Faith, Hope & Charity

There are various Victorian parlour games involving guessing the identity of a person hidden behind a sheet - this is usually attempted by examining the person's feet or hands, or listening to them cough, etc..
Strange Games' reader Jean Bingle has sent in details of a similar, but far better, game that her Mother used to play at parties in the 1950s. This is possibly one of the best party games that Strange Games has ever reported - up there with Slave Market.
Jean writes:'
All the men are sent out of the room and then three of the prettiest women stand behind a sheet – the two on the end hold it up.
Each man is brought in one at a time and asked the question ‘which girl would you like to kiss - Faith, Hope or Charity?’ He would choose one girl and then with a mask covering his eyes he is led up to the girl at the sheet. But behind is the joker with lipstick all over his mouth and as the chap is kissing his chosen girl the mask is whipped off and he finds he is kissing a man. Most men were pretty fed-up, but were then allowed to stay and watch the rest come through, of course they would join in and kid them along too – showing off the tell-tale lipstick mark on his mouth.'

Played odder/funnier party games than this? e-mail:

Victorian and Extreme Blow Football

Remaining on the subject of Blow Football mention must be made of ancient versions of the game. In Victorian times there was a superb indoor football game. To play all you needed was an un-carpeted drawing room, some paper fans and a blown hen's egg (prick a pinhole in each end and blow out the yolk). Goals were created at either end of the room and then teams tried to propel the egg towards them using only the power of wind created by frantically fanning their fans close behind it. The unpredictable motion of an egg coupled with the exertion required to move it would, one suppose, result in lots of tired arms and many no-score draws.
Extreme Blow Football conjures up images of a dangerous game played up the side of a mountain by out-of-breath dudes in baggy trousers. Fortunately its nothing like that but is quite weird. Basically a scaled up version of the table top game you need massive straws (thin plastic plumbing tubes work well) a ping pong ball and a flat smooth floor and you are away. All the usual blow football rules apply, with the more solid tubes being handy if a fight develops.
(Notice how in the accompanying picture the teams are wearing coloured bibs to distinguish themselves in this fast moving game.)

Underwater Blow Football

Possibly the oddest, and therefore the best, indoor football game for two players is Underwater Blow Football. To play get a flat bottomed rectangular tray with high sides (a large lasagne dish works well – the most important thing is that the bottom is as flat as possible). Now fill to the brim with water, furnish each player with a straw and then place a large marble in the centre. The level of the water needs to be enough to just cover the marble. Now each player puts the tip of his straw underwater, close to the marble, and blows...the aim being to blow the marble till it hits the opponent's side of the dish. Just like in the more normal dry version players must not touch the ball with the straw - this results in the opposing player having a set time (a few seconds) of free blowing. Most of the fun in the game comes from the almost random, uncontrollable motion of the marble underwater and the soaking that each player receives as water flies everywhere.


Strange Games reader Nate Hoffert sent in the description of a game he plays and calls Hotelball:
'My friends and I have invented a game called "Hotelball" which can be played in a typical, at least by North American standards, franchise hotel room containing one king size bed or 2 queens.
The only equipment needed is a hackey sack or firm nerf-type ball no larger than a tennis ball. Balls with too much "bounce" will be unsatisfactory for anyone but the most skilled players.
The beauty of the game is that participants do not compete against other players, they strive to better their previous best performance, and the game is played while essentially relaxing in one's hotel room so there is an interesting congruence of competitive athletics with leisurely relaxation.
3 players are generally required although more can be included and two will suffice, although it seems to be more fun with 3.Play can proceed while watching the hotel room television.
One player, the server, positions him or herself near the foot of one of the beds. S/he can be seated in a chair or on the foot of the bed or on the queen adjacent to the one on which one of the other players is sitting. The second player is seated on one of the beds usually with his back on the headboard. Torso and legs will be at a 90 degree angle to start. A third player is seated on the opposite side of the bed from the server. The server puts the ball in play in underhanded fashion to either of the other player's heads. After the service, the server's responsibilities are completed other than officiating the "game" and offering encouragement to the participants.
The player receiving the service heads the ball back to the third player. Play continues with players alternating heading the ball to one another until a ball is played which is impossible to head. At that point, the ball must be caught by one of the players or the play is considered a failure. Modifications may be made to the game to allow use of other body parts in passing the ball between players 2 and 3. Success is defined by the number of head passes made prior to the ultimate catch.
For example, four head passes and a catch would be described as a "head-head-head-head-catch" or a "Quad-head-catch." Three headers followed by an elbowed ball followed by a thigh ball followed by a catch would be a Head-head-head-elbow-thigh-catch. The game can require a good bit of athleticism with players often diving off the bed or into the furniture or television to make fine plays.'
So, if you ever find yourself stuck in a hotel room with two friends, a king size bed and a hackey sack - you now know what to do. Strange Games welcomes contributions of any unusual/stupid/weird games that you may play, email: