Backseat Drawing

Draw a rectangle. Wait. Draw it horizontally – you know, so it’s wider than it is high. Make it a little smaller. Good. Now draw a kind of egg shape touching the upper right corner. Great. OK. Now make 4 straight lines, attached to the bottom of the rectangle, spread more or less evenly. Now draw a small arc, the bottom of the curve touching the top of the egg shape. Good. Good. Good. Still can’t guess it? Try this: between the first and second of those lines you drew on the bottom of the rectangle, the lines on the left, draw smallish “W” shape. Feel free to guess what it is any time. No penalty for wrong answers. And if anything the other team draws or says helps, please, be my guest. What? Did you say “cow”?

Holy, mmm, cow, you’re right! We get a card! Oh, the udder bovine bliss of it all!

The name of the game is Backseat Drawing. And, yes, in deed, it’s Major FUN.

You need two teams of two or more players. Each team gets a dry-erase marker, board and eraser (the eraser comes in very, very handily). There’s a deck of 168 “challenge” cards. The cards are two-sided. One side is easier. That’s where you’ll find “Cow.” The other side is where you find words like “Soup,” “Zipper,” and, OMG, “Sea Horse.” The cards fit into an open plastic box which also acts as a viewer – revealing the top card to the people who are directing while concealing it from the artists and their cohorts of fellow-guessers.

It takes maybe five minutes to learn. And a good 20-30 minutes before any team accumulates enough points to win. We played a couple rounds. In the second round, we changed partners and also tried the more challenging side of the Challenge Cards. We drew. We laughed. We lost.

The game is in four different languages (English, Spanish, French and German). There are four different rule cards, each in one of the aforementioned languages. The Challenge Cards are equally multi-lingual. What this means is that should one wish to elevate both the chaos and joylikeness of it all, one could conceivably backseat draw cross-culturally.

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