July 25, 2007
Rhymes With Rudy Car Land
When my extended family gets together, we play card games or board games or any kind of game that can somehow involve small children, their grandparents, and everyone in between. Rainy days at camp, we play on the floor of a tent or at the wooden table in the cabin. At home, we are usually gathered around my mother's kitchen table. The card game we play most often is pitch, a game that my father used to play everyday when he was growing up. But we test out new games, too, the ones that come in and out of style.
I like the game that comes with cartoons that have no captions; we each have to write a caption. Someone reads all the captions aloud, and we not only vote on which is the funniest, but we also guess who wrote each caption. Sometimes it's easy to tell who wrote the caption, but the quiet members of the family often surprise everyone. Last time, for instance, we were all looking at a cartoon that showed a turtle and a rabbit in bed together, with the turtle pushing the rabbit away. The winning caption was: "Whoa there, hot stuff. Slow and steady wins the race." The caption was not written by one of the adults or the teenagers, but by my youngest son, With-a-Why. Clearly, he needs to spend more time with kids his own age.
The other game that we've been playing a lot this summer is a game that my new sister-in-law invented. To play, you cut up sheets of paper into dozens of little slips. Everyone begins filling the slips with the names of anyone famous they can think of: living, dead, or fictional. Each slip gets folded once and tossed into a big bowl, and when the bowl is full, we divide into teams. We turn over the egg timer, and a person on the first team picks a slip of paper and then describes the famous person until their team guesses the person. They see how many they can get before they run out of time.
The game gets tricky when you have members of several different generations playing the game. My father, faced with the slip of that said, "Shania Twain," just went for the part of the name he recognized. "Well, she could be the sister of the person who wrote Huckleberry Finn." With-a-Why kept putting in obscure figures from Norse mythology, and soon everyone was groaning at the sight of his handwriting. Sometimes the urgency of the game led to rather understated descriptions: "Bad guy. World War II." And sometimes, a player would change their mind about who they thought the person was: "He walked on the moon. No, wait, he played the trumpet."
My daughter, deep in thought.
Posted by jo(e)