As I mentioned, I went to game night at Larry and Carlee's house in Cary yesterday. I had a fabulous time! I started out teaching Mike and Cindy how to play Taboo, and eventually it grew into a group of 5-6 playing--including Melanie, who never plays anything! We don't follow the regular rules...we just take turns giving clues while the whole group guesses. The first person to guess correctly wins the card. If there needs to be a winner, it's the first one to collect X number of cards, X varying depending on how many are playing (a larger group=fewer needed to win). But sometimes you just want to have fun, and identifying a winner is unnecessary.
Next I learned Spades. Larry had showed me the gist of the game a while ago, but I'd never actually played. It's difficult! I mean, you can play with about 20% of your brain capacity, but then you miss the finer nuances...which clearly was the circumstance I was operating under. In one particularly embarrassing round, not only did I undercut my own partner, but I missed a chance to play an ace and do a take. Ah, well, what can you ask from a beginner, and one whose mind is on vacation no less!
While I was swallowing the bitter pill of utter humiliation over my Spades ineptitude (j/k, everyone was more than kind and understanding, at least to my face!), other groups were playing Word Thief and Scrabble, so everyone was engrossed in group revelry and having fun.
After Spades, I wanted something less strategic...so we played Balderdash, which Chantel had brought. I'd played this with some friends in CA (hi Nicole and Debby!) and knew it was very fun. I had to play recruiter, though, because most people didn't know how to play. Basically, players take turns being the leader. The leader reads the "question," which can be a movie title, acronym, person, law, or vocabulary word. The fun part is these are all so obscure, no one's ever heard of them...and your job is to make up a definition, plot summary, acronym meaning, etc. You can be as outlandish as you wish, but the goal is be convincing too, so other people think yours is the correct one. Meanwhile the leader writes the real answer down, and then reads all of them consecutively. Everyone chooses the one they think is correct...if yours is chosen, you get points. You also get points if you choose the truly correct one. Let me tell you, when we finally got a group together, we had a hilarious time! Other groups commented on how there would be periods of silence (while we're writing our BS answers) followed by periods of maniacal laughter (when we listen to the answers being read). It helps to have some creative, sick, and twisted people playing. One drawback of the game is if the judge flubs reading one of the answers; you can tell it's not the truth, because the judge himself wrote the truth and thus wouldn't flub it. More than one round was "ruined" that way. But I want to give props to Larry, who was able to cover his flub so well, it fooled me and one other player completely!
After Balderdash, most people left, and we ended up playing a game called "Things...Humour in a Box." We made up our own rules. Basically a card says something like "Things you should not say to a teacher..." or "Things you should not do in public..." and players each write down one thing on a slip of paper and hand it to the judge (we all took turns playing the judge). Then the judge reads all the answers aloud and picks his or her favorite. Very subjective, but you can play to the judge if you know him/her well, and with such open-ended prompts, things can get very creative. Things quickly turned rather raunchy, but it was all in good fun. I was laughing so hard my sides were hurting!