Monday, January 12, 2009

The nonsense game

In-between VPN hiccups and bills to pay yesterday, the N-Sider chat, as it is often wont to do, spurred a long-lost memory. This time, it was a game I used to play, oh, probably a decade ago now, on an IRC much like said chat. I'm proud to say I started it, though I can't be held responsible for where it went or whose lives it might have destroyed in the process. I'm not so proud to say I don't even really remember who I played it with...

It had its genesis in a really dumb light bulb joke, actually. Here, I'll torture you too, since it's occupying part of my brain:
How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Two: One to hold the giraffe, the other to fill the bathtub with brightly-colored bicycles.
For some reason—probably lack of sleep—I just jumped into a random conversation with a variation on the punchline, in an action, probably something like "zigg fills the bathtub with brightly-colored bicycles." It got attention, of course; most people simply didn't know what to make of it, but others joined right in, and pretty soon a few of us were having entire nonsense conversations. (The rest were probably going through bottles of aspirin.)

Figuring out how to converse—or, at least, go through the motions—when you're not even really sure what the other person is talking about is a real brain-stretcher. Trying to reply in kind without retreading past ground felt like it was giving the creative mind a good workout. I wonder—perhaps if this "programming computers" thing doesn't work out, I might have a future in inspirational speaking, toying with the neurons of my gray audiences and collecting five-figure appearance fees.

If you want to play this game yourself, find a chat medium, preferably with at least a few people willing to play (and for bonus points, spectators whose feeble minds you can break.) There are a few ground rules:
  1. No images. Words only.
  2. No links. Your words only.
  3. In fact, keep your browser shuttered. Even using the Internet for inspiration, weird as it is, might lend you to make sense of your conversations.
But nobody was as good at that game as I was, let me tell you. Ahh, memories...

posted by zigg 6:33 AM


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