Shoe the Wild Mare - Strange Christmas Games

Shoeing the Wild Mare is a traditional Christmas game that goes back to at least the early 17th century.
Get a narrow(a few inches wide),strong wooden beam and suspend it from the roof with two even length ropes. The beam is the 'mare' of the title and should be level yet high enough above the floor so that a player's feet are off-ground. A player 'the farrier' then sits on the 'mare' in the centre, a leg either side. This player has a hammer and has to give the underside of the beam "four time eight blows" at a designated spot. If he falls off, it is someone else's turn.
Much hilarity, and the odd broken shoulder ensues.

nursery rhyme:
Shoe the colt,
Shoe the colt,
Shoe the wild mare;
Here a nail,
There a nail,
Yet she goes bare.

weird web: wiltshire white horses
strange games no:89...category: party games

Snapdragons - strange games with fire #1

As Christmas Eve approaches the nation tries to decide which family game to play. Should it be a classic board game, a cosy parlour game or maybe even a DVD quiz game. No, please don't make those mistakes...there is only one game for Christmas Eve: Snapdragons.
Very popular from the 16th to the 19th centuries, Snapdragons (or Flapdragons) has explicably declined in popularity.
Gather everyone around the dining room table, place a large flat dish in the centre. In the dish scatter a good handful of raisins then pour on top a layer of brandy or cognac. Set fire to the brandy and dim the lights. Players take it in turns to pluck a raisin out of the burning liquid and eat it quickly down. For a more competitive edge to the game use larger dried fruit such as apricots, one of which has a lucky sixpence stuffed inside.
Equipment needed: plate, matches, raisins, brandy, address of nearest accident and emergency department

Snapdragons, famously, makes an appearance in Lewis Carroll's Through The Looking Glass:

"Look on the branch above your head", said the Gnat, "and there you will find a Snap-dragon-fly. Its body is made of plum pudding, its wings of holly leaves, and its head is a raisin burning in brandy."
Alice thought to herself, "I wonder if that's the reason insects are so fond of flying into candles - because they want to turn into Snap-dragon-flies."

strange games no:88..category: Christmas games
Strange Games the Videos: Snapdragons

Blood Potato

Combine 'blindman's buff' with 'murder in the dark' and you get Blood Potato - a superb party game similar in form to Mouchard (Strange Games no.46). It's rare at parties but reasonably common at drama schools - presumably for all those budding Bela Lugosis.
All players are blindfolded and one player is given the role of murderer (without anyone else knowing). Players then move around the room. If two meet then they must say the word 'potato' to each other, however if the murderer meets someone he must say the word 'blood' to them upon which they scream dramatically, die and remove themselves from the game by standing at the edge of the room. The game continues, with the body count increasing and fear rising until no 'potatoes' are left. The game is improved if eliminated players encourage and shout directions to the remaining ones.

weird web 1: potato fan club (don't miss the spud version of pong)
weird web 2: potato search engine - for all your Solanum searches
strange games no:87...category: party games

Strange Games with Bubblewrap #1 - Thieves Variation

I wrote about the blindfolded party game Thieves in Strange Games no.41 in which partygoers have to steal the blindman's treasure without being struck with his rolled up newspaper. This brilliant variation builds excitement levels even higher.
Position the blindman on a swivel chair and place his treasure (a set of handbells for example) at his feet. Arm him with a water pistol. Then, cover the floor surrounding his chair with layers of bubblewrap. The idea, as before, is for players to approach the blindman and steal one of his bells but this time without getting squirted with water. The game works best if only one player at a time is allowed to make an attempt at theft.
If the blindman scores a hit on a player, then that person must return to his position on the edge of the circle. If he is hit twice then he becomes the next blindman. The game finishes once all the treasure has been stolen.

weird web: virtual bubblewrap popper - plus description of techniques
strange games no 86...category:party games

Toilet Tag / Stuck in the Toilet

Strange Games is indebted to Bertie Windcheater (an English reader) who informed me of this fantastic contemporary stuck-in-the-mud tag variation - one which I think should immediately be positioned at number 1 (or should that be number 2's) on the recent
Top Tag Variations post.
Simply, a tagger is designated and all other players must run away to avoid being tagged. If a player is tagged then they must adopt a toilet position by crouching down with knees fully bent and one arm held straight out to the side (the flush handle!). Free players can then release this player by approaching them and pressing down on the 'lever' and 'flushing the toilet', however if they are tagged then they become a toilet too. If any player has 'been to the toilet' three times then it is their turn to be the tagger.
Thank you Bertie.

