Whilst I am generally laid back about modern life, how long daughter spends on the Xbox and the like, I do find a good old fashioned night of paper and pen-type games really exhilarating. Proper laugh out loud until you cry fun.
Three kids, three adults, plenty of fizzy (alcoholic and non) and I can’t quite remember who set the challenge: we had to tell a story but each person could only contribute five words at a time. I’m not sure whose contribution I liked the most: the kids or the 40-somethings (although I think it’s obvious which sets of words the six year old boy contributed)!
We Entered The Forest of the Messed Up Uncommon Land…
In a forest of books, I could see a witch.
Then a zombie rose up, I got petrified and shouted: “Why don’t you dance together?”
They smiled and spun around, heard the sounds and break-danced. They started shaking, so cool, and I punched their faces.
They turned around and looked, and said very, very, slowly: “What is your favourite book (in the forest of books)?”
They bounced on their bottoms, my sword killed them both.
Slowly they rose up again, and lived happily ever after. The end of our tale.
Reading this again now, it is hard to believe how much this had us all laughing. Hurrah for being a kid, and/or being an adult with too much booze to hand.
My absolute favourite game ever is Picture Consequences, where you collaboratively draw a person/animal/monster in sections, in turns. It always fascinates me of all the people and families we know, who has played it before and who hasn’t, and how much they get into it, or not. Actually I totally judge people on their willingness to play this game.
Starting traditionally with the head (but we add in a hat as an extra round), each part of the body is drawn and then folded over so that the next contributor cannot see what went before. We also name our creations before unveiling them. I feel it’s important to give children the maximum number of opportunities to bring the words ‘poo’ and ‘wee’ into a game…
Sadly our latest masterpieces got recycled before I photographed them but here’s some of my favourite examples as drawn by various famous Surrealists, including Joan Miro and Man Ray and other heroes of mine. Few people realise that the original word-based format of this game was adapted to drawings by members of the Surrealist movement.
I always have a secret bet with myself as to how many rounds get played before the graphic drawing of breasts and/or genitals emerges (no, not by me, by the children, well… sometimes with nice kids, you need to give them a lead). I love their shrieks of joyful wicked laughter and cheeky rebellious faces as they’re gambling that no one is going to get into trouble as the rude bits are sort-of anonymous…
I especially love how they feel like they’re the first ever to draw something lewd in a game of Picture Consequences… I smile to myself and think about how a few clicks away, a simple Google search for “exquisite corpse surrealists“, and there are much more weird and worrying examples than any kid could conjure up.
I am seriously looking forward to blowing daughter’s mind with these when she’s a little bit older as part of an art project, that’s if I don’t drink too much fizzy one Friday night and decide to freak all the children out then instead.
I love Surrealism as on the surface it’s madness legitimised as art. It’s blatant proof of the breadth and depth of the typical human mind that we modern suburban types are all suppressing somehow.
I’m not talking about an urge to create, I’m talking about darker mainly procreation related urges. I doubt Surrealists had mid-life crises. They fondled and experimented and created the heck out of their whole lives. A picture consequences support group should be available on the NHS as a precursor to anti-depressants for many… like the Stop Smoking ones but with crayons.
I also love nights like this one as daughter seems no different to any other. I don’t mind that she’s different, I mind that she’s less able to let go and relax into herself than a typical kid. I mind simply because she minds, that’s all. It’s so special to see her roaring with laughter, sensory problems temporarily forgotten.
Nothing like a big biologically impossible willy as therapy. Nope. However I phrase that, it sounds deplorable and wrong.
I hope you know what I mean.