Monday, December 12, 2005

captioning cartoons is very IN this winter

And so is obliquely referring to The Slippery Slope, by Lemony Snicket, I guess.

I just removed my sidebar links to McSweeney's mocking of the New Yorker cartoon captions. I decided that McSweeney's wasn't that funny after all. The little essay "Baby, Mix me a Drink" totally rips off The Slippery Slope, in which the baby is made responsible for all kinds of food preparation. But, here are the links, one last time. One and then, the other.

And I got this in the mail. Some folks have made a party game of captioning New Yorker cartoons.

And then there is David Radosh and his ongoing virtual New Yorker cartoon caption contest, which anyone can play.

In advance of the holiday season, when one is often confined with family, I also have these games to recommend:

Royalty - Like Scrabble, but more free form since it's a card game. Or like Canasta, but with words.

Apples to Apples - This is also a game you can buy. So you can probably find a better explanation of it out there. But we play a homemade version with some friends, where we make all the cards, slowly, over time. Step by step instructions:

(a) You have a big stack of cards with adjectival phrases on them. Like: "spooky" or "the life of the party" or "better when sung" or "retro, but not retro cool" or "magical."

(b) Each player holds 7 cards with nouns on them - political figures, celebrities, household items, family members, foods, whatever. Like: "Cherry lip gloss," "the Bush Administration," "radical Marxism," "fresh baked bread."

(c) Player 1 draws an adjective card from the stack and shows it to everyone else. Let's say, "spooky."

(d) Everyone else chooses, from their 7 nouns, which noun they think Player 1 will find most "spooky." They submit their noun cards to Player 1 face down, anonymously.

(e) Player 1 chooses her favorite match.

(f) The player who submitted that noun reveals herself and keeps the adjective card "spooky."

(g) Player 2 draws an adjective card . . . and you go around until all the adjectives are gone.

At the end, the player who has collected the most adjective cards wins. But it is not really a win-lose game. And I think it's a lot more fun than the other cultural knowledge games that you can buy. I always blow my anonimity and advocate strongly for my card, if I think there is a persuasive argument to be made. But you knew that.



Blogger Emily said...

Since the "Baby, Mix Me a Drink" author and Lemony "Slippery Slope" Snicket are married to each other, though, I think it's OK. I love Lisa Brown's new books, myself.

Next time you're in NY, I say we host a party at which the caption game--and manifold others--are played.

2:12 PM  
Blogger zoe p. said...

NO. Fascinating. That's so funny. I have not read much Lemony Snicket (actually, I have read none, i heard book 10 on tape, which rocks) but I had a sneaking sympathy with Esme . . . and she totally eclipsed Olaf for me . . .

2:28 PM  
Blogger zoe p. said...

PS. I'd love to host a party with you; I'm in New York maybe once or twice a year. But I've never once had any ideas for a caption. Not one. My little sister is good at it, though.

Maybe I'll start practicing.

11:20 AM  

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