What about friends and family? When you’ve written a book that contains explicit sex, what do you do about the people who might want to read the book, but be a little uncomfortable reading the steamy bits? My sons, for instance, who knew I was writing this book? We talked about it frequently. In fact, I’m sure they grew bored listening to my incessant chatter about Sara and the hot guys.
They wanted to read the book. One of them is an adult, and the other is a fairly enlightened teen. In other words, they know about sex. But knowing about sex, and knowing what your mother knows about sex are two rather different perceptions.
I wanted them to be able to read it, so I thought I could create an abridged version, just cut out the parts that were heavy with sex. Knowing this would leave gaps in the story, they suggested that I use some code, or euphemism to replace the content. Thus the Parcheesi version was conceived.
They suggested that whenever the characters in the book were making particularly descriptive love, I should just insert “They played Parcheesi,” or some variation thereof. That is what I did. It actually turned out to be fun, and often funny. I used our newly created euphemism even in places it wasn’t necessarily warranted, for instance, “Eric was a notorious Parcheesi player,” and “Sara couldn’t imagine playing Parcheesi with someone she just met!” My personal favorite: “If I was going to play a one night Parcheesi game, it would definitely be with you. Really! It’s not that I don’t want to.”
The Parcheesi euphemism has now established itself firmly in our family lexicon.