April Fools' Games #3 - Ancient Order of Jackdaws

Its your April Fool's day party and you want to celebrate with a game that combines the risible antics of a Masonic meeting with the good old-fashioned brutality of a bloodied nose...the Ancient order of Jackdaws is the game for you.
You will need to place a rug on a slippery floor. The Grand Master of the Jackdaws sits on a chair in front of the rug, other members sit around the rug cross legged. The victim is led by two others and told to kneel on the rug facing the Grand Master. The ceremony begins.

Grand Master: "You wish to become a member of the Ancient Order of Jackdaws?"
Victim: "I do"
Grand Master: "You will observe its rules and keep its secrets till your dying day...and always remember the oath you are about to take?"
Victim: "I will"
Grand Master: "You will bow to its decision."

Upon which point two players grab hold of and briskly jerk the corners of rug backwards causing the victim to bow violently, smashing his face into the rug.

strange games no:111

April Fools' Games #2 - Aeroplanes

A re-post of Strange Games no:33 one of the all time great trick games.
Aeroplanes is a trick party game that can probably only be played once (unless one keeps participants out of the room until it is their turn)Two strong men are required to hold a plank of wood a few inches above the floor. The partygoer /'pilot' / 'victim' is then blindfolded and helped onto the plank. He stands on it and supports himself by placing his hands on the shoulders of the two carriers.The carriers then proceed to make aeroplane noises and whilst wobbling the plank slightly they crouch down as low to the floor as possible. To the victim, whose hands remain on their shoulders, it appears that they are lifting him higher above the floor.The carriers then stop their aeroplane noises and announce that the engine has failed and the 'pilot' must jump. What feels to the blindfolded 'pilot' to be three or four feet is merely a matter of inches.
I remember playing this with "Topper" Smythe-Wilkenson at a party to celebrate his entry into the RAF.

strange games no:33

April Fools' Games #1 - I See a Ghost

As April Fools' Day rapidly approaches I have received a missive from Sheetswa Shawasha(Strange Games South African Correspondent). In it he details a game he used to play in the 1950's which makes a perfect party game for April Fools..."I See a Ghost."
The leader lines up everyone to one side of himself, standing closely shoulder-to-shoulder. He looks ahead and proclaims in his best John Gielgud voice, "I see a ghost!"

"Where?" says the person next to him. "There" says the leader and raises his right arm to point. The second player then repeats the dialogue and the process moves down the line. Then the leader repeats the phrase, "I see a ghost!" and this time raises his left arm as well. At the end of this round everyone has two arms raised straight in front.

On the third round the process is the same except now the leader lowers himself onto one knee with both arms outstretched. As the final player adopts this position the leader screams out as if in terror and pushes hard with his shoulder causing the whole row to topple over like dominoes.

Thank you Sheetswa for telling me about this fantastic party game.

strange games no:110
weird web: cemetery etiquette for ghosthunters
weird web: earning a living as a ghost hunter

Body Surfing & Crap Surfing

Ask one of today's teenagers if they have ever body surfed and no doubt they will regale you with a tale of being held aloft in front of the stage at a Maniac Sumo gig. In my day the body surfing game was more genteel though no less fun.
Line up all but one of the party goers then get them to lie down on the floor on their backs. Make sure they are lined up but have about a body's width between each. The remaining player then kneels at the start of the line...then launches himself (arms outstretched) on to the first few bodies. These players must now turn as one in the right direction to propel the surfer on to the next players and so on down the line. When the surfer reaches the end then he himself must lie down and become part of the 'wave' and the person who was the first in line now has his go.

