A Game of Writey Drawey at a White Elephant Party
Life in Portland is very unlike what I was used to in the Bronx. There are many differences, and I may go into them in another article, but here is a sample: A few nights ago d42 and I attended a White Elephant Party where we instigated a game of Writey Drawey with 6 other adults while drinking home made beer and apple cider. Aside from maybe playing a game with several strangers (such as, who can out-stare whom on the train before an explosion of violence or intense discomfort take everything to the next level), none of those things have ever happened to me before.
On the way to the party I kept trying to get d42 to explain the rules to me, I gathered that people brought wrapped gifts, which were placed in a pile Secret Santa style, and the participants would then all take turns either picking a wrapped gift or stealing a gift they liked from someone else. It sounded like a terrible game to play with strangers whose house you invaded and whose good graces you were hoping to stay in. I admit, I was nervous.
Everyone was incredibly amiable and mostly, I was the only dickhead stealing gifts. But that’s how I roll and that’s how I ended up with a Super Art Coloring Kit by Crayola, which I actually technically brought since d42 purchased our secret gifts on her own.
With a gift like that we of course started drawing pictures of cactuses and winged penises. Then I remembered a game someone once mentioned where folks take turns drawing and writing something on a piece of paper and it all ends up pretty hilarious. Someone at this particular party apparently played it before and quickly dubbed it Writey Drawey. I didn’t know much about it, and from the name alone would have to guess it is probably a children’s game and is probably played somewhat differently, but here is how we did.
We tore the hell out of some papers, made sure each person had a mini booklet of pages the same number as there were players (so for 5 players, each person has 5 pages), and set the writing implements in the center of our circle. We numbered our pages to keep confusion to a minimum. Each person then had about 2 minutes to draw something on the top page, flip it up side down, and pass it on to the next person. That person would then look at the picture, shift it to the bottom of the stack, write a probable caption, flip the whole stack upside down, and pass it to the next person. That person would do his or her best to illustrate the mad scribbling, and so on. Once we each got our initial picture back, we would present this booklet to the group and to general hilarity.
Although describing the game is not fun, playing it is, and some of the results should absolutely be memorialized. Everyone jealously packed away theirs, but here are mine!
Only 5 of us chose to play that first round, and we used that time to work out the rules and realize that writing a novel to describe a picture is cruel to the person who would have to draw our descriptions. We also laughed so hard I got a headache. Our howling enticed others with promise of entertainment and so we were 8 for the next round. Here is the result that I got to keep.