Archive for the 'Dumb Games' Category

The Best Hands

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

My brothers used to play a game they called “Hands.”  It involved throwing a foam ball — the “Hands” ball — at each other as hard as possible and seeing who could catch it.  Whoever dropped it the least would declare that they have “The best hands in the family.”

I didn’t play the game much.  I often dropped the ball.

This weekend my family was at a swimming pool and we ended up playing yet another stupid game.  One person would jump in the pool while four others threw an assortment of balls at them.  The goal was to catch one mid-jump.  Mostly, I was just trying to protect the face.

On my turn, a basketball bounced off my pinkie leaving it freakishly dislocated.  While my parents’ friend popped it back into place I joked about how I should have caught the ball, mentioning that I certainly don’t have the best hands in the family.

Driving home that night, I got a call from my dad to see how my pinkie was healing and while we were talking I once again mentioned my lackluster coordination.

Dad: Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Evan: I’m not.  I’m just saying I don’t have the best hands in the family.
Dad: Well… you don’t.  I do.

If Only It Were In The Olympics

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

I’ve been too lazy to write something new so I went through the “unpublished” archives and found this. For some reason I never posted it.

My brother Aric mentioned a game we used to play when we were little in his comment on a previous post. It was called “Football With Your Socks Tied Together,” often abbreviated as “Football With Socks.” I have two brothers, so it was always 2 on 1. (Hey parents… thanks a lot! Couldn’t you have given us even teams?) We’d loosen our socks to the point where we could tie them together while still keeping them on our feet. Then we’d play football in the bedroom Aric and I shared. I, as the least athletic, often had to block for my younger brother as he drove down our 5 yard carpeted field. (We only had one play: run up the middle.)

It was a good game, but it wasn’t a great game. Fall Down The Stairs was a great game. This is a game in which I truly excelled. Tempest was the only video game I could dominate my brother at (most likely because he thought it sucked) and Fall Down The Stairs was the only sport (yes, sport) about which I could honestly say I was the best in our family.

In case you want to play, here’s how it works:

  1. Gather all the blankets and pillows you can find in the house and place them at the bottom of a good, straight staircase.
  2. Each of the three players places a sleeping bag over his (or her!) head and sits at the top of the stairs.
  3. Everyone falls down the stairs.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Whoever gets hurt first loses.

Actually, everyone loses. Especially our mom. She hated that game.

Quelf In The Name of the Farm!

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

Every Hanukkah someone usually gets someone else a board game.  Then, after lighting candles and stuffing our faces, we usually end up playing it. This year my dad got Kelly a game called “Quelf.” I can’t tell if it’s the best game ever or the worst.  I’m not even sure if it’s actually a game.

The rules are simple: roll dice, land on a colored square, draw a card with that color on it and do what the card says.

The problem is, there’s not really a point to the cards.  One card told me to build a snorkel out of household items before my next turn and wear it for the rest of the game.  Ummmmmm.  Okay.  Kelly had to sing “Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes” in a made-up language.  Whenever someone landed on a red square we were all required to shout, “Quelf in the name of the farm!”  Often after someone finished “playing” a card we’d all shrug and say, “Well, I guess you did it” as the dice were passed to the next person.

When game ended and we were all pretty glad… and a little sad.

And now, a picture of me, my homemade snorkel and a puppy:

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Pump up the Jam…boree

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

I work in a weird neighborhood. Really weird. Our neighbors include an industrial paint factory, horse stables and a strip club. Walking out of work this evening I noticed there’s a new business in the neighborhood:

If you can’t read the subtitle, it says, “Inflatable Party Zone for Little Ones.” I asked them if I could look around. It’s pretty sweet. There are several rooms filled with stuff like this:

My crappy camera phone picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s big. And the room also had a giant moonwalk and some sort of inflatable gauntlet. And there were two other rooms. As I was leaving, the man at the front desk said, “Pretty cool, huh?” Yes. Pretty cool indeed.

It reminds me of one of the best parties I ever went to in high school. The folks who ran the school newspaper somehow convinced the proprietors of a neighborhood Discovery Zone to let them have a party there from midnight to 8AM.  There weren’t many balls in the ball pit by the end of the evening. I didn’t work on the paper, but I wasn’t about to miss that.

