As my youngest son Dodge gets ready to turn 1-year old, I am amazed at all the words he is learning. He’s got the basics like, “Dada, Mama, hi, bye-bye, uh-oh…” and such. Last night I taught him to clink glasses and say “Cheers!” He’s working on “brother” but much to big-brother Max’s disappointment…Dodge finds the cat way more interesting. So what is the “Adult Word Game?” Its simple. My wife Kate and I are very active in our community and therefore are privileged to get to attend a plethora of parties, functions, and events. In these events we have grown up conversations about things like the state of the local economy, last year’s drought and how it will affect the cost of meat, current art shows, and how to make donations to our non-profit. These functions often have an open bar (or cash bar) which to me is the green light for adult fun. We spend all day saying things like, “Hitting is no-no which is why we are having a timeout. Do you need to go poo-poo or pee-pee on the potty?” When you speak like this all day it is hard to transition into sentences like, “The city of Wichita is economically expanding outwards and needs to reach its boundaries, thus drawing businesses back to the central business district to create a thriving epicenter for the population.” You say a sentence like that and the next thing out of your mouth is, “Now if you’ll excuse me…I have a few bottle of Dada-juice (beer) and need to go pee-pee.” Not cool. The “Adult Word Game” helps you bridge the gap.
Prior to going out, as Kate and I stumble over plastic toys and put on the ole fancy clothes, we pick a word to be the word of the night. The word has to be obscure…obscure enough that it wouldn’t come up in regular conversation but not so obscure that it comes across as offensive or weird. Bets can be placed on how often you think you can say it but to win: You have to say it the most throughout the night. Here are the rules:
- The word has to be used in proper context
- All tenses of the word are allowed (i.e. past, present, future, plural, etc.)
- The opponent must be present when the word is said for the word to count
- The word must be said to a stranger in conversation with eye contact
- If you can get the stranger to repeat the word without asking it is double points
- Using a word as a non sequitur is not allowed and results in a loss of point
- Whoever has the most points when you get in the car wins
Its a simple game but wildly entertaining. It gets really fun if you include another couple so there are 4 players. Now, instead of wondering how the sitter is doing or why your kid pee’d on the ottoman…you’re trying to figure out how to work “imprecation” into a sentence. FYI, “imprecation” is when you insult someone by calling upon a higher power to curse someone.
This is not the “meow” game from the movie Super Troopers…which is amazing and should be used as less formal gatherings. This is something you play in a more upscale setting. Often the winning number is 2 because how do you work “megalomania” into a conversation with the Governor of Kansas? (Some of you got that joke) Then there are nights where a word thought to be embarrassingly impossible becomes legendary. For us it was The Night of a Dozen Chortles. I was on fire! I got “chortle” into a conversation twice, caught myself “chortling,” later commented how I had “chortled” earlier, and even got 2 repeats for a score of 8! Kate worked in 3 fantastic ones as well throughout the night but the dagger was at the valet when he asked if we had a good time and I replied, “We chortled all night long.” Boom! Winner-Winner Chicken Dinner!
The McGurk Effect Video
The next word was selected this morning and it will debut at a party/gathering still TBD (you can’t do it every time you go out). The next one is “McGurk” as in the McGurk Effect. It is a perceptual phenomenon that demonstrates an interaction between hearing and vision in speech perception. In layman’s terms…remember in middle school when you’d mouth the words “Olive Juice” and it looked like you were saying “I love you?” McGurk Effect. Don’t go around whispering to everyone “I wanna vacuum.” Not cool. The McGurk Effect makes me laugh every time because of this video of a guy saying “ba-ba-ba” over and over and over again. When he switches over to “fa-fa-fa” visually while we still hear “ba-ba-ba” our brains auto-correct due to the visual data and we actually hear “fa-fa-fa.” My hope is to get lots of people at a fancy party saying “ba-ba-ba.” Almost as fun as “McGurk.”
So remember meow, kids are the only ones who get to have fun! Next time you are at a party with a bunch of megalomaniacs and you want a few chortles, try the “Adult Word Game” for fun…but don’t get caught, or strangers may start tossing imprecations your way! Enjoy meow!
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