weird web: toilet seat art museum
strange games no:85...category: party games

General Post

Another ancient game that I remember playing at one of Herbert Rowsell's now legendary parties is General Post. At first sight this fabulous game appears to be just a blend of Blindman's Buff and Musical Chairs but it is vastly superior to both and is long overdue a renaissance.
Line up two rows of chairs facing each other (other chair formations can be tried). Each player is allocated a town which he must memorise because he will 'be' that town for the remainder of the game. Players then choose a chair to sit down upon, except for one who is blindfolded and stands between the rows of chairs.
A further player is picked to be the Postmaster General. The Postmaster General's job is as follows: he calls out the names of two of the sedentary towns, "I want to post a letter to Crewe and Scunthorpe". Upon which command each of those two towns must stand up, clap their hands, and change seats as quickly as possible. If the blindman catches one of them then places are changed, else the game continues. Occasionally, especially if the blindman is struggling, the Postmaster General can shout, "General Post" and all towns must stand up, clap hands, and find a new chair...almost as chaotic as the real postal system but lots more fun.

weird web: photos of American Post Offices (4000+ to view)
strange games no:84...category: party games

Roadside Whist

Roadside spotting games still retain some popularity for children on long journeys. Games such as 'counting the number of legs and arms in Pub names' or 'decoding car registration plates'. However Roadside Whist surely deserves a comeback - especially if you follow these original instructions from 1900.
One person takes the left side of the carriage, the other player the right. The coachman teaches both players the rules and the journey commences.
If you see:
A baby in arms you score 1
A baby in a perambulator scores 3
A white horse scores 5
A ladder against a house scores 2
A woman in a white apron scores 1
A butcher's cart scores 1
A postman scores 5

Then there are things for which points are deducted if they appear on your side and it is the job of your opponent to make sure they are counted.

If you see:
A pug dog you lose 2
A piebald horse loses 4
An open gate loses 2
A flock of sheep loses 3
A soldier loses 10

And the best rule of all, no matter what the score, whichever side sees a cat on a window ledge wins the game.
Now is the time to throw away your headrest embedded DVD players and get the kids playing Roadside Whist.

weird web: virtual pram museum
strange games no: 83...category: travel games. strange and stupid games

Rats and Rabbits

In my youth, no party was complete without the squeals of delight and panic that occurred whenever Rats and Rabbits was played.
Split the partygoers into two groups. Line them up standing back to back in the middle of a large room and designate one team Rats and the other Rabbits. A non-playing shouter then shouts out either "Rabbits" or " Rats". If Rats is shouted then the Rats must run to their end of the room as quickly as possible whilst the Rabbits must turn tail and chase them. Any Rat caught before reaching the sanctuary of the wall changes teams and becomes a Rabbit. If "Rabbits" is shouted out then obviously all play is reversed. The game continues with the shouter calling out randomly until everyone is either exhausted or totally confused, or there is no player left on one of the teams.

weird web: games to play with your pet rat!
strange games no:82..category: party games

Walnut Fights

As conker fighting season draws to a close it is time that the world relearned the joys of its distant cousin...Walnut Fighting - the true king of seed related fight games was last big around the 1900's and not many people today realise that capital contests can be had with just the empty halves of a walnut shell.

A dinner plate is turned upside down (the 'ring') and two fighters place their walnuts (empty halves of the nut shell) point to point in the middle. They then begin to push one against the other using steady pressure of finger and thumb on the stern of the shell. The game is over when the prow of one shell crashes through the prow of the other which happens sooner or later. Like conkers some battles are long and hard fought.
The owner of the victorious walnut can then write the number of victories on his walnut half shell. Also like conkers if he has beaten, for example, a 23-er then 23 is added to his previous number of conquests.

weird web: Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum
strange games no:81 category: indoor games

Mangelwurzel Throwing and other Strange Games with food

My recent post concerning Mangelwurzel Skittles led to a reader telling me about another weird and wonderful game involving them: Mangelwurzel Throwing. This in turn led me to research into the use of vegetable and other foodstuffs in Strange Games. Some of these merge into Strange Sports but they are all bizarre enough to be included here.Below are the greatest Strange Games / Strange Sports involving food ever.

Mangelwurzel Throwing:A traditional Somerset game that requires skill, strength and cunning. Mangold Hurling has a well developed set of rules. Players take it in turns to stand in a pitching basket and hurl a Mangold / Mangelwurzel at a Norman (A Norman being a pre-placed fixed position Mangold) The player that gets his Mangold the closest is declared the winner... it's what you get if you mix boules and strong cider. Mangold Hurling is usually performed during October each year.

official Mangold Hurling Website - unbelievably brilliant site - includes full rules and faq and pictures!!!
Strange Games no:80...category:new olympic sports?

Mullet Throwing

An Pythonesque American game/sport. A one and a half pound mullet(the fish not the hairstyle) is thrown by competitors from the Florida side of the state border into the Alabama side. Throws of around 150 feet are commonplace. It happens in April.

Interstate Mullet Toss
Strange Games no:79...category: new olympic sports?

Egg Throwing

There are various forms of egg throwing games: Egg Relay, Distance, Accuracy and Throwing and Catching.In 'Throwing and Catching' teams of two stand 10 metres apart and throw an egg to each other. The distance between the players is increased with each successive, successful throw. Greatest distance for an unbroken egg throw wins. The world record was established in 1978 Texas, when Johnie Dell Foley threw an egg the almost incredible distance of 323ft 2in (98.51m) to his cousin, Keith Thomas.

