Thursday, December 20, 2007

"The Fun Game"

We have friends (why do you look so surprised?) who had us over for a dinner party. After dinner was finished Meghann introduced a game that was partly made up and partly copied by her sister. She read us the directions that she was very keen on us (not necessarily her) following to the letter. The directions were printed off from an email her sister sent and the game components consisted of torn paper shreds, whatever writing implements could be scavenged and a Tupperware bowl. My favorite part of this homemade moonshine game was the name. The Fun Game. It still makes me laugh, even now (a month later). Doesn't the word game imply fun? I walked away from the experience wondering "if you have to name your game 'The Fun Game', maybe it isn't really that fun." It starts feeling a little oversold.

That being said, we have our own "Fun" game here around the Romney house. Actually it is played whenever we are away from the homestead. For those of you who have a hard time grasping complex game rules, let me distill it down for you into a more digestible form (I actually believe personally that reciting a long list of rules is a complete waste of time. This is partly due to the fact that it has been scientifically proven that no one just can sit and listen to someone else explain the rules to a game that they already know how to play. They are physically compelled to interrupt with random rules that are intended to clarify but actually just confuse the people learning the game while irritating the other three people who think they are explaining the rules coherently. This usually leaves the dim newbie with more questions which of course requires that enthusiastic and now slightly quarrelsome experts to re-explain the game from the beginning. I am a firm believer in just playing one round "face up" and letting the smarties figure it out and the dummies lose like they will anyway after never being able to grasp the shuffled rule explanations. ... but I digress). Our "Fun" game is Jessica's brainchild. Since she thought it up, she refuses to concede that the game is not really fun for anyone under the age of 10. So for the record this game is fun for everyone under the age of 10 and for Jessica. Really, it is. This is a Christmas game, so don't try playing it after the 25th. The game goes like this:

Game Components:

  • All you need is a car stereo,

  • a radio station that plays nothing but Holiday songs

  • and some time together in the oh so pleasant family van that really hasn't smelled quite right since 2003.

Game Play:

  • Each member of the family guesses what song they think will be played in the near future.

  • Family then drives together as the parents try to maintain a coherent conversation while the kids wrestle, scream, laugh, tattle on each other, fight, and interject various questions from the rear of the aromatic van, all while listening to "your official station for the holidays."

To Win:

  • Your song is played before anyone else's.

Important Notes:

  • Actually, if you don't win, don't worry because the game doesn't end when a winner is declared. The game can only end when the key to the family van is removed from the ignition. So you can just try to be the "next" winner.

  • Feel free to burst into tears, or hit someone or pout if you do not win this time around. With stakes as high as the title of "winner until someone else wins," you have the right to fuss around a bit.

Helpful Tips:

  • If you are not under the age of 10 and not Jessica you can actually just listen to the DJ and then call the song as he/she tells you what song is up next. This will amaze your children and really impress your wife (even though she will try to hide it).

  • If your kids are fighting and you can't focus during the DJ then you can wait until the next song begins and then based on the opening notes decide you want to change your song to whatever you might feel is right based on those opening notes.

So if that game sounds as fun to you as it does to me you have two choices. You can begin selling it to unsuspecting dinner party guests as "The Fun Game" or you can simply put off re-installation of the stolen stereo until December 26th. Not that I would ever do that.


Lauren said...

I seriously started crying I was laughing so hard at this post. Your superb descripton of how your van "hasn't quite smelled right since 2003" and "aromatic" really helped me envision the scene.
I think calling a game the "Fun Game" doesn't make it oversold...I think it is a stroke of marketing genius.
However...I really fear I may come across as judgmental...but...your #2 helpful tip is a prime example of shameless, blatant cheating. *Ut Um* Ryan, Santa is watching.

Erin said...

Ryan you with the prize! Which prize you ask? The "make-the-grumpy-mother-of-overactive-twins-who-is-desperately-trying-to-pack-for-a-7-hour-trip-to-Utah-tomorrow-while-still-somehow-preparing-to-work-a-12-hour-night-shift-tonight-laugh" prize! ;) Nice one. Seriously. FUNNY.

Melissa said...

This was funny until I saw the picture of the missing stereo. Then I laughed so hard out loud that my husband called from the other room "are you blogging again?"

Ilene said...

Hey, I remember playing an 80's game at your house that wasn't necessarily "fun" except for all of the heckling it created.

Great rules.

I know another fun game you could play, it's called "Ryan, install the car stereo already." I bet Jessica would love that game.

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

I'm going to start calling everything my husband needs to do around the house a "fun game". Maybe it will inspire him to actually do it.
He'll probably think I'm talking about something else when I say "fun game" though.

andrea said...

i was thinking how much fun it would be to drive an hour north and meet your familys one of these days. but now, after seeing the stereo ripped from the car, i'm scared. if we ever meet, it must be at the temple where peace and harmony can abound. and where there are witnesses.

Penny said...

Hey, just make sure that you don't leave that new stereo in the car, with the doors unlocked, parked outside and the keys in the ignition, ok?

Just playin' I'll have to remember the "fun game" next time we are in the car with our kids fighting. I'll just let them fight over who is going to win the game instead.

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

Jessica, quick question...
Was it YOU who had the recipe for that pull-apart monkey bread a while back that you do overnight? Man, I want to make that Christmas morning and I can't remember for the life of me who it was. Please advise... if ya can.

Bridget said...

Oh, so funny. I love your description of everyone talking over everyone else trying to explain game rules. That IS exactly how it goes. It is so annoying.

Paige said...

No no no, the fun game is the one she made up where you write names down in said tupperware, make people guess them, then act them out, then what was the other one? That is the fun game. Your game should be called "torture me" game.

Auzigirl said...

This was a great post. You are so funny, and clever.

Karen said...

My favorite part was the description of the explanation of rules...its as if you have had game rules explained to you by me and my dh. Oh the shame.

Very funny post!

gab said...

Funny. I would love to hang out with y'all. But not in your van.