Crap Surfing: if you've ever enjoyed some activity or other but struggled valiantly to become competent in it then your heart will be warmed by Crap Surfing. Crap Surfing although a world-wide phenomena is officially recognised in Cornwall where the Crap Surfing World Championships occur in December. As the crap surfing website so succinctly puts it:

If you have any worries about being:

Fat,old,unfit,uncoordinated ,un-cool ,intelligent ,having the wrong sunglasses ,having open toed sandals with light brown socks, etc
Fear not for you will fit in perfectly because all are welcome and everyone laughs at everyone else.

strange games no: 109
crap surfing

web:crap surfing at strange games videos

Fruit & Vegetable Croquet

It's not often that you find a game that is so awe-inspiringly brilliant that it makes you wonder why you ever played anything else. Fruit and Vegetable Croquet is one such game - and I found it listed and described in Deep Fun an excellent and informative website from master funsmith Bernie DeKoven
Each player obtains an old pair of ladies tights and places a heavy-ish vegetable or fruit down one of the legs. The tights are then tied about the waist of the player so that the dangling fruit hangs near ground level between his legs. An orange is substituted for the croquet ball. The aim of the game is for each player to swing the laden tights between his legs so that the fruit inside strikes the 'orange' ball and sends it in the direction required. All the normal rules of croquet apply - or you could change it into just a first past the line speed race.

The sight of grown men swinging their hips in a Shakira-like-fashion in order to get a nylon enclosed dangling squash hit an orange - is a sight that once seen will stay burned in your brain for a very long time.

strange games no:108
web: bernie deKovens sites: deep fun, major fun, junkyard sports

Ringing the Bull / Wallhooky

Simple to set up and play, but quite addictive - Ringing the Bull (or Wallhookey as it is sometimes known) is an ancient pub game reputedly brought back to the England by the Crusaders. It retains its popularity in the North of England and the Caribbean.
Attach a bull's nose ring to a string from the ceiling and then attach a hook to the wall in such a position that the bull's ring will hook on with the string remaining taut. Traditionally the hook was attached to the nose of a stuffed animal's head mounted on the wall. Each player stands in the throwing place and has a set number of throws. The player with the highest number of rings hooked is the victor. Extra points can be scored for throws that perform a complete circle before getting hooked.

strange games no:107
weird web:wallhookey resource pages

Strange Games Diary - March / April

Forthcoming and current events in the world of strange games and sports that are worth a visit.

March / April 2007

The traditional game of Easter Egg Rolling occurs in many parts of the world but the best is in Preston, Lancashire on Easter Monday.
Preston Easter Egg Rolling

British Marbles championship, Tinsley Green, Sussex, Good Friday - this event has been staged at the Greyhound Pub since at least 1932. An entertaining day out watching the finest exponents of the grand game of marbles
Don't forget the Australian Marbles Championship on April 13 at Parkes Golf Club

Bottle-kicking and Hare Pie Scramble - truly bizarre Easter Monday rugby type game involving 3 bottles, the population of two villages, mass scrums and of course hare pie.
Bottle Kicking and Hare Pie Scrambling - brilliant account of this strange game

Interstate Mullet Throwing - the Australians may be the best Tuna tossers in the world but when it comes to throwing Mullets the Americans are the best (27-29 April toss a mullet across the Florida/ Alabama state line)
strange games:mullet throwing

The photograph shows enthralled crowds at an early British Marble Championship, Tinsley Green

Tuna Tossing - another strange thing to throw

My last post concerning the great Australian sport of Water Melon Skiing prompted an e-mail from Wayne Skipadoo (Strange Games Antipodean correspondent). In it he detailed the exciting sport of Tuna Tossing.
The Tuna Tossing World Championship occurs annually at the Tunarama Festival in Port Lincoln, Australia. A rope loop is attached to the head of a 10kg frozen tuna then contestants simply grab this and using whatever means they feel like throw it as far as possible. Most people manage only a few metres...the world record is an accomplished 37.23 metres. Other events include the 3kg Kingfish toss for children aged 11-15 and bizarrely a 'prawn toss' for little children. And to make sure it is environmentally friendly the tunas used are ones caught in nets that don't harm dolphins. Thank you Wayne.

strange games: no 106
weird web: tunarama festival - the tuna tossers mecca

Water Melon Skiing

The Watermelon is thought to have originated in the Kalahari Desert of Africa. The first recorded watermelon harvest occurred nearly 5,000 years ago in Egypt and is depicted in Egyptian hieroglyphics on walls of their ancient buildings. Watermelons were often placed in the burial tombs of kings to nourish them in the afterlife. It took the Australians to strap them to their feet and make a sport.
Every two years, the town of Chinchilla pays tribute to the melon harvest with the Chinchilla Melon Festival where people not only eat the melons but use them for a number of other activities including headbutting them. The highlight of the festival however is Water Melon Skiing.

