who was shy, sweet and a beauty who dressed in a scarily, in-your-face death-goth manner…I dubbed her family the Ozzie Osborn family because they all dressed similarly…I’m not bothered by how people dress, but it was jolting the first time she stepped inside my studio dressed to kill so to speak (can’t resist puns of any sort) and proceeded to gently unpack her gear, softly relay her desires on what she hoped to learn and then eagerly looked to me for further guidance…what a sweetie! And an excellent student to boot!

    • Great story, Laura. I can’t help thinking about the teaching assistant in my drawing class in college. I thought she was a complete ditz and unfortunately had little respect for her–at least until she showed her portfolio. I was blown away! So gifted! I should have realized that she’d earned that position! So I’m glad your student turned out to be different from how she might have seemed at first.

  6. Ha! Laura’s story reminds me of a girl I used to work beside who was just one of the crowd – nice girl, but nothing about her that made her stand out particularly. Then we had a staff night out – and she turned up dressed as a vampire woman from the Dracula era complete with dress, corset, make-up, black nails and lipstick etc., and she looked absolutely amazing!! Turned out she was a mad fan of everything Dracula and went to Whitby regularly to do re-enactments and so on. She surprised us all, and we were never fooled by her work persona again…

  7. Thanks for the info on Fortnite. I don’t play video games, but I do like to know what’s going on in the world. Saturday I was visiting my granddaughter and her boyfriend, and he put on some music I didn’t recognize. He said it was the sound track from the Civilization games, another video game series I didn’t know. Now I’ve at least heard of a couple of games.

    And wow! I won The Way the Light Bends. I’m so looking forward to reading it. Thank you.

  8. Congratulations to Nicki! 🙂
    I find that many of my garden club friend can be a bit quirky and they might say the same thing about me. 🙂 One of the women, I’ll call her Annie, is well into octogenarian territory. She speaks very slowly and deliberately and we all wonder if she will ever finish her story or if we will fall asleep first. I’ve learned to listen. She’s always going somewhere interesting in her tales. One time, she taught some of us the can can!

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