Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Word Games

My recent post about rituals in my personal and family life started me thinking of the collection of words games I enjoy with my kids, primarily Casey these days. Here they are:

(1) Sausage -- In this game one person asks the other a variety of questions and only one answer is allowable: "Sausage!" The goal is to get the person saying "sausage" to laugh within 60 seconds. I'm pretty good at this. My technique is to fire the questions at a pretty fast clip:

"What's your girl(or boy)friend's name?" Sausage!
"What do you brush your teeth with?" Sausage!
"When you blow your nose, what comes out?" Sausage!
"What does Santa bring you every year?" Sausage!
"Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early..."
Smiling is OK, but laugh and you lose.

(2) The 'Um' Game -- One person picks a category and the other person has to talk about it for a full minute, quickly and non-stop, without saying "um"." For instance, if the topic is how to become a circus clown a response might be:
"To be a circus clown is a very important job because you make children laugh so you don't want to be a sad clown because that's really scary and stupid anyway so at clown school they probably teach you lots of tips and tricks to keep everyone laughing and forgetting that the tiger is eating the trapeze man and other gross stuff that happens every day at the circuses since it's full of people who couldn't get jobs a regular business!!!!"
It's considered bad form to repeat sentences, not make any sense at all or go absolutely off-topic. Casey rarely lasts 20 seconds.

(3) The Question Game -- In this popular games two people carry on a conversation only with questions.
"Do you want to play this game?"
"Why, don't you?"
"What makes you ask that?"
"Do you think I'm going to tell you that easily?"
"Why shouldn't you?"
"Don't you want to find out another way?"
"I don't know....AHHHH!"
(4) This or That, or Would You Rather?-- Skydive or hang-glide? Cake or ice cream? Blue or red? 2 o'clock or 4 o'clock? Over or under? Atlantic or Pacific? Snakes or frogs? Stones or Zeppelin? Solids or stripes? Butter or sugar? Flotsam or jetsam? Run or swim? Fingers or toes? Rocks or sand? Answer quickly! Hurry, hurry! No time to think!

(5) Bill and Casey's Word Game -- Since she is a little wordsmith, we toss each other words and phrases that are satisfying to say and somehow connect (although generally only along several of the 11 dimensions of reality.
Stalagmite. "Platitudinous".
Cantankerous. "Boysenberry".
Tankard. "Frumptious".
Promethian. "Canker sore".
Fragmentary. "Oncology".
Prong. "Akimbo".
Bumbershoot. "Literati."
Hocus-pocus. "Dominocus".
This perfectly wonderful game can continue for far longer than anyone else on earth can tolerate without yelling at us.

When we are especially "in the zone" a combination of the above is just the thing. A minute of questions about sausage, anyone?

No comments: