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7 Games I Have Played

February 25, 2011

There are few things I love more than playing games.  Chess, Checkers, Risk, Monopoly, Sorry*, Rummikub, Uno, Spades, etc.  I used to play video games, and then one day I woke up and realized that I was wasting the valuable minutes I have on Earth playing fucking video games, which don’t contribute one iota to anything meaningful or significant in my life.  So I stopped doing that.

But if there’s anything I love more than playing games, it’s playing games that *I* have invented.  Or maybe more accurately, that have been mutually and serendipitously invented by myself and those competing with and against me.  The games that just happen, that evolve, organically, from a need to be better at something than a friend, roommate, co-worker, etc.

Below are 7 games that I have played.  I do not recommend or endorse any of these games, as some are dangerous, most are stupid, and some can get you fired.

The Disc of Death
Materials Needed:

  1. A heavy, metallic disc, approximately 3-inches in diameter and ¼” thick.
  2. Office furniture

Risk Level: Dangerous, Stupid, and Can get you fired

This is a game my friend and co-worker, whom I shall refer to as “Gay Romeo” (GR, henceforth), invented to keep our sanity while working in a suffocating and soul-sucking office job, that neither of us could stand.  It was one of those hopeless jobs where you could either (a) sink into a deep depression and resign yourself to existing in a cubicle coma, or (b) try to have some fun, and avoid option #A.

No one really knows what the Disc of Death (DoD) was, or where it came from.  Some think it was a piece of an alien spacecraft.  Others think it was some sort of industrial, metal, disc…thing…that just screamed, “Throw me!  Hard!”  Personally, I think it was a rivet from Satan’s own hyper-alloy, combat chassis, because it was nothing but pure evil disguised as a simple, metallic disc.  In the end, I suppose all that really mattered was that we had found it, and that we heard its call.  It seemed to beckon us, like a silver siren of destruction and mayhem.

The DoD “game” had but one rule: throw the disc at office furniture, and see happened.  As we would soon discover, “bad” happened.  And lots of it.

At 6’ 4”, GR, is (from my perspective), freakishly tall.  And with that height came a giant, Albatross like wingspan, such that when GR first hurled the DoD across the office, the resulting destruction left us both horrified, and excited.  It was like we’d discovered we could shoot laser beams out of our fingers, and engaged in a frenzy ~ nay, an outright orgy of destruction.  The power this little weapon contained was truly remarkable.  It destroyed chairs, pictures, cardboard boxes, a water cooler, and of course, drywall.  From one side of the office to the other we threw the DoD.  It’s corkscrew-like trajectory predictable, yet always surprising.  Where would it land this time?  Time slowed down.  Phones went unanswered.  Work, stopped.

Neither of us realized that we’d fallen under its spell until we were well past the Rubicon.  It wasn’t so much a matter of “there’s no turning back”, but “Dear God…we have to hide this shit, or we’re gonna get fired!”  And just like that, the game was over.  It burned like meteor of white phosphorous; brilliant, radiant, all consuming.  It felt like we’d been drugged.  Like a temporary suspension of sanity.  Like we’d been pulled into an alternate universe where nothing mattered except throwing the disc, and watching the pieces fall.  It was awesome.

In retrospect, it may have been the happiest 10 minutes of my entire life.  Never before had so much destruction been wrought by an object so small, in such a short period, with so little effort exerted.  The thing was evil I tell you, pure evil.  So much so that with nothing more than eye contact and telepathy, we silently, wordlessly, mutually agreed to dispose of the DoD, so that nobody else, to include us, would ever fall under its spell again.

After the DoD incident, which Gay Romeo and I still remember with fondness, we had to invent a new game to play.  So we came up with “Rails”.  Rails was a little more complex, but it was fun, and I’m going to try to give you the gist of how it was played.  Of all the games listed, this is the only one I’d even think about trying to play on your own.

Materials Needed:

  1. Whiteboard with tray (for markers and erasers)
  2. 8 dry erase markers
  3. CD Player
  4. Van Halen I (CD)

Risk Level: Could (possibly) get you fired

Rails is a little bit like horeshoes, tennis, and shuffleboard combined.  The rules were, you had to stand behind a taped line (I think it was about 7ft), and throw a dry erase marker such that it would land, and stay, on the tray.  If it landed, you got a point.  Then player #2 took his turn, and attempted the same.  However, player #2 would also try to dislodge any markers successfully placed by the previous player, and if successful, he would get 1 point for the landing, PLUS 1 point for knocking off the other marker.  Advantage went to player #2, because he went last.  So players took turn serving so that each player got 3 serves, and each got to go 2nd 3 times as well.  So a game was really more like a set in tennis, where there were 6 little sub-battles that made up the larger whole.  In the event of a tie after each player had served 3 times, a timed tiebreaker would be played in which both players threw all of their markers at the same time.  The official “timer” was the first measure of “Eruption”, by Van Halen (which is 45-seconds long, incidentally)

Who can pee the longest?
Materials Needed:

  1. Beer
  2. Stopwatch

Risk Level: I’m not a doctor, so I don’t want to say there aren’t *any* risks associated with this game (above and beyond the normal risks of drinking too much beer), but I will say that I’ve never known of anyone actually getting hurt playing this game.

The rules of this game are pretty simple.  Drink, as you would normally drink, with your buddies, with the added exception that nobody pees.  Ever.  Until you can’t stand it.  It’s not so much a question of “Who pees first”, but who can pee the longest?  The time isn’t start to finish, but the longest segment of sustained, unbroken urine flow.  The first time the stream is broken, the timer stops, even if you’re not done yet.  I think my record was 2:11 seconds.

“Longest” does not refer to a separate game of seeing how far – in terms of distance – you can pee.  I suspect this is probably a gender-specific game in which the YCD group (“Y-Chromosome deficient”) would be at a severe disadvantage.  And I shit you not, I’ve actually seen a guy pee OVER the rim of a basketball goal.  From the floor.  As in, he was able to project urine to a height exceeding 10-feet.  I also witnessed this arguably talented young man pee on the shins of several hecklers who dared him – in their ignorance – to pee on them, whilst they stood on a 2nd floor balcony.  Amazingly, to his credit, he wasn’t cocky about this particular skill set.

Ride the Roof
Materials Needed:

  1. Car with luggage rack
  2. Beer (not really required, but it “helps”)

Risk Level: Beyond stupid.  Hyper stupid.  Insanely stupid.  Could result in death and serious injury, not necessarily in that order.  Probably wouldn’t get you fired, unless you did it on the job, which would be stupid.  Don’t do this.  Ever.

This is a game a few of my buddies and I invented way back in high school.  I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma where there wasn’t much to do except drink, and get in trouble.  Both of which I did in spades.  Anyway, the rules of this game – and it was just a one-night game – were simple: Get on the roof of the car, and hang on while the guys inside the car drive.  Fast.  Down dirt roads.  At night.  While drinking.  In January.

Ever been on a roller-coaster, and you go over the hump and get that funny sensation in your stomach that tells you that the roller coaster is falling out from under you?  Imagine that, only you’re hanging onto the luggage rails of a car, with fingers so cold you can barely feel them, while you feel your legs and torso periodically lift off the car, going over hills and such.

There are no “winners”, per se, only survivors.

Throw it before it blows
Materials Needed:

  1. Glass jars with screw-on lids
  2. Hot water
  3. Aluminum foil
  4. Red-Devil Lye (otherwise known as Sodium Hydroxide ~ aka “Drain Cleaner”)
  5. A complete disregard for your personal safety

Risk Level: Dangerous and Stupid.  Could easily get you fired as well, so if you feel like being dangerous *and* stupid, but still want to keep your job, do NOT do this at work.

I won’t attempt to explain the chemical reaction because I hate chemistry.  Instead, I’ll just tell you what happens: The combination of water, aluminum foil, and Sodium Hydroxide produce an exothermic reaction (gives off heat) and a shitload of Hydrogen gas.  So guess what happens to the pressure (the pressure exerted by the gas) inside the bottle when the volume of the gas inside the bottle is increasing, but the volume of the container holding the gas remains fixed?

