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Twisted Tales
By Joe Bouchard
Published: 10/19/2015


The following is an installment in "The Bouchard 101", a series featuring "Ice Breaker's" designed to promote training awareness and capabilities in the corrections industry.

Once upon a time there was a man who loved words. Unfortunately, he often used his words to make others feel bad. He would purposely use old, rare words of which few would be familiar.

His friends (decreasing by the day) and those that he worked with would ask him, “Why do you talk down to us?”

He would reply, “I'm not ‘talking down to you’ as you so ineptly assert, beloved cretin. I am merely expressing myself to a mental inferior through a state of condescension. Empty your drool cup, now!” These are the type of people who get punched or sabotaged.

Perhaps you know someone like this. And I'm not talking about the normal, benevolent verbivore who just happens to like large words and a varied vocabulary. I'm talking about the pompous ass – the intellectual bully – that specializes in making others feel less intelligent by speaking down to them. He uses others like intellectual toilet paper.

All that almost sounds like an old folk tale where someone in the story does something bad and is punished by the end. These are simple cautionary tales that have been with us for centuries. They act as a moral compass and also as entertainment.

So let's mix big and obscure words gone wild with famous folktales or children's stories. This is a very good way to start a communications module. It is a test that is very simple to take. It is a fill in the blank quiz. Below you will find a brief description of a famous folktale or fairytale. However, the description is written in pompous phrases. Here is a list of 13 for good luck:

A troika of porcine siblings attempt to maintain status quo with their habitation whilst matching wits with a lupine figure. What is the name of this tale?
(The three little pigs)

Corpulent and gregarious, this crimson clad personification of benevolence distributes complementary favors on a perennial basis. Who is the name of this figure?
(Santa Clause)

A recluse residing in an area where deciduous foliage is prominent uses confections to lure a pair of immature versions of her species in order to engage in cannibalism. What is this tale?
(Hansel and Gretel)

Her most prominent feature was her integumentary system that seem to know no bounds. Who was this figure?

Out of a sense of duty to his recent rescue from cryonics, this colossal bovine assists a Titan in defoliating much of the North American continent. Who is this?
(Babe the blue ox)

His mistake was that he fallaciously and repeatedly announced the presence of an Uber-canine. Unfortunately, for him his paranoia and his poor reputation led to his demise. Who is this person?
(The boy who cried wolf)

Due to the monarchs reneging on the agreed-upon remittance for rodent removal, the next generation was kidnapped. Who is this person?
(The Pied Piper of Hamlin)

This extraterrestrial assimilated and donned a trichromatic ensemble in order to assist the criminal justice system. Who is this person?

She was oblivious to her next course of action due to her prolific nature. It is noted that her dwelling would be more comfortable for metatarsal. Who is this person?
(The old woman in the shoe)

She learned the tricky lesson of moderation from a trio of ursine antagonists. Who is this person?

Miniscule and edible, this item tested the sensitivity of this hesitant dreamer. Who is this person?
(The princess and the pea)

She was redeemed from unfair physical labor, verbal abuse, and a general lack of camaraderie through the identification of footwear. Who is this person?

Of Mediterranean descent and constructed from vegetation, this figure gain mortality. Who is this figure?

Above all from this we can learn that you can dazzle them with brilliance or baffle them with bull. There are so many different ways to say the same thing. And twisted tales is a great way to illustrate that point and to break the ice.

Joe Bouchard is a Librarian employed with the Michigan Department of Corrections and a collaborator with The International Association of Correctional Training Personnel (IACTP). He is also the author of “IACTP’s Corrections Icebreakers: The Bouchard 101, 2014”. The installments in this series include his opinions. The agency for which he works is not in any way responsible for the content or accuracy of this material, and the views are those of the contributor and not necessarily those of the agency. While some material is influenced by other works, all of the icebreakers have been developed by Joe Bouchard.

Visit the Joe Bouchard page

Other articles by Bouchard:


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