In the discipline 'Distance', obviously, the greatest distance thrown with the egg remaining intact wins - here the egg is not caught but must land on grassy ground and remain unbroken.
The World Egg Throwing Championships are held in Lincolnshire, England in June.

World Egg Throwing Federation
Strange Games no 78..category: new olympic sport?
Strange Games the Videos: Egg Throwing

Pea Throwing

A superb game / sport, Pea Throwing involves finding out who can throw a frozen pea the furthest. The current world record is amazingly around the 38m (around 124 feet) mark.World championships (now in the eighth year) occur in a Sussex pub in October of each year.If any sport deserves olympic status it is Pea Throwing.

article on 2006 Pea Throwing World Championship
strange games no:77...category: new olympic sport?

Cherry Pit Spitting

Baseball is just Rounders dressed up, Basketball is a gaudy facsimile of Netball and American Football is just a confused version of Rugby...but in Cherry Pit Spitting, America has created a true sporting classic.The rules: simply spit a cherry pip as far as possible. Current world record a staggering 93 feet.

Cherry Pit Spitting Handbook
Strange Games no:76...category: new olympic sport?

Cheese Rolling

World reknowned and extremely popular, Cheese Rolling takes place annually in Gloucestershire, England in May. Simple, fast, brutal; a large, disc of cheese is rolled from the top of a very steep hill. Competitors, of which there are a large number, hurl themselves down the hill after the cheese. The first person to the bottom wins. The hill, varies in gradient between 1 in 1 and 1 in 2 and has been described as "so steep is it, that the rays of the sun rarely fall on the slope itself!"

Official Cheese Rolling Site - lots of pictures and details
Strange Games no: 75...category:new olympic sports?
Strange Games the Videos: Cheese Rolling

Warring Couples

I am indebted to Strange Games German correspondent - Heinrich Guntergarten - for telling me about this very odd party game. Warring Couples is an ice-breaking party game that Heinrich has played at an adults party - but it would be suitable for children too.
Players are paired up and have their adjacent legs tied together (as in a three legged race) and stand with their adjacent arms over each others shoulders. One player is give a desert spoon to carry in his free hand. On a table at one end of the room is a pile of tangerines. The objective for each player in the pair is different: the player with the spoon has to walk to the table, collect a tangerine on his spoon and return to the start. His 'partner' must try to stop him, which they can do by using their free hand to knock his orange off his spoon or stopping him picking one up in the first place. However they must comply with any leg movement he makes - they must walk wherever he wants to walk. As can be imagined, pandemonium quickly ensues with players, tangerines and spoons scattered all over the floor.
A most unusual party game - thank you Heinrich.

strange games no:74...category: party games

Walking Relay & Sleepwalking Relay

I still remember playing Walking Relay at 'Biffer' Henderson's 10th Birthday party - a party mainly memorable due to Biffer being sick after his failed attempt at the world record for eating Fondant Fancies. Walking Relay deserves to be rescued from its current obscurity.
Players are formed into teams and then the teams are split into two groups at either end of the room. Upon a starting command a player from each team 'walks' as quickly as possible to his next team-mate. In this instance 'walking' means placing one foot's heel directly in front of the other foot's toe...and so on as fast as one can.
A brilliant variation is Sleepwalking Relay in which the walking players must keep their eyes closed, still walk in a toe to heel style, whilst being directed by their fellow players' shouts.

weird web: Silly Walk Generator - easily create animated silly walks
strange games no:73..category: party games

Human Skittles revisited : Mangelwurzel Skittles and Conger Cuddling

Strange Games number 69 (Headstand Human Skittles) reminds me of one of the greatest Strange Games of all time: Mangelwurzel Skittles.
Mangelwurzel Skittles is an ancient UK Westcountry game that has that magic combination of simplicity and stupidity. A mangel-wurzel (a large whitish-yellow root vegetable from the beetroot family) has a rope tied to it and this is then attached to the ceiling of the room. 'Skittles' are created by players standing on narrow 6 inch-high wooden blocks. Players are best arranged in a traditional diamond formation with location decided upon by drawing straws. The mangel-thrower then launches the mangelwurzel into the skittles. The game continues until a victorious skittle remains on his perch.

A more recent version of Mangelwurzel Skittles has appeared in Dorset in the last 30 years. Conger Cuddling is the same except, instead of a root vegetable, a dead conger eel is used. Ideally the eel should be about 5 feet in length. Animal Rights activists have recently threatened a national campaign to stop this marvellous game.

