Take the Diamonds

Do you smell machine oil the instant you see the Diamond Queen from a pack of cards? How about cigarette smoke when you see the Diamond Six, or baby powder when you see the Diamond Ace? Read on . . .

Take the entire suit of Diamonds out of a pack of cards and lay them out in order, from Ace to King, in front of you on a table. Notice that the word “diamond” begins with a D, and recall that the consonant sound D stands for the number 1 – or for the digit “1” in combination with other digits, as we have been using it so far. Think of the suit, diamonds, as the tens digit in combination with the plain digit of each card. Then the diamond Ace will be 11 – 1 for the tens digit from “diamonds” and 1 for the Ace itself, since it’s the first card in the suit. The Ace through the Nine come out with no problem at all and they hook up immediately with our memorized, permanent pegs. As you go through the list below, really take some time to stare at the card and visualize the mental picture right on the face of the card. If the deck is one you can write on or draw on, draw a little cartoon or write the picture word on the face of the card. You’ll be using these cards to help you lock in the pegs:

Card Number Peg Mental Picture
D A 11 tot Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Smell baby-powder in the air.
D 2 12 tan Someone tanning herself holding a reflective tray under her chin. Smell tanning oil.
D 3 13 tam A tam-o-shanter tartan cap with red pom-pom on the head of a Scottish warrior in full kilts. Smell heather.
D 4 14 tar A sizzling hot stretch of deserted highway, so hot the tar is sticky. Smell the tar, too.
D 5 15 tail The orange-and-black striped tail of an enormous tiger. Imagine a zoo smell.
D 6 16 tissue Someone wiping tears from her eyes after remembering an emotional event. Smell cigarette smoke and think of the song “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.”
D 7 17 tack A huge thumbtack or map-pin holding something on a big cork board. Smell fresh ink and paper.
D 8 18 taffy A big blob of hot, sweet-smelling pink and green taffy candy, stuck to your fingers getting all over the card.
D 9 19 tap A beer tap spilling beer all over the card, splashing on your clothes and making a smelly mess.

Notice I’ve added smell to the associations, and even a song. We can really take this idea far and involve taste and touch over all the pegs, and we may do that in the future – it will be an interesting exercise. This is one of the things that Eran Katz suggests to do in his books (highly recommended), and since smell works very well for my personal memory, I’m adding it to my permanent inventory and inviting you along for this addition.

We have only four cards to go. The diamond 10 is pretty easy – I’m just going to pick the peg “toes” and picture the woman painting her toenails all different colors. And the smell? Toenail Polish! Easy.

And for the last three, let’s promote the 1 to the hundreds digit and sneak in some three-digit pegs (from the third layer – a preview). Notice we may have some extra consonant sounds on the ends of the three-digit pegs. They’re throw-aways, because the system doesn’t go to four or more digits at a time. 1,110 permanent pegs is quite enough!

Card Number Peg Mental Picture
D J 111 teetotaler Picture a prissy little man with ill-fitting clothes, a crooked bow tie, thick eyeglasses and a pocket protector pontificating on the virtues of total abstinence from alcohol. Smell Lysol (too much cleaning)
D Q 112 titan Picture an enormous robot with rivets all over its shell. Smell machine oil and steel.
D K 113 totem Picture a Native-American totem pole with effigies of bears, salmon, and a huge, winged eagle on top. Smell a campfire and the wood of the totem pole.

That’s it. Take your suit of diamonds along with you, pull it out and practice the visualization and imaginary smelling exercise whenever you find yourself having to kill time. Just a few times over this and you won’t need the cards any more. You will INSTANTLY smell and see taffy when you think of the Diamond-8. The Diamond Queen will INSTANTLY bring to mind the smell of machine oil and steel. And vice versa, and through the entire suit.

Next time, I’ll show you how to link these together in mini-stories at lightning speed.


~ by rebcabin on December 8, 2010.

One Response to “Take the Diamonds”

  1. […] crystal glass with a touch of WHISKEY in it on the night-stand, and I can smell the Whiskey. Smells work really well for me — it’s my own little touch of synaesthesia. This little domestic scene is easy to […]

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