Yes, grasshopper, the pressure increases!  Such that, when the pressure of the gas exceeds the tensile strength of the glass, the glass shatters, thus releasing said pressure in what can safely be referred to as an “explosion”.  Like this:

For numerous reasons, this is best performed as a team event.  Meaning, if you want to do it “safely” (and I use that term very, very loosely) you’ll need a partner just as stupid as you are.  The best technique is, one guy holds the jar containing the aluminum foil and drain cleaner AND the lid.  The other guy pours in the water.  The jar guy screws on the lid, shakes twice – maybe three times – and then throws.  And then turns, and then ducks.

Notice that I said “hot” water in my “Materials Needed”.  Hot water really isn’t required, it just makes the reaction go THAT much quicker.  Using hot water is like lighting a firecracker with a short fuse.  The hotter the water, the shorter the fuse.  I’ve been the “hot water guy” in numerous “Drano Bombs” (a generic term, because my preferred source of Sodium Hydroxide has always been – and will always be – Red Devil Lye) and I can tell you with with much confidence, when you pour the (hot) water, turn your head, and don’t look.  There will be shrapnel.  It will explode before it hits the ground.

Fact: I once ate half a jar of pickels (my buddy eating the other half), just so we’d have another empty glass jar to use.

Yes, it’s that much fun.

2 Man Wiffle Ball
Materials Needed:

  1. You
  2. Friend
  3. Wiffle ball
  4. Wiffle ball bat
  5. Ghost Runners
  6. Space to play

Risk Level: Depends on how good the other guy is at throwing a wiffle-ball bat while running.  It’s harder than it sounds.

Two man wiffle ball is exactly like “more-than-two-man-wiffle-ball” with the exception that, in 2MWB, you get to carry the bat with you when you run, and can use it as a “smart bomb” (tip of the hat to you “Defender” gamers out there) of sorts in the event that you need to tip the scales to your advantage.  This is exceptionally handy when you hit an otherwise, easy-to-catch fly ball.  There’s no such thing as “easy to catch” when you know the runner is carrying a bat, and reserves the right to thow it at you at his discretion.  Virtually every base hit – even when it’s not really necessary – involve the batter-turned-runner throwing his bat at the pitcher-turned-cather-turned-bat-dodger.  Naturally, once you get a base-hit, a “Ghost Runner” now occupies that spot, so everyone needs to be comfortable with the whole “virtual runner” concept.  Ghost runners are limited to advancing one base at a time.  Everything else is negotiable.

Kitchen Knife Chicken
Materials Needed:

  1. Steak Knives
  2. Steel-Toed Boots

Risk Level: Hardly any, if you’re wearing steel-toed boots.

Despite it happening, frequently, the object of this game is NOT to stick a knife in your opponents boot. Rather, it is to see how close you can get it to his boot without actually hitting it.  That’s it.  That’s the entire game.  I once spent the better part of 4 hours engaged in this particular game with a buddy of mine (not Gay Romeo), and can thus attest to its overall efficacy as a game.  The rules are, you hold your foot still, while I throw a knife at it, and see how close I can get without actually hitting your foot.  There is no penalty to me for hitting your foot (but there are no points either), and there’s no penalty to you for being hit.  Unless, of course, you’re NOT wearing steel-toed boots, in which case the penalty is synonymous to the injury.

I don’t mean to brag, I ain’t tryin to boast, but I like my jelly on buttered toast like playing games, like it the most.  If you have a strange and unusual game you like to play, I’d like to hear about it.

OK fine. Nobody really likes playing “Sorry” except for kids. If you don’t have kids, enjoy not playing Sorry while you can. Because once you have kids…


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One Response to “ 7 Games I Have Played ”

  1. Rummikub on February 27, 2011 at 6:36 am

    Rummikub would be the best social game ever, and i mean it since i play with day once a week (+ holidays).
    The best part of it is that todays – it’s online !