I have come up with a new game. It can be played by any small gathering, mixed in both age and gender, and is more than suitable for families. In fact this is preferable for the game to succeed to full effect. As a working title I am calling it 'It's All Relative', (subject to change when marketed)
The rules go a little like this:
1. Must be played around the dinner table (al fresco works just as well)
2. Whoever is talking must be interrupted, preferably with a completely unrelated topic, as soon as possible. Or just at the most crucial and poignant part of their vocal flow
3. If there is the merest suggestion or hint of hesitation then random guesses as to what is coming next must be shouted out clearly and unrelentingly, resulting in the frustration of original speaker and causing all threads to be lost
4. Wait until a particularly lengthy and intricate anecdote has been related to the group in it's entirity, then after five minutes, or a couple of conversations later, bring up the subject the anecdote touched on and demand to hear it again as you missed it. Act surprised and disgruntled when this is not met with enthusiasm
5. Choose a random couple of minutes, interspersed throughout the meal, to completely switch off, yet appear to still be listening. This enables you to then bring up topics that have already been covered in full. Even more effective when the switching off occurs during instructions being given, imperative to later events
6. Make at least one of your fellow players the object of your scorn and cause of immense irritation for the whole meal, (if especially skilled then could be applied to more than one other player) with this culminating in the odd shouted expletive or tearful squeal
7. Be accepting of jibes and winding up, laughing along amiably, willing to be a figure of fun, until suddenly turning this on its head and becoming a wounded victim, offended and very vocal of this
8. Always, always wait until everyone is finished their food (seconds and all), ready to move on to pudding, before refilling your plate so that the other players can sit and watch you eat
9. Repeat every story, instruction, or mere contribution to the conversation at least twice, saying it like it's the fist time it has ever been said in the history of man everytime you say it
10. Use physical irritants to unnerve other players also; don't merely rely on dialogue. Extreme slouching, lounging, stretching legs out under the table, elbows on table and in plates, kicking and placing feet on other players' chairs, inappropriate eye contact, and snorting whilst guzzling are all effective methods worth a try
The aim of the game is to still be at the table in fine spirits by the time all food is consumed, without having left in a blaze of anger, and to be able to retain even the most simplistic of social skills when mixing with the actual public.
This game is a favourite in our household and a regular fixture of an evening. A true ensemble activity, involving of everyone and the cause of hours of old-fashioned family fun. Give it a go.