Guardian article on Conger Cuddling 2006
strange games no:72..category: outdoor games
Strange Games the Videos: Human Skittles

Squirrels in Trees

The leaves on the trees are changing colour, the nights are drawing in and you need a game for your party. Look no further than Squirrels in Trees - the perfect autumnal game. One player is the Squirrel (cocky and skittish) another is the Gamekeeper (unflustered and brutal). The other partygoers make 'trees' by standing still, facing each other, in pairs. The pairs of players (trees) should be scattered randomly around the room. The chase begins with the Gamekeeper trying to catch the Squirrel. The Squirrel can hide by entering a 'tree' and as he does so he should turn to face one player of the 'tree'. This player then becomes the squirrel and chasing continues. Plenty of changes of squirrels makes the game play better. If the Gamekeeper bags a squirrel then places are changed.

weird web: scary squirrel world...nuts
Strange Games no:71..category: :party games

Top 5 Tag Variations

There are many variations of tag but below are the top 5 determined by a scientific survey of the nations top tag players (stand up Bertie Blister)

1. Bent Knees Tag
The title says it all. Everyones movements, both tagger and tagee must be made with the knees in a fully bent position. You are only allowed to stand straight if remaining still and not being chased. A very strenuous variation

2. Bunny Hop Tag
All players must move in the style of a rabbit - jumping with both feet together. A more extreme version has players ankles tied together.

3. Walking Tag
A rarely played variation that is my own personal favourite. Absolutely no running from any player. Hilarious to watch, great for senior tag players

4. French Tag

The tagger attempts to tag an awkward part of the tagee's body (ankle, foot, etc). This player must now hold onto this part of the body till he tags someone else.

5. Pairs Tag

A perennial favourite. Two players hold hands and try to tag. Success means there are three players holding hands trying to tag. The next tag means that the 'three' splits into two pairs. And so on, till only one player is left - the victor

strange games no:70 ...category: outdoor games

Head Stand Human Skittles

Head Stand Human Skittles is a human skittles variation requiring only some footballs and a modest degree of gymnastic ability to play. HSHS, as it shall be abbreviated, is best played on a beach. The skittles are formed by (ideally) nine players performing headstands on the sand. They should do these close enough together so that if one falls over he has a good chance of knocking over a neighbour or two and ideally they should form the familiar skittles diamond formation. Also the players should perform their headstands so that their backs are facing the two ball players. These two players take it in turns to kick three soft footballs each into the group of skittles. Whoever knocks over the most skittles wins.

I am indebted to Mr Jolley (Strange Games South of England Correspondent) for the description of this wonderful and stupid game.

weird web: London Skittles Club - rules, history, interactive
strange games no:69...category:outdoor games

Vitamin C High Noon

My last post (Tissue Paper Laserquest) caused one of my old friends (Maurice Tweddle) to e-mail me details of a game he has seen played that bears some similarity. The name we have created for it is Vitamin C High Noon.
For two players: each attaches an effervescent Vitamin C tablet to the middle of his forehead. These are the large, high strength, 1000mg tablets that come in a tube of twenty and dissolve readily in water. They can be easily attached onto the forehead using some strong double sided adhesive tape (I've tried). Each player has a full water pistol.
Now, battle commences. Stand a few yards apart, face each other and prepare to draw your pistol. You aren't allowed to dodge your opponents fire- it's simply the first to dissolve the other's tablet that wins.
What other games can you play that cost virtually nothing and prevent you getting scurvy.

Weird Web: Directory of Names of Cowboys and Indians and their horses

strange games no:68...category:outdoor games

Tissue Paper Laserquest

I am indebted to my nephew James ' the chicken' McDonald-Blister for information on Tissue Paper Laserquest - a fun, Summer's garden game and a delightful update of cops and robbers.
Team members cut out small 'target' discs of tissue paper which they attach to the front of their clothes using safety pins. Each team member is given a large water pistol, or super-squirter and a container of backup water. Teams then separate to each end of the garden and then battle commences. Any player whose tissue disc becomes fully soaked is 'dead' and drops out of the game. Continue until there is one remaining player/victor.
To see this game in action is marvelous with players adopting various battle styles from all out aggression (rarely a winning strategy) to the lone hitman hiding in the Hydrangeas. Even as I type there still may be one, poor soul at the back of the herbaceous border - who like a WWII Japanese, jungle fighter doesn't realise that the battle is over.

Weird Web: Toy Ray Gun Collection Blog

strange games no:67...category:garden games

Egg Cap

Fleetness of foot and throwing accuracy are what is needed to win at Egg Cap - a playground game that has unfortunately all but died out.
Each player places his flat cap in a line and then everyone stands inside a chalk drawn circle a couple of metres away from the row of caps. One player has a tennis ball which he rolls towards the line of caps. If the ball misses then nothing happens - however if he gets the ball to land in a cap all the players scatter. The person who rolled the ball must now retrieve it as quickly as possible and throw it at any one of the retreating players. The one he hits has a pebble ("egg") placed in his cap and becomes the new ball roller. If the ball roller misses then he himself has a pebble added to his cap and the game continues. Such fun!

