Thursday, December 16, 2010

How party games are born

One trait both my sisters and I share is the propensity to laugh so hard we can’t talk even as we try to talk anyway because there is always someone present who wants to know what’s so funny. One sister’s husband has simply given up: when she starts trying to tell him a funny story and is overcome to the point where he can’t make out the words anymore, he simply says, “Call Nancy and tell her.”

It’s not usually my kids who make me laugh this hard, but last night it was. They have an advent calendar in which each door yields one couplet from Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” and yesterday they were up to “As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.”

Except Tim read it aloud as “As I drew on my head,” which I found inordinately hilarious, and when the kids understood what I was picturing, they joined me in a spirited discussion of how accurately you could draw on your own head. While I cleaned up the kitchen after dinner, we came up with a rough plan for a game somewhat like Pictionary. Using a write-on/wipe-off white board fastened to a baseball cap, one player picks a card telling him or her something to draw. That player then tries to sketch the object on his own head while wearing the whiteboard hat, and the other players have to guess what it is.

What the kids and I concluded is that we really don’t know how hard this would be, although we suspect it would be fairly tricky: like drawing with your eyes closed, except with the added disadvantage of working at an irregular angle, ergonomically speaking.

I couldn’t stop laughing; the kids thought the concept was interesting but not nearly as funny as I did. “Let’s play it on New Year’s Eve!” Holly suggested, knowing we’d just made plans for that night to get together with another family.

“Let’s play it on Christmas Eve,” Tim countered. I opined that the people we’re planning to celebrate Christmas Eve with are among our newest friends; a game like this might summarily end the budding friendship.

“No it won’t,” Tim said confidently. “They’ll tell other people about it, and soon everyone will want to come to the Wests’ house to play the Stupid Whiteboard Game.”

Calling it that made the whole idea all the funnier to me, and by that point I was laughing even harder while the kids lost interest in the discussion. Holly went upstairs to hold an imaginary study hall for her imaginary class (this is standard for the after-dinner hour). Tim had homework to finish. Rick was cleaning out the showerhead. I was on my own to giggle my way through the rest of the dinner clean-up, still curious about how the Stupid Whiteboard Game would work out in reality. I guess on New Year’s Eve if not sooner, we’ll find out.

1 comment:

  1. Finally read this, and laugh out loud I did. Then, of course, I started remembering the zoo story, which I had completely forgotten, and I was a lost cause. Don't get me started on Flavi C's car horn!!