For today’s Throwback Thursday, I bet you won’t be surprised that I’m going to be discussing my theme of the month: Games. A long time before I was born, a song came out called “The Name Game.” And when I was little, I just LOVED this song. When my birth mom would visit me and sing this song with my name, I thought it was the funniest thing!
When my kids were little, I, of course, sang them this song with their names, but we had different versions of The Name Game that we played.
The first Name Game that I played with my kids was when they were very small and either had friends over for either play dates or the monster birthday parties I used to give them. (If you have small kids or grandkids, this is a fun one to play with them.) First, you stand everyone in a circle then pick a theme, such as animals. Then you have everyone select an animal that begins with the same letter as their name. So, I would be Rachel Rhinoceros. So, if I started, I’d say, “Hello. I’m Rachel Rhinoceros.” The next person would say, “Hello. I’m Stefani Snake, and this is Rachel Rhinoceros.” The third person would say, “Hello. I’m Jeremy Jaguar, that’s Stefani Snake, and that is Rachel Rhinoceros.” Then it would continue around the circle until everyone’s been introduced. If you have a lot of people, it’s pretty funny to see what happens when they mess up. (Usually, the adults mess up before the kids do.)
But as my kids got older, we played yet a different Name Game. This next Name Game, we generally played when we had long car trips. I made this one up when we had a long trip once, and it goes something like this: We’re thinking of names of famous people. They can be entertainers, or famous people in history, or even characters in movies, TV shows, or books. They can be character names or real names. But they can not be just people you know such as neighbors or family members. Also, there can be no repeats of the same name. And you also cannot repeat different forms of the same name such as Ronald Reagan and Ronnie Reagan. But you can say Ronald Reagan and Ron Reagan Jr. If you used that however, you’d count Junior as the last name since it’s the last word of the name.
Now that the rules are established, the game is easy. You take the first letter of the last name, and that has to be the first letter of the first name of the person that goes next. For example if there are 4 people playing, it might go something like this:
(Person #1 says) George Washington
(Person #2’s first name has to start with W) Wilma Flintstone
(Person #3’s first name has to start with F) Forrest Gump
(Person #4’s first name has to start with G) Garth Brooks
(Person #1’s first name has to start with B) Big Bird
Now when it happens that someone uses a double letter such as BB in Big Bird, they start a “challenge.” That means Person #2 tries to come up with a BB name such as Betty Boop. The two of them “duel” like that, and when a person loses, it goes back in their direction. So if person #1 couldn’t think of another BB name, it would reverse directions and go counter clockwise. If Person #2 couldn’t think of another BB name, it keeps going clockwise, then Person #3 just has to think of a B name such as Bob Villa.
It looks a lot more complicated in writing than it really is. Anyway, the Throwback Thursday portion of this story is that once when Jeremy was six and Stefani was ten, they were travelling with my sister and me from Florida to New York. There was a hurricane up the East Coast while we were driving, and we got detoured all the way through West Virginia. The trip that we normally drove straight through took us two full days with a stop at a hotel.
We started playing The Name Game when we were still in Central Florida. (Now remember, there can be no repeats!) And we managed to play it straight for the next two days until we got home in New York! Seriously! Jeremy’s names mostly consisted of cartoon characters and wrestlers. Stefani’s mostly consisted of cartoon characters and President of the United States.
So there you have it. Now, I won’t ask you to play The Name Game here with me today, but I will ask you to play it with your own family the next time you’re in the car. Who knows; you might even like it.
So tell me: Do you ever play road trip games? Do you play board games? Do you love or hate games?