Tuesday, December 06, 2005

How to Survive a Family Holiday; or Fun With Board Games, a Rhapsody in Two Parts

Well, people—it’s officially Christmas, Kwanza, Hanakkuh time, or whatever. In other words, you will probably have to spend some time with your family in the very near future.
Personally, I enjoy spending time with my family.
But a lot of people I know would rather pull their own toe nails out.
It is for them—and for Rumplebutt, who specifically requested it—that I now present How to Survive a Family Holiday: or, funny things over-heard while playing board games, a rhapsody in two parts.

Part One

The first time I played Catch-phrase, I was with my immediate family and some of our close friends on Christmas day. Catch-phrase is a kind-of weird game that I still don’t know the rules to. Because in my family? We make up our own rules. Because we are Board Game Gods, or something. We passed the little electronic disc-thinger around, and tried to get each other to guess whatever word had popped up on the screen of the--electronic disc-thinger. My little sister has the disc in her hands, and gives us the following clue
Umm, it’s like a stream of moving liquid—with a fence around it.
We all look at her silently.
She repeats her clue in various word-order as the timer on the electronic disc-thinger ticks away, faster and faster.
Still, we have no freaking idea what she is talking about.
The timer stops.
We all look at her in anticipation, eager to see what this thing that she described as “a stream of moving liquid with a fence around it” could possibly be.
She looks at us like she can’t understand how we didn’t guess, and says,

And ever since, Catch-phrase has never failed to reduce me to a chair-falling-out-of, liquid-squirting-out-the-nose, about-to-pee-my-pants mess.
And I think that’s a good thing.

***My little sister would probably like me to tell you that this happened 5 years ago, and she now knows what Watergate is, thank you very much.

If you didn’t find this funny, allow me to tantalize you with another Catch-phrase story that just occurred over Thanksgiving.

I’m sitting next to my cousin’s wife, as the electronic disc-thinger is passed to her. I accidentally (?) look down, and see that the word on the disc is “Tonto.”Then my cousin’s wife says
Umm, I think this is in Canada.
And I immediately fall off the couch.
I am a laughing mess, on the floor, 2 giggles away from peeing my pants.
But while I’m down there, she gets her husband to guess “Tonto,” anyway.
I’m not really sure how it happened.
I couldn’t really see or hear anything in my own fit of laughter.
What I do know is this.
People?That is true love.
If you say that something is in Canada, and your husband still guesses “Tonto?”
Then even if you may not be good with city names, you’ve probably got something better than that going for you.
More power to ya, Emily.

Part Two

Scattergories is a fun game. I don’t feel like explaining it, so if you don’t know what it is, here are some suggestions
1. Google it—for I am too dumb to make links for you.
2. Don’t Google it, but keep reading. You will probably have no idea what I’m talking about—but I often don’t make sense anyway. So maybe it’ll just seem like a normal day in Tiffany Blog-land.
3. Stop reading and curse the day I was born, because I will not reveal the age-old mystical ways of Scattergories.
The most important thing that you can know about Scattergories is that
People Will Lie Their Asses Off For A Point.

Here are some examples:

When challenged to come up with a ‘term of endearment’ starting with the letter R, one of your own family members may try to convince you that “Rumplebutt” is a term of endearment. Which, even though you know it is a bold-face lie, you can’t really make a solid challenge against. Because you have no idea what your family member's butt looks like. It may or my not have a “rumpled” appearance, and their loved one may or may not refer to them by that name. Really, you would rather just not think about it. And so, “Rumplebutt” gets a point—and also gets stuck with a nick-name.

When challenged to come up with ‘something people exclaim’ starting with the letter G, your own 15 year-old little sister will try to convince you that “GOO” is something that all the kids ‘exclaim’ these days. She will try to convince you that all the kids at school say it. Why? Because she Wants That Damn Point. And also she believes you to be too old to know any better.

Sometimes Grandpas have been known to lie to their own grandchildren, all for the sake of a Scattergories point. To this day, our Grandpa maintains that “Red-eye” is a ‘term of endearment.’ I don’t think he banked on the fact that we would all continue to call by this name, though.

Still, I think my favorite Scattergories moment happened this Thanksgiving, when we all had to come up with ‘something round’ that started with the letter I.
Basically, all of us put igloo, which means no one would get a point—because you only get a point if no one else has the same answer as you.
So, we’re all reading out answers off, and feeling very sad as each person answers “igloo” and then my Grandpa’s girlfriend pipes in.
And she’s very excited.
She says
Well, I have snowman, and no one else has that!

True enough.
Too bad it didn’t start with the letter I.
I fall onto the floor again, as does everyone else in the room.

The moral of the story is this:
If you are dreading spending another holiday with your family—there’s a pretty good chance that following this simple recipe will make your day better.

1. Bring Scattergories and Catch-phrase.
2. Disburse amongst family members.
3. Add vodka.
4. Laugh your ass off—but try not to pee your pants. You’d never live that down.


Blogger Clubbs said...

Nothing like some good party games to liven up a get-together. Your stories are hilarious.

I remember a game of pictionary where my friend drew a mouth and what looked like an oversized cigar hanging out of it. Then he drew a big "X" over it all. "No big smoking" was a joke among us for months. :)

You were a pleasant stop on my "Next Blog" trip through cyberspace. Have a great day.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

My favorite scatergories game (perhaps my only) had things that are frozen that start with N. My friend, actually he was our youth group leader put Nipples. No one pee-ed their pants but we laughed.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


6:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a completely different person.
I am here to verify the usage of the word 'Goo'
It is indeed used on a regular basis.

6:26 PM  
Blogger tiffany said...

i sense the presence of my little sister, who has apparently resorted to recruiting friends to halp maintain her scattergories story.
sneaky little devil, she is--with the anonymous comment and whatnot.

6:44 PM  
Blogger David said...

You need to try taboo. It's a game were you say words to try and get people to guess the word on the card. The best is when you accidently say the word you are trying to get people to guess.

1:22 AM  
Anonymous woodlandcreatures said...

Nothing starts a family feud faster than Scattergories. My sister and I have been known to use the comma system whereby
Igloo, Alaskan
is sooooo different from
Igloo, Icelandic

try it!

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LMAO here...
good show good show....
love ya!

4:25 PM  

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