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Ten More Parlour Games!

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I promised you more parlour games this week, and I aim to please. Here are 10 more parlour games to play on those cold, wintry nights.

1. Darling, If You Love Me
Players sit or stand in a circle with an 'œit' in the middle.  Saying the phrase 'œDarling if you love me, won’t you please, PLEASE, smile?,' the 'œit' tries to make someone in the circle break into a smile!  And tries and tries and tries, in as many ways, as many times as it takes.  When the 'œit' succeeds, the laughter becomes 'œit.'

2. Pavlov
One person leaves the room.  The other players choose one action to make the 'œit' do once they come back in the room.  The person comes back in and starts doing things in an attempt to do the right thing.  The only method to communicate with the person is to blow a whistle when they do something wrong or clapping when they do something right.

3. Telephone Oracle
People sit in a circle, each with a pen and a sheet of paper. Write down a question you want to Ask The Oracle at the top of your sheet and pass the paper to the person on your left.  Answer the question handed to you in any plausible way, fold the page so only the answer is visible, and pass it on. When you’re passed an answer, write down a question you think that might be the answer to, fold so only the question is visible, and pass it on. Repeat until the page is filled (taking care to end on an answer), unfold, and read the Original Question and Oracle’s Answer, and then the chain of ‘reasoning’.

4. Plenty Questions
One player thinks of something, any noun from “The Grand Canyon” to “a subway token” to “existentialism.' Other players try to figure out what it is by guessing other nouns. To the first guess, the player will say “no it’s not” (or else it was a very lucky guess; start again!). To all subsequent guesses the answer is either “warmer” or “colder” (or occasionally “same temperature”), depending on whether in their judgement the latest guess is closer, in whatever sense they can figure, to the correct answer than the previous closest guess.  For example [with the noun “oyster”]: “Is it a steamroller?” “No, it’s not.” “Babe Ruth?” “Babe Ruth is closer than steamroller”. “um… jalapeno?” “Jalapeno is farther than Babe Ruth.” “Possum?” “Possum is closer than Babe Ruth”…

5. The Movie Project
I remember playing this game on school bus field trips!  One person starts with the name of an actor.  The next person must name a movie that actor was in.  Then the following person names a different actor who was in that movie.  And it goes on and on '“ actor, movie, actor, movie, actor, movie '“ until someone cannot answers (or answers incorrectly).  People are slowly eliminated one by one until there remains one winner!  For example: Tom Cruise '“ Tropic Thunder '“ Jack Black '“ School or Rock '“ etc.

6. Dragon’s Tail
A group of people line up, hands around the waist of the person ahead of them. The person on the end tucks a handkerchief into their pocket. The ‘head’ then tries to chase the ‘tail’, while the tail attempts to avoid being caught (or losing their handkerchief). Another variation if there are enough people for two dragons, each dragon tries to catch the other’s tail while protecting their own.

7. Toe Fencing
Two people face each other, and hold their hands at their sides (like Irish dancers). They then try to tap or touch the tops of the other person’s toes. Three taps wins!

8. Blow the Feather
You will need a small, fluffy feather for this game.  Players get into a circle.  One player throws the feather into the air as high as possible, and then blows the feather to keep it in the air. The player that the feather comes closest to does the same, trying to prevent the feather from both touching him and hitting the ground. Players are eliminated until one winner remains!

9. Ha Ha Game
All players sit in a circle. One player starts the game by saying “Ha”. Then, going around the circle, the second player says “Ha Ha”, third player says”Ha Ha Ha”, and so on. All players must not laugh or smile, but must proceed with straight faces. Anyone who fails to do this is out of the game.

10. Throwing Up Lights
Two players leave the room and secretly decide upon a word. They come back to the room and carry on a conversation between themselves to help throw some light on what the word is. All the other players must try to guess the word by listening to the conversation. If a player thinks he knows what the word is, he calls out “I strike a light” – then whispers his guess to one of the two lead players. If he is correct, he joins the first two players in the conversation while the rest of the players continue to guess. If he is incorrect, he must sit on the floor with a handkerchief over his face for the rest of the game, or until he guesses correctly. The game continues until all players have guessed the word.

and two more for good luck…

11. Poor Pussy
One player is chosen to be “pussy.'  All the other players sit in a circle. Pussy walks around the inside of the circle on hands and knees and then adopts a begging position at the feet of one chosen person in the circle. Pussy tries to look as pitiful as possible and must cry out a sad sounding “meow” sound. The chosen player in front of pussy must now say out loud without smiling “Poor Pussy” – this must be repeated three times (poor pussy, poor pussy, poor pussy). If the player has even a hint of a smile, he must change places and become new Pussy and the game continues.  (Just thinking of this one makes me laugh!)

12. The Bellman
One player is chosen to be “the bellman.'  All other players are blindfolded. The bellman carries a small bell, which he rings from time to time as he walks about the room. All the blindfolded players must try to catch the bellman, while the bellman attempts to avoid being caught. When someone catches the bellman, they change places with him and become the new bellman – and play continues.

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Danielle Levanas - Bargain Soul Huntress

Danielle Levanas - Bargain Soul Huntress

Danielle was raised by a pack of coyotes in the Los Angeles hills. Since arriving in NY in 2001, she has had any number of strange jobs, including back-up singing for JELVIS (the Jewish Elvis), starting the non-profit LYDIA, and writing political cabarets. A huge advocate for travel as a way of life, you can find her at the Brooklyn Public Library when her bank account is empty, fantasizing about where to head off to next.