Weird Web:Ayup Magazine - Flat Cap Special Feature

strange games no:67...category: playground games

What Are We Shouting

Everyone seems to be talking at once, it's giving you a headache - you can't stand it anymore. Whatever you do don't start playing What Are We Shouting.
A fun game for two teams. One team decides upon a well known phrase (or line from a popular song) which has the same or fewer words in it than players in the team. Each player is assigned a word (if there are more players than words then some words can be allocated to more than one player). Then, upon a pre-determined signal all players face the opposing team and shout out their words all at the same time. It is the opposing teams job to decipher the phrase. If they are successful then it is their turn to shout.
We always used to play with phrases such as "under the spreading chestnut tree" and "a stitch in time saves nine". No doubt, these days, phrases such as "hit me baby one more time" or "you know my hips don't lie"
would be deemed more approriate.

Weird Web: Alan Bates Site - covering his film The Shout about a man who could kill by shouting

strange games games

The Best Chinese Whispers' Phrase Ever!

Chinese Whispers , which we used to know as Gossip or Russian Scandal, is a game that everyone knows. However, if you watch people playing it these days you will notice how dull and short the phrases are that start the game. In the drawing room we used to put a lot more effort into the phrase.
Here is an actual suggested phrase to start off the game. It comes from a 1940's book called 'The Home Entertainer' and I can thoroughly recommend its use in any future game of Gossip that you play.

"It is rumoured that Mrs Jane Honoria Figglebat, ward of the well-known boxing promoter Jem Shambles, will next week try to break the underwater swimming record for girls of English extraction. Her fiance Mr Wallaby, the animal dentist, recently fitted seven new teeth to a zoo leopard which had broken its jaw in a fight with a lion and two llamas"

This is no game for children - this is more like the degree level version

Weird Web: Photo Chinese Whispers

strange games no:65...category: party games

One Legged Tug of War

There are innumerable ways a staid game can be enlivened by variations. As Aphra Behn said, "Variety is the soul of pleasure." I saw One Legged Tug of War being played for the first time on a windswept beach in Kent last Summer.
As for standard tug of war, a rope and two equal teams of similar sized players are all that is required. At the start of the game all players lift one leg off the ground and start to pull. The skill of hopping and pulling a rope at the same time is not a skill that many people naturally possess - as you will discover if you play.
Any person putting a foot down is eliminated from the team. Continue until victory is achieved or there is only one man still standing.

Weird Web: UK Tug of War Association

strange games no:64...category: outdoor games

Royal Court

Shouting, confusion, people crashing into each other...three things that make an ideal party game. I first played Royal Court at one of Sir Herbert Rowsell's Summer Shindigs.
Get a pack of playing cards and pick the King, Queen, Jack, Ten, etc. of each suit so that you have as many cards as players of the game. You will need the number of players to be divisible by four.
Place one chair in each corner of the room (four chairs in total). Now place the cards face down in a pile in the centre of the room. On a given command all the players rush to the centre and grab a card. Whoever gets a king must gather all other members of his suit together as quickly as possible, rush to a chair and sit down on it. The queen must sit on his knee, the Jack on her knee, the ten on his etc.
Last team to complete the task loses.

Weird WEb: The Queens Summer Shindig (Amazing Pictures)

strange games no 63...category: party games

Zombie Tag

I came across the game of Zombie Tag only recently. It had myself and the players prostrate in paroxysms of cachinnation.
To make a Zombie simply pair up two players - ones of similar size are best. Then, stand them side by side and then bind their adjacent legs together. The binding must be more severe than a three legged race where only ankles are tied. In Zombie Tag the legs must be tied together tightly from the ankle all the way up to the thigh...this ensures that the movement of the two players is sufficiently 'zombie-like'.
The rest of the players simply run away, screaming. Once two players are caught by the Zombie then they too can be made into a Zombie and the mayhem continues.

Weird Web: Become a Zombie on the cheap - makeup tips!

strange games no: 62...category: party games

Advantage Wrestling

It's a typical Summer's day on the beach. The sea is freezing, the sky is cloudy and the wind is whipping up the sand into your sandwiches. What you need is a spot of Advantage Wrestling.
Mark out a ring on the sand, outside which no player can go. Simply, all you have to do to win is get behind your opponent and grab him by the waist and lift him off the floor. And he has to do the same to you. A fantastic game to build up a sweat.
For extra fun try playing tag-advantage wrestling with four players.

Weird Web:Backyard Wrestling UK

strange games no: 61..category: outdoor games

Slaps / Slapsies revisited

I previously wrote about Slaps or Slapsies (one of the most brutal yet satisfying playground games) in post:27 - yet I have just discovered a fantastic computer simulation of it. The game, called Operation Slaps or Hand to Hand Combat Facility allows you to play slapsies against a friend or against a computer opponent.
You can decide to be one of five different characters ranging from Lieutenant Lindequest ( a cold and cruel female Russian Ground Force operative) to Seargant Shaw ( a tough and hard marine from Guantanamo Bay). To slap your opponent you depress your keyboard 'Z' key until the required force has built up then jab it again to slap. The 'X' key allows you to feint or to dodge when it's your opponents turn. All this is accompanied by realistic slapping sounds, brooding atmospheric music and a pain meter.
A top drawer computer game.

Weird Web: Slapsies computer game

strange games no:27 and a half...category:playground games
Strange Games the Videos: Slapsies

Poor Pussy / Banoffee Bum

Poor Pussy is a party game I was not going to write about as it is already very well known even though I rarely see it played and it is quite strange. However, I was reminded of it by a game my great-grand daughters (Jemima and Daisy Blister ) invented for their own pleasure which they call Banoffee Bum.

First Poor Pussy: One member of the party is given the role of Pussy and must go round to each other player pretending to be a cat. They can meow, rub their heads against the player's ankles, imitate coughing up fur balls etc. Whilst this is happening the player must pet the 'cat' and say "Poor Pussy" three times WITHOUT laughing. Laughter means that player becomes the new 'Poor Pussy'.

For Banoffee Bum the first player says, "Banoffee Bum", the next player says, "Banoffee Bum 2", the next, "BanoffeeBum 3", etc. Players may say their words in any manner, accent, volume they want in order to cause merriment amongst their competitors. Any player who laughs out loud is 'out'

Weird Web:Say weird things in French

strange games no: 60 ...category : party games

Squeaky Sheets

There are many guess-the-identity party games but Squeaky Sheets is my favourite variation.
Divide the players into two teams. One team leaves the room taking a large sheet with them. One player then re-enters the room under the sheet and crawling on all fours. He must crawl into the centre of the room and then squeak loudly once. The opposing team have ONE guess regarding the identity of the squeaker. If they are wrong then the sheet-squeaker must make one final squeak and another guess is made. If correct the teams change places. If incorrect the sheet-squeaker crawls back out of the room to be replaced by another member of his team. The game continues.

Weird Web:Discover how mice sound in other languages!!

strange games no:59...category:party games

Three Legged French Blindman's Buff

A verbose name for a simple game. Three Legged French Blindman's Buff is the perfect party game for children that don't mind the odd bruise or a mild case of concussion and have non-litigious parents.
Simply tie one person's hands together behind their back (the "French Blindman"). The remaining players are paired up and have their adjacent legs bound together (as in a three legged race). The French Blindman now has to try to tag one of the other players and because his hands are bound behind him this necessarily involves plenty of backwards running, spins and twists. Couple his awkward chasing motions with the chaotic scrambling from the three legged men and you have carnage.

Weird Web: Jake the Pake - the original 3 legged man

strange games no:58...category:party games STUPID GAMES


If you have ever had the sort of day where every person you have met is slow-witted and maladroit but still feel like playing a game then Dorka * is the game for you. Dorka is one of the most directionless, simple-minded and nugatory games going.
Out of all the players a group of 4 or 5 is chosen to be the 'team'. One of these is chosen to be the 'Dorka' and is given a minute to look at each team members' shoes - the idea being to memorise which shoes belong to which person. The 'Dorka' then has a large upturned bucket placed on his head. This acts (as in the game Bucketheads) as both a disorientating device and a partial blindfold. He will only be able to see a small area of the floor close to himself. The 'Dorka' is then taken to the centre of the room and spun around numerous times until quite dizzy. All other players (both 'team' members and non- team members) scatter randomly around the room and then remain fixed in position. The aim of the game is for the 'Dorka' to find and name all of his 4 team members as quickly as possible using only his limited available vision then a f resh dorka is chosen.
For utter chaos and fun you can try having two teams playing at the same time.

* I believe the origin of the name of this game comes from the Nimadi language and loosely translated Dorka means a person of limited intelligent.

Weird Web:Amazing use of a bucket on head to simulate white out conditions

Strange Games no: 57 ....category: party games STUPID GAMES

Plant Pot Race

It's a glorious late Summer's day. At the far side of the lawn Percy the gardener is emptying out the contents of some large clay plant pots onto the compost heap. It's time to play Plant Pot Race - a strange game that requires superb balance, strength and stupidity.
Each player has two large plant pots. By placing these upside down on the ground continuously in front of each other he must traverse a pre-determined course across the lawn. Apart from at the starting line no part of the body must touch the grass - this means one must balance on one pot whilst moving the second.
For even more fun try teams of two players using three pots.

strange games no:56...category : garden games STUPID GAMES

Charlie Chaplin Relay

My dearest friend Ethel 'ovenready' Bird has told me of a game that she used to play as a child. The game, she said, always had the players collapsing in undignified heaps of laughter... times were much simpler then. The game is Charlie Chaplin Relay and it's top drawer.
Teams are given a balloon, a bean-bag and a walking stick. A player from each team holds the balloon between their knees, balances the bean-bag on their heads and must complete a predetermined course whilst twirling the walking stick round and round in the manner of Charlie Chaplin. Each player then transfers bean-bag, balloon and stick to the next in the team. First team to complete the course intact wins.

charlie chaplin fansite
strange games no:55...category: party games STUPID GAMES

Heinz and Seek

Dragging uncooperative children around supermarkets is hell at the best of times. Heinz and Seek (created by my brother Eustace Blister) is the perfect game guaranteed to keep them entertained all the way from the cheese to the checkout.
Very simply one parent enters the supermaket first and moves an item ( one that is easily recognisable by all players - such as a branded tin of baked beans, packet of crisps, etc). The item must be placed somewhere else in the store, at a reasonable height for the players to find.
Then all the family enter the store and are informed what the product is. Whilst shopping, the players must find the moved item before the checkouts are reached.

