Party games (for adults on the cusp of a second childhood)
We threw a pre-50th dinner party on Saturday for an old bloke and bunch of regular friends. We see a lot of these guys over dinner, so we decided, along with a good meal, we’d throw in some party games to liven up the evening. There were 12 of us, ages 20 – 60.
We gave everyone an aperitif to warm them up: a kir or a cold beer, and some nibbles and went straight into kipper racing. Yep. Kipper racing.
You need some glossy magazines and about six metres of floor space. We divided into heats of three. Contestants have 20 seconds to rip a page from the magazine and tear or fold it up to look like a kipper. These are lined up on the starting line.
On “go” contestants flap the magazines to send the kippers flying along the track to the finish line. Not as easy as it sounds.
We let them have a breather and a top up before the next game.
Gargling & stacking:
They had to play the Gargle “Happy Birthday” without laughing game (with water. Not wasting my good wine). Meantime, they were stacking matches on top of a wine bottle. There was no penalty for causing the stack to crash – these are not drinking games (we did all that in our first childhood).
How Low Can You Go:
The students groaned when we placed the cereal box on the floor. They’d had a few beers by this stage.
You take it in turns to pick up the box with your teeth. Nothing other than the soles of your feet can touch the floor. Once everyone has had a go, rip an inch off the top of the box and go around again.
Our son’s large northern rugby playing friend was surprisingly agile for a big bloke. Said he used to do gymnastics. Wouldn’t have picked him beating my 10 years at pilates, but hey ho.
We moved on to the table and a starter of Kokoda (Fijian raw fish in coconut), slipping in a quick round of:
The Vegetable Game:
Everyone has to name a vegetable without repetition or hesitation (got a bit complicated with the language thing), and – this is the tricky part – without showing their teeth.
Then we dealt out the cards and got down to business.
Everyone at the table gets a card. The person with the Ace of Spades is the murderer. Happily, the Ace of Spades just happened to fall to the birthday boy, who enjoyed surreptitiously winking at everyone around the table without being caught.
If you’re winked at, wait a couple of moments and then dramatically slump forward into your dinner.
You can then turn your card over to show you’re dead and get on with the second course which was: Kate Lester’s Pork Belly recipe. Good one Kate – done this twice now, both times cracking.
As well as being murdered around the dinner table, at the same time we ran the word game. On your toes, people!
Drop that word game:
Under everyone’s place was a list of four words. A couple of guests had English as a second language so we kept it simple.
The game goes that, during the dinner, you have to drop all four words into the conversation. Not sure how the birthday boy got around to talking sensibly about Ladies’ Gloves, but credit to him. Three of the words should be possible, the fourth should certainly get a challenge.
Challenge someone who drops an unlikely word clumsily. Points for the words you drop unchallenged, big kudos if you get the fourth word in.
Here were our words:
BIRTHDAY BOY (kind of a serious bloke, a doctor)
Studmuffin – (USA humorous) a sexually attractive, muscular man
VISITING FRENCH GUEST (she nailed the lot)
Macrosmatic – having a good sense of smell
BROTHER OF BIRTHDAY BOY (going home to Germany totally mystified)
The Irish Flag
Beach Bum – someone who hangs about on a beach
PHYSIO STUDENT (should have managed the armpit)
Oxter – old fashioned word for armpit
BIRTHDAY BOY’S WIFE (sensible scientist)
Automatic garage door
Zoanthropy – delusion of a person who believes himself changed into an animal
Yarborough – a hand of cards containing no card above a nine
ME (obviously used the fourth word repeatedly on the birthday boy)
Torschlusspanik – fear of diminishing opportunities as one gets older
POP (said tittynope several times. No additional points)
Tittynope – small quantity of something left over
STUDENT (WTF mum?)
Richard the Lionheart
Erinacoeus – resembling a hedgehog
ANOTHER STUDENT (DITTO)
Winklepicker – style of shoe or boot in the 1950s with a sharp and long pointed toe
VISITING YOOF (clever girl)
Persiflage – light mockery or banter
VISITOR FROM NORTH OF ENGLAND (having a strange intro to NZ life)
Jumentous – smelling of horse urine
Doodlesack – bagpipe
Strangely intense conversations around the dinner table, lots of points all round.
Table blow football
A quick game of blowing through straws to send the ping pong ball across the table and pretend you’re playing footie (we did this on a pool table so the ball stayed in play – on a regular table put a rope around the edge). We made cardboard and net goals. Not sure I’d recommend this again, not because it wasn’t fun (and interesting who steps up to be terrifyingly competitive) but because we had all eaten and drunk quite a lot by then and started fainting through hyperventilation.
Back for pudding: lemon meringue pie. It was divine. (I bought it. My culinary skills ran out. Should have got Kate Lester in!)
And then the funniest game I have ever played at a table. I cannot recommend this game highly enough. I couldn’t draw breath for laughing and fell off my chair. I’ve never seen such joy on the faces of all my friends. It’s almost primal. It goes like this:
Musical paper ripping
Give everyone two large sheets of newspaper. Put “The Blue Danube” on, and play it loudly so the music fills the room.
Everyone rips the newspaper in time to the music.
One day you may be lucky enough to be at a party where they play this game, and you’ll know exactly how we felt.
Until then, you’ll need to take my word for it.