There’s an old folk game that many of us old folks played. It was called Cork ‘n Funnel by some of us. I played it with a coffee can, corks, yarn, dice and popcorn kernels for scoring. It’s a great game. It takes you by surprise (which is the point). It makes you laugh (which is also the point).
Talicor has introduced a game called JERK. You get a big, orange, plastic funnel; sturdy, orange, plastic cork-like things on a sturdy orange string; a round, orange, rubbery circle; a pair of orange dice, a and a collection of orange chips. Orange you excited already?
Well you should be. It’s an exciting, absorbing game, easy to learn, easy to modify for whatever purposes (make it more or less challenging, play with or without points, play a longer or shorter game), it gives you a clear, clever, concise set of rules; it invites you to make up your own.
One person is the Cone-holder. That’s not the official name, but it lends clarity. The Cone-holder holds the cone. She also holds the pair of dice, which she will soon be tossing. Every other player holds one end of the plastic cork-like thing-on-a-string (it’s a good idea to wrap the surplus string around your hand for firm grip and backlash-avoidance) with a cork-like end resting clearly near the middle of the rubbery circle thing. The Cone-holder throws the dice. If the dice are doubles, or they add up to seven or eleven, the Cone-holder slams the cone down on the rubbery circle. The owner of any cork-like thing trapped under the cone loses a point (chip), the Cone-holder gains a chip.
The Cone-holder can also “fake,” looking, for all appearances, that she is about to slam the cone down even though the dice aren’t doubles, seven or eleven. Anyone who falls for the fake and jerks their dice-like thing off the rubbery circle thing loses a chip.
That’s about it. Sure there are nuances, each of which lead to possible variations and much interested discussion. But the tension, the release, the jerking, oh, yes. Major fun!