Weird Web: Bean bible - everything to do with beans
strange games no.54 STUPID GAMES


I am indebted to my great nephew James 'the chicken' McDonald-Blister for this delightful modern variant of on old game. All that is required are two relatively close trees and a group of 4-12 players.
Players split into two even teams and stand by their chosen tree. The object of the game is for one member of a group to hug their opponents tree and vice versa. However, if you are tagged by a member of the opposing team you are 'out' and play no further part in the game (you can only be tagged if you are nearer to your opponents tree than your own). The game develops into tense stand offs and daring dashes to tree-hug. Continue playing until a tree is hugged - then all players re-enter the game for the next round.

Weird Web: How to hug a tree
strange games no.53...category:outdoor games STUPID GAMES

Chinese Boxing

We always used to play this game to warm up after a swim in the sea. Chinese Boxing is simple, stupid and strange - a perfect combination.
Simply face your opponent, grab each other's right hands leaving your left hand free. With this free hand stupidly try to tap your opponent on top of his head before he taps you on yours with his free hand. Strangely...first to three points/taps wins.

Weird Web: Kung fu cinema site
strange games no:52...category: party games STUPID GAMES

Guide Dog Musical Chairs

The previous post reminded me of this party game which I haven't seen played for many, many years. Maybe it's been caught by the Politically Correct Police and as I type is being held in dank, windowless cell on meagre rations and regular beatings...
Guide Dog Musical Chairs is the perfect party game requiring only chairs, blindfolds and the ability to bark.
Pair up everyone into blindmen (wearing blindfolds, obviously) and guide dogs. Randomly arrange some chairs around the room (one fewer than the number of couples). Start the music. When the music stops the guide dogs should guide their owner to an empty chair, get him to sit in it then sit on his lap. One couple is eliminated each time.

The blindman must not hold the guide dog's hand but must try and maintain contact by using a hooked finger through a shirt collar or belt loop. If contact is lost the dog must use it's bark to attract the owner - no words can be spoken.

donate to guide dogs for the blind
strange games no: 51 ...category: party games STUPID GAMES

Sheep Dog Trials

I first played this delightful game, when I was a callow youth, at one of Maurice Tweddle's Summer garden parties. Sheep Dog Trials is the perfect garden game at which to practice your whistling skills to say nothing of your Welsh hill farmer impersonation skills.
Pair up players: one 'farmer' and one 'sheepdog'. The 'farmers' send the 'sheepdogs' away (another room / indoors/ etc.. where they are blindfolded) and go about setting up the course. This can contain gates (two jumpers on the ground), an agility part(bamboo canes pushed into the ground), bridges (planks of wood), etc.. Just use your imagination.

The dogs are returned (blindfolded) to their farmers. Each dog must now be guided through the pre-determined course by his farmer's shouts and whistles as quickly and accurately as possible.

For greater verisimilitude the dogs should be given names and made to complete the course on all fours.
For greater fun have more than one dog on the course at the same time.

Weird Web:How to command a sheepdog - all the words you will need
strange games no:50 ...category:outoor games STUPID GAMES

Fatty Arbuckle Tag

You have a good knowledge of silent movie stars, you are hale and hearty and you are having a party.....Fatty Arbuckle Tig is the game for you.One person is declared to be 'it' and this person tries to tig someone in the usual fashion. However, if 'it' is approaching you and you can't escape then you can become immune from being tigged by sitting down and promptly shouting out the name of a silent movie actor/actress (Theda Bara, Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Lon Chaney, Dolly Brereton, etc) There must not be more than one of each star sitting down at any one time. To get back into the game another player must touch you on the head and shout Fatty Arbuckle.If every player is sitting down then 'it' has won and must choose someone else to be 'it' . If he tigs someone then that person becomes 'it'.

Weird Web:Arbucklemania - fatty arbuckle fansite - immense
strange games no:49...category:party games STUPID GAMES

Battle Lautrec

Imagine, if you will, a rainy afternoon and there is no form of electronic entertainment available, you have read all your Biggles books at least twice, Nanny is being uncooperative and you are in a doltish mood; what do you do? I and my dear, lamented brother Eustace invented Battle Lautrec.
A bizarre, imbecilic game for two people, Battle Lautrec is guaranteed to banish boredom and raise at the very least a smile.
To play you must first master the Lautrec balance. To do this you kneel on the floor then reach behind your knees grabbing an ankle in each hand and lift up your lower legs. With practice you should now be able to balance and move around (albeit quite slowly) on your knees. You must maintain a hold of your ankles at all times.
Now the battle...face your opponent, go into a Lautrec balance and try to make him lose his balance and fall. You may use any means left open to you - body weight, pushing with your head, shoulders..etc. First person to release hold of his ankles or fall flat on his face is the loser.
For even more fun start the battle at opposite ends of the drawing room - then you have to knee-walk a reasonable distance before battle commences

