7.25.2006

Surrealism in Print...

Aside from the adventure at the forsaken asylum detailed yesterday, there were a lot of laughs to be had during my time spent in Champaign-Urbana. Most memorable of these were the parlor games played at a cook-out that Chris threw, those being the hilarious word games The Exquisite Corpse and Mad-Libs. Both are quite similar in that they rely on the players not knowing any context of the words they are asked to pick.

For those who have never heard of it, The Exquisite Corpse is a game that was formulated and played frequently during the Surrealist movement of the early 20th century. Players begin with a sheet of paper and are asked to write a single word, fold the paper over, and pass it around in a circle, each person concealing their word from the recipient. The words go in this order: An article (such as A, An, or The), adjective, noun, verb, article, adjective, noun. What results is a sentence that often does not make a whole lot of sense, but I guess that is part of the charm. When it gets utterly hilarious, and perhaps a little eerie, is when the sentence DOES make sense. And it also helps when the people playing are feeling rather, shall we say, bawdy. Some choice sentences that resulted from this exercise I will share with you now:

"The super-serial wookie drop-kicks a slimy fire hydrant."

Note above that if you haven't seen the recent episode of South Park featuring Al Gore saying he was "super-serial" about the existence of a mythical creature called a Man-Bear-Pig, then you might not laugh as uproariously as we did when the sentence was read. Just imagine Al Gore saying: "Guys, I am super, super serial." You know that crap is funny. Okay next sentence:

"The rosey schoolmarm penetrated a happy-go-lucky duck."

Yes, that was totally random. Each person coming up with a different word with absolutely no context on which to base it. For the record, I picked schoolmarm. One last one:

"The smutty cactus allocated the surly tumor."

Makes no sense, but we cracked up nonetheless.

Onto Mad-Libs. We all remember this game, don't we? Similar to the above game, however it involves one player filling in the blanks of an existing story with pre-ordained parts of speech (adjective, adverb, verb, noun, etc) that the other players choose without knowing any sort of context. The funniest was the story which I will detail below, the bolded words ones that were chosen by the participants. I don't know how Brandon, the person who was filling in this particular paragraph, made it through filling it in without collasping in brays of laughter, but rest assured, we all did whenever he read it back to us in its full glory. For what it's worth, the ending is what you really want to pay attention to.

"Once upon a time, there was a nightgown. This particular nightgown was very incestuous. His incestuousness killed everyone he antagonized. So one day, his mistress placed a parfait on his head. So the man went to a bar and found an oily hooker. Later that night they teabagged. Then the woman pulled the bag off his head and the ass-raider died.

The End.

Keep in mind that "teabagged" was not chosen knowing that there was any other sort of bag involved, and the words "oily" and "hooker" were chosen separately and seemingly at random. It was saddening to learn the fate of the ass-raiding incestuous nightgown who died after he teabagged an oily hooker, but that's what happens when you play around in Surrealville.

4 comments: