150,000 Weenie Jokes
The advertising blurb for Knee Jerk boasts that even though it’s an easily portable game, insignificantly larger than your regular deck of playing cards — there are 55 in Knee Jerk, plus a rules sheet — and able to slip into your back pocket with ample room left over for beef jerky, that it still provides over 150,000 possible “situations.”
What they meant to say is that it’s good for 150,000 weenie jokes.
Here’s how it works.
Each card contains three parts. Parts of speech, sorta. Strung together with two other cards, you end up with a dangling proposition (but not usually dangling prepositions), something like I feel like it’s haunted here / At the talk show / Because someone said these two words:
Then everyone gets a chance to blurt out an answer. Someone might shout out, “What’s that?” in a mock scared voice, or “Out, Satan!” like he’s Father Lankaster Merrin, or “Johnny Carson? You’re alive?,” at which point you berate your friend for his inability to keep to two words, because he totally had the best answer otherwise.
Something like that.
There are a few different ways to play, but the gist is that the host — as in, whichever player is putting together this round of situations — awards a point to the first answer, with the power to veto nonsense. Then after a few rounds, you get a new host and the game moves on. Play until you’re bored.
It’s a clever little party game. It awards a quick wit and silly fumbles alike, and it’s light enough that you can play a couple rounds or a dozen in rapid succession.
However, some mischief arises because it’s, well…
It’s a game about weenie jokes.
There’s a slight possibility that this has something to do with my choice of friends, all mild-mannered until they’re forced to blurt out answers to silly situations off the top of their heads. In haste and panic, they reveal their true selves. I feel whimsical / In the office building / Because someone made a face like this: turns into a sexy come-hither, complete with a tongue across their front teeth. I feel like I’m ready to pounce / At the wedding / Because someone randomly said: turns into a Wedding Crashers reference. I feel like I should change my clothes / On my first date / Because I am covered in: becomes… well, we’ll leave that one alone.
On the other hand, Knee Jerk is a surprisingly flexible game, and no, that’s not one of the weenie jokes. A group of grown-ups can be as saucy as they like, whereas a group of younger players can have fun playing it straighter. At least while their parents are around, anyway.
I’ll leave you with one more. I feel nervous / At the cult gathering / Because something smells like:
First thing that comes to mind. Have at it.