All told, we invented three games on our August 1997 vacation; this one, "I Have A Question," is probably the best of them.
You may have heard the old gag where when someone says, "I have a question," the joker replies, "I have an answer -- let's see if they match!"
I happen to be fond of this admittedly tired old joke, and have often inflicted it on my kids -- particularly Julian. Somewhere in our dinner table conversation in Cave City I perpetrated it on him once again, but this time, after he'd asked his question and I'd answered it, he said, "So what was your answer? Did it match?"
And I invented some irrelevant, off-the-wall answer.
Then Julian said, "I have a question."
I said, "What is it?"
He said, "No, no -- you come up with an answer, and we'll see if they match." He then convinced Julie and Kiri to come up with answers, as well.
Naturally, none of them matched, but some of the results were pretty funny.
- Kiri: "I have a question."
- Lawrence: "I have an answer."
- Julie: "I have an answer."
- Julian: "I have an answer -- what's your question?"
- Kiri: "What are you eating under there, anyway?"
- Lawrence: "General Macarthur."
- Julie: "Butterflies."
- Julian: "Forty-two."
This turned out to be a very good way to amuse ourselves until our order arrived, and in the car after dinner, and several times and places thereafter. Like Mad Libs, to which it's obviously kin, a lot of the answers just fall flat, but every so often one is strangely apposite and very funny.
The trick to making it work is to have responses that really are questions and answers, recognizably such -- if you try to make it nonsensical it's just stupid.
For those who somehow stumbled in here by accident -- hi! I'm Lawrence Watt-Evans. I'm the author of more than three dozen novels and over a hundred short stories, as well as innumerable articles, comic scripts, poems, and other miscellany. This is my personal website, the Misenchanted Page; the name is a reference to my bestselling novel The Misenchanted Sword.
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