I think my next birthday party is going to be at Pump it Up. Mark your calendars!

He Didn’t Fall?! Inconceivable!

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Third in a series of “reasons it’s really hard to be a parent.”

I’m realizing now that I have quite a few stories where I make an ass out of myself in front of unsuspecting parents trying to raise their kids right. I’m also realizing I have a lot of stories about really dumb games my friends and I made up. This one has both!

I went to college in New York and for a couple years some friends and I would go up to Vermont right before the spring semester started and do some falling skiing. I’m a mediocre skier. I’ll go down any crazy hill, but I’ll do so in a fashion that makes everyone around me a bit nervous. Still, I manage to stay on my feet more or less. (Now that I’ve taken up snowboarding, little of what I just said still applies… except for the making people nervous part.)

After a full day of skiing (pronounced shee-ing) we grew tired of simply “going down the hill” and decided to play a little game. Seeing how there were four of us, we split into two teams of two and had a race: first to the bottom wins… anything goes.

Now, I’m not an overly physical fella, but I am resilient. I grew up with two brothers and spent countless hours in human piles, often at the bottom. I guess I thought I’d be pretty good at this game. But then, I also thought the abbreviation for pounds was pronounced “labs.” So when I saw my roommate, Dan, stopped, poised at the top of a descent, I picked up some speed and took aim. Things that didn’t occur to me:

  1. Dan’s a hockey player
  2. Dan’s quite a bit bigger than I am
  3. Dan knows I’m about to plow into him.

Nonetheless, I took a deep breath, crouched down, and delivered a mighty blow. It took me a while to assess the situation through the flurry of powder, but when the dust had cleared I was lying on my back… and Dan? Dan was right where I left him, standing over me laughing. All I could do was shout, “YOU DIDN’T FALL DOWN?!”

At this point, I realized that the inevitable father and son were also standing at the top of this particular hill. From their perspective, some out-of-control hack who has no business being on the mountain (NO BUSINESS!) rammed into some stranger and then got upset when said stranger didn’t fall down.

But it’s worse. As Dan laughed and turned to continue down the mountain, I reached over in frustration and pounded on his binding release with my fist. At least that worked!

Dan made it a couple feet on one ski before tumbling for a good 50 feet or so. I laughed and laughed. I think I even pointed and laughed. As I rolled over onto my back to hoist myself up, I made eye contact with the most disapproving father in the history of disapproving fathers. The look he gave me was the dirtiest look I ever received in my life. Dirtier, even, than the lady with the bike helmet.

Why I Wear A Bike Helmet

Monday, January 29th, 2007

Second in a series of “reasons it’s really hard to be a parent.”

Hi. I wear a bike helmet. I have two, actually. One for when it’s hot out and one for when it’s cold out. The one for when it’s cold out is a snowboarding helmet that looks like what the rebels wore on the Forest moon of Endor, but that’s neither here nor there. Except it’s awesome. Anyway, I used to not wear a bike helmet, despite several run-ins with the Evanston bike helmet guy (It’s at the bottom of the page.)

endor.jpg
Isn’t that guy in front a little old to be fighting the Empire?

Now, I’ve gotten into lots of accidents on my bike. (The tandem, that is.) Me and my friends used to play a game called “Close Your Eyes And Stick Up Your Head.” It was when we had pegs on the back wheel so we could fit 3 people on it. The person on the back would, well, close his eyes and stick up his head. The others would then ride through low hanging branches. Once I was on the back, closing my eyes and sticking up my head, when my friends rode through a low hanging limb. It hit me in the face and knocked me off. But that’s not why I wear a helmet.

And that time one of the pegs broke off (with someone on them) and messed up the back wheel so bad that we crashed into a cement post? That’s not why I wear a helmet either… although it is why I wear a cup…

One day I was riding my bike when I ended up stopped at a corner near a mother and her son. Both of them were on bikes. I overheard the following conversation:

MOTHER: Put on your helmet.
SON: I don’t want to.
MOTHER: If you don’t wear your helmet, you can’t ride your bike.
SON (Pointing at me): But he’s not wearing a helmet!

That look his mother game me? That’s why I wear a helmet.