Put down a long tarpaulin and make it slippy - the insides of a few dozen water melons make a grand lubricant. Players take it in turns to stand at the beginning of the run, each foot encased in a scooped out water melon. They then hold onto a rope being held by two people standing either side of the tarp - these two players run down the course dragging the water melon skier behind them. The person who remains on his feet for the longest distance is the winner.
Llangollen is too scared to have Bunny Hopping Races and here's Chinchilla strapping melons onto people's feet and dragging them to oblivion.

strange games no 105
weird web: watermelon promotion board

A triptych of strange 3 legged games

There are few feelings in party gaming better than that heady, slightly sick, feeling one gets when tied to a partner you then have to rush around completing some crazy task or other. Below are three of the best three legged games ever.

3 Legged Frisbee Golf
Although frisbee golf is considered a serious sport in some parts of the world 3 Legged Frisbee Golf is superior in almost every way. For teams of two players. Playing pairs have their legs tied together. Each team possess a frisbee. On a starting command all teams set off by throwing their frisbee, chasing after it as quickly as possible, picking it up and throwing it again. The first team to get their frisbee to the 'hole' ( a pre-determined object as far away as you like) wins. A great variety is Zombie 3 Legged Frisbee Golf - here after the starting throw a team can either carry on trying to finish quickly or aim their frisbee at a competing couple. If they score a hit then that couple falls over 'dead'. This adds a superb competitive/chance element to the game.

3 Legged Monster Chase

For large groups: pairs are formed and have their legs bound together. Each pair is give a sheet of coloured stickers - a different colour for each team. On a starting command the players set off, the objective being to place their stickers on the backs of their competitors and avoid being 'stickered' themselves. After a set time of pandemonium play stops and the team that have been stickered the least wins.

3 Legged Butterfly Hunting
Yet again it was at one of Herbert Rowsell's summer garden parties that as a callow youth I first played this enchanting game. Players are paired up, legs are tied and then each team are given one butterfly net. The aim is, by working together as a team, to catch a member of the order Lepidoptera. Last team to catch one, loses.
This is a good game for adults to play, especially if they have had a couple of glasses of Pimms. The sight of two players tumbling helplessly into a Buddleia bush is one to be treasured.

strange games no:104

Welsh Bunny Hopping

As Easter approaches, every Strange Gamer finds themselves itching to buy masses of cotton wool and double-sided sticky tape, dress themselves up as a rabbit and hop down their local high street. For the past three years the Welsh town of Llangollen has hosted the Easter Bunny Hop. Competitors of all ages and sizes don their rabbit costumes and hop madly through the centre of the town. Unfortunately the organisers have cancelled this years event, and any future activities, claiming they can not afford the cost of the public liability insurance. Surely it's a sorry state of affairs when the common man and woman are denied the basic pleasures of being a bunny and making a fool of themselves.
The accompanying photograph is of last year's event. The man on the left in the orange T shirt is one Dai Evans from Glyndyfrdwy - seconds after this shot was taken Dai stumbled awkwardly and broke his leg so seriously that he had to be put down.

strange games no:103
web:welsh daily post article on bunny hopping

weird web: ultimate reference about Bugs Bunny in Drag:filmography, stills, analysis!

Strange Games with Bubblewrap #2 - Grasshopper

As an addition to Strange Games with Bubblewrap #1 my good friend Maurice Tweddle tells me of a game he still plays based on the 1970's TV show Kung Fu.
Simply get a long roll of bubble wrap and lay a path out on top of a solid floor. Players take it in turns to walk barefooted along the length of bubblewrap - just like Kwai Chang Caine did on rice paper in Kung Fu. Any player who is heard to pop a bubble is out until it's his turn again. To add to the game a candle can be placed at the end of the path for the kung fu master to place his hand in the flame and yet feel no pain.
A non-player can commentate on proceedings using the words of the masterly Masters Po and Kahn:-

What must we say of a mirror that receives tranquillity, yet reflects a troubled brow

Discipline your body Grasshopper, that your mind may find a greater power.

weird web:the kung fu guide
strange games no: 102