Thursday, 25 March 2010

My newest favourite thing: Quelf

When friends were down in Queenstown the other week we went round to their house for drinks and laughter. Of course, we began by catching up on the gossip and dreams of everyone there; how some had come true and others were still distant visions. To stop things from getting serious, as they can occasionally, we played a game to keep the entertainment factor high.

We played Quelf, although not exactly as intended. I believe there is a board and dice and little characters that you can move around as you progress or take backward steps. We just used the cards in the pack and took it in turns to pick one.

Some of the cards are straight-forward true or false, or trivia questions - which are actually very easy. These are kind of the relief squares.

There is also a category called Scatterbrain which requires you to pick one of two topics and hope that not everyone in the room can think of something different under the heading (such as lipstick names or thigns that you wear on your hand) - because that means you win.

Of course, it's all about making a fool of yourself, or laughing at your friends who are doing just that. One of the categories asks you to mime, sing, act, or (my most testing of all) interpretative dance! Marching and saluting while whistling a merry martial tune was particularly difficult - it's harder than you would think to laugh and whistle at the same time.

The best category, however, is the one which gives you a bizarre rule or stunt to follow. Someone had to make their belly button talk, someone else had to laugh whenever anyone else did. At the same time someone had to slap her thighs every time someone laughed and say, 'whacka, whacka, whaka'. Her thighs were red by the end of her round - everyone was laughing so much. It doesn't sound so funny when it's written down, so you should just try it.

I had to point at people and say 'I have you now' each time I made eye contact. This led to laughter (which led to more laughter and whacked thighs). Each time someone spoke to me I had to salute and say 'Yes, sir!' or 'Yes, maam!' depending on the gender. Andra had to hold her tongue whenever she said anything. Often many of these things all happened at once, which really did lead to much hilarity.

It is the sort of game that you have to play with people who are just a little bit extroverted and not too precious about letting go - I'm sure it makes no sense when you're sober and probably isn't half as much fun. How would I know?

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