Monday, December 10, 2007

Party Games

Color me shocked, readers. I came up with a couple of games for our holiday party, and none of my guests had ever played any of them. This means that either I'm breaking new ground in semi-inebriated competition or my friends are tragically unhip. Not that the two are mutually exclusive, of course.

I waited until a bit after 10 Saturday evening before announcing to the assemblage that it was time for everyone to join me in the den for the ruthless competition portion of the evening. I had ulterior motives. Everyone had been hanging out in the kitchen, dining room, and living room, drinking the mulled wine and eating the savory foods, and I wanted them to have to pass through the breakfast nook so that they could pick up some eggnog and cookies. Clearly I crave affirmation: everyone must sample and praise my rum balls. Or I was just drunk. I was once again grateful that I drink so little on a daily basis. I was smashed before I'd finished my second cup of mulled wine, but my crazy friend Lance brought a guest who seemed not at all inebriated after his fourth cup. And since I put increasingly large shots of rum into the bottom of each cup, I was impressed. I moved him on to the eggnog, but he pronounced it "good but not strong enough," even though I'd thought I was really pushing things with the rum content. Chacun à son gout, I reckon.

Anyway, drunk or not and stuffed or not with cookies, everyone made it to the den for a friendly game of Phallic Symbol Toss.

If you want to play Phallic Symbol Toss, you'll need a large picture of an attractive man, a metallic white board, and phallic symbol refrigerator magnets. I got the white board at Costco, I ordered the large picture (it's in the picture at the beginning of this entry) from (a 20-inch by 30-inch enlargement costs only $9.99). I made the refrigerator magnets myself. I downloaded some pictures of phallic symbols, cropped them, put them in a word processing document, printed them out on magnet sheets (Available from Staples, and probably other office supply stores. A pack of four 8.5x11 magnet sheets costs about $11, and you can run them through an inkjet printer. A world where you can easily make your own refrigerator magnets: I love technology.), and cut them out with scissors.

Any size refrigerator magnet will work if you're placing it on a picture, but if you're tossing the magnet from a couple of yards away, the magnet needs to be at least as long and wide as a business card. Once I realized this, after extensive field testing, I made a second sheet of magnets, of a more appropriate size. There were a lot of bananas. Bananas were a popular choice and seemed to work well, though there was definitely a sizable contingent that wanted a torpedo or the Washington Monument. I suspect they were overcompensating. In several cases, I have first hand knowledge, but it seemed prudent not to mention it.

I placed the needle tower magnet on the picture to demonstrate the goal. You want the business end of the picture on the magnet to end up as close as possible to the business end of the guy in the picture. Because of the thinness of the magnets and their tendency to flip over (and hence not stick) during flight, you can't toss them from more than six feet, and it's very hard to hit the target with any accuracy. The difficulty of success and the various locations where the magnets end up are the subjects of many jokes, the nature of which you can easily imagine. It took a number of turns before my friends got all the magnets on the picture. Kip was the winner, so he got to take home the picture of the guy. He said he wanted the real guy instead. I wasn't able to do that for him, but I did make out with him for a while in the hallway later in the evening. Strictly to be a good host, you understand.

I used the second picture to play Stick It, a variant of Pin the Tail on the Donkey. My friends quickly complained that even after I'd blindfolded them and spun them around three times, the game was too easy, so I had someone else man the blindfold, and I held the whiteboard and moved to different locations around the room, guiding the blindfolded guy with my voice. I guess that turns the game into Marco Polo Stick It. I will have to say that when they have the phallic symbol in their hands, my friends -- even blindfolded and with a moving target -- have a very good sense of where the cock is. I'm not sure moving made it that much harder, but it made the whole game a lot more fun. I decided that it would be easier to just draw lots to decide who won the second picture, but I went to get some more eggnog or something and forgot to do it. By the time I remembered, it was after midnight, and half the guests were gone, so since no one asked, I just left the picture on the whiteboard. Then in the morning, I rolled it up and put it back in the mailing tube. I think we'll be playing again. But maybe next year, I'll include at least one dorsal view. Equal opportunity for all.

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