Weird Web:Famous short people - from the Shortsuff website
strange games no: 48...category: indoor games

Drawing Room Acrobatics #2 - Furthest From the Wall

Another great Drawing Room game for players of equal height.
Taking turns each player must stand some distance from a wall and then lean forward towards it and support themselves (to avoid crashing into the wall) with one arm only. Their feet must remain together and in a fixed position. To complete their turn they must return to an upright position by pushing hard off the wall. No step backs are allowed - the feet remaining in a fixed position throughout.
Players take turns and the one who successfully completes the manoeuvre with his feet the furthest distance from the wall is the winner.

Weird Web:House gymnastics - from banister balances to carpet crabs
strange games no:47...category: indoor games STUPID GAMES


A great little game for both adult and children's parties that goes under many names but I learnt it as Mouchard.
Everyone spreads about the room and then closes their eyes. The
party leader then chooses one player to open their eyes (by a tap on the shoulder). The game begins. Players walk around the room (eyes closed) and when they meet someone they must hold hands and say, "Mouchard?". If the other person is not the seeing player then he must also say , "Mouchard?". The players then part company. However, if the seeing player (who remains in a fixed position for the whole game) is met then he remains silent. The player that has found him can now open his eyes but must remain touching. The game finishes when all players are touching the Mouchard.

strange games no:46...category:party games STUPID GAMES

Family Snap

You are having a party with your bright young friends (maybe to celebrate exemplary examination results) and Winterton Bell-Morris pipes up, "Let's play a party game - what shall we play?"
Family Snap is a game in which success depends entirely upon keenness and quick-wittedness.
Before the game make a list of names which resemble each other enough to be confusing. If there are 12 players then the list might be as follows:-

Mr Morris Waterton.....Sir Walter Waters....Mrs Waterton Morrison....Lady Hannah Winter...Miss Harebell Harrison...Lady Bella Hare....Major Harrison Waters...Sir Waterton Bellair...Mr Hamilton Waters.... Mr Winterton Morris.... Mrs Hannibal Harebell....Miss Harriet Hannibal.

The leader verbally allocates names to players and ensures that they know their 'own' name. The players then have a few minutes to tell each other their allotted names. The leader then explains the rules: he will regularly shout out names at random which will be either names allocated already or other names on his list (e.g. Captain Harrison Harebell, Lady Arabella Winterton, etc)

If he calls out a name and the owner is the first to shout 'snap' they gain one point.
If the name belongs to someone in the group but another player shouts out snap before them then the shouter gains three points and the player whose name it was loses two points.
If he calls out a name that has not been allocated to the group and someone shouts 'snap' then that shouter loses two points

The leader shouts out names every ten seconds or so and keeps a running score.

(the photograph shows a young Maurice Tweddle Winterton)

Weird Web:List of very unusual Cornish double barrelled names - Emily Grace Pyne Coffin
strange games no. 45...category : party games

Bell Battle

A great lost party game. Bell Battle is the perfect game to make even the most lumpish partygoer into a model of delicacy.
Simply pair up players (one large with one smaller). The stronger of the pair gives the smaller a piggy-back. Each rider is given a handbell to carry. The team whose bell is last to ring is the victor.
For added complexity play the game with each rider wielding a sword as well as a bell.

Weird Web: The world's largest bells
strange games no:44...category : party games STUPID GAMES

Toe Fencing / Metatarsal Manoeuvre

All the best games have a bizarre, brutish element to them. Toe Fencing is one such game - basic and brutal.
For two players. Each faces the other and holds hands firmly. Each tries to stomp on the other's toes. The first person to stamp three times on their opponent's toes wins

strange games no:43...category:playground games STUPID GAMES

Numbered Seats

A game with no end, no winner and the ability to cause headaches after only a few minutes play. Numbered Seats is a great party game for groups of any age.
Get ten chairs and arrange them into a horseshoe formation. Number them 1 to 10. Partygoers sit on a chair (remembering its number).
One person starts by calling out a number (between 1 and 10) and the person occupying that chair must call out another number...and so on. But, one must NOT call out:- one's own number, a number directly next to you either on your right or left, or the number that called you. This makes the game considerably more interesting and difficult.
Even better, if someone gets it 'wrong' (either forgetting to call, calling when not required or any of the above 3 conditions) then they must move to chair number 1 or 10 (the chairs at the ends of the horseshoe arrangment). All other players must then shift positions to accomodate this person and hence change their assigned numbers.
A good idea is to play along to a metronome so that each player has to respond by a set number of clicks.
The game continues.... may stop if anyone jumps up and shouts, "I can't take this anymore!" and storms out of the room.

strange games no:42 ...category : party games