This is going to be the greatest thing you have ever read. Today, you will learn a very pivotal game that you can take with you (since this is electronic, after all – it’s like a hard copy in digital form) and use in your own life. This game will be one of two that I teach you. The other one has been the subject of a hotly contested debate on whether or not I should even mention it. I just made mention of it but I did not make direct reference to it, just to be exact.

 

This game is called 15.

 

I just want to be extra sure that you understand this: this is not a “drinking” game. I do not condone those whatsoever. This is a game that simply requires a “social” in which the group of people that are playing must convene together as a group. If you happen to have a drink in your hands at that time, then by all means, cheers to the group. However, it is not a necessary component.

 

Here we go:

 

The upmost and first aspect of the game of 15 is the rule of proper conversation. You must always speak in third person and you cannot use first names. You must use only last names with the appropriate title accordingly (e.g. Mr. Ms. Mrs. Messrs.’. Dr. et cetera). Before the game starts someone is deemed to be the “dictator.” You will refer to them as “Mr. (or Mrs. et cetera) Dictator Sir (or Ma’am et cetera).” The dictator is the one that will determine if the game is being played correctly and will also be the one who hands out the “penance” points. Before the game starts the group determines what the actual “penance” will be. If you, personally, receive the set number of penance points during the game then you have to perform the penance. That could be running outside naked in the middle of the winter. That has happened during this game before. We then locked that person outside for a little while (not too long, we’re not mean) because that’s what you do when someone is performing the penance and it requires them to run outside naked in the middle of the winter. So if during the game, you mess up and get said penance points the agreed amount of time (we used to play to 5) then you have to perform the penance. Using first names or not saying “Mr. (or Mrs. et cetera) Dictator Sir (or Ma’am et cetera)” will surely earn you a penance point. You don’t want penance points. So, act accordingly.

 

So, you’ve got that down, which is nice.

 

Now, arrange yourselves in a circle (this game is best played with a group larger than 15 but it’s not necessary. Playing with a group of 4 might be weird and you’ll see why).

 

Mr. Dictator (I’m going to stop the political correctness so that we can just move right along here – let’s just assume that the Dictator is a male or wishes to be referred to as such) begins the game by choosing who will start. Generally, it is the person to his right. That person says OUT LOUD the number 1. The person sitting directly to their right (counter clockwise) says OUT LOUD the number 2. You probably see where this is going. Well, everyone (counter clockwise) goes around the circle and says the number higher than the one of the person to their left UNTIL you get to the number 15. Whoever says OUT LOUD the number 15 is now in the position of change. When 15 is said, you “social” (cheers each other, et cetera) and then the person who said 15 has a choice to make. That person will now pick any number between 1 and 15 and assign a new meaning to it. For example, we’ve had a great time with the silent hokey pokey. That is, doing the hokey pokey (standing) without singing the song. So, let’s just say the person who got 15 just decided that the number 4 is now a silent hokey pokey. That means that whenever the number 4 USED to be said OUT LOUD it is now represented by a silent hokey pokey. The game commences from there. The person directly to the person who made the new rule’s right begins the game again by saying OUT LOUD the number 1. And so on and so forth until you get back to the number 15. That’s where you “social” and then that person makes up a new rule for a different number. The game begins again with the person sitting directly to the right of them and then it goes to 15 and then a new rule for a different number is made. See where this is going?

 

The fun of it happens when the majority of the turns that used to be numbers are now varying displays of hand gestures, fart noises and general silly natured awesomeness. The tough part is paying attention to all of the different “new” numbers and doing them without trying to think about it. This is where the penances come in.

 

A penance happens when someone forgets or messes up one of the rules/new numbers. Usually, there’s a three second grace period letting people think about what the new “4” is or whatever but, you can’t take that long. That’s also where the Mr.’s and Mrs.’ comes in. If I see you mess up I would raise my hand and wait for the Dictator to address me. He (remember, it’s a guy this time) would say “Mr. Kerner”? And I would say, “Mr. Dictator sir, Mr. Kerner (you can’t use your first name either) observed that Ms. Drellos did not do the hokey pokey instead of saying the number 4.” Mr. Dictator would say, “thank you Mr. Kerner. That is correct. One penance point has been awarded to Ms. Drellos.” If you get 5 penance points, remember, you have to perform the penance.

 

Why have I just attempted to teach you this game?

 

Well, probably because it’s approaching summer and people will have get togethers and there’ll be large groups of people all around a camp fire or something and I wanted to give you something to do. It’s a communal thing. It’s fun. I’ve played this game with everyone from the age of five to twenty five. I’ve played this game leading trips on Outward Bound and in college frat houses. It’s universal. You should play.

 

I realized just now that we haven’t talked about beer. Next week, we will. I promise.

 

Ok. All right.

 

How’s about we talk about Lawson’s Finest Liquids for a sec…

 

We have AVA, Spring Fever and Sip of Sunshine in house right now (they’re just about to be on tap) and you should totally be here when they go on tap because they won’t last long.

 

We also have Green Mountain Man from Sixpoint in house. It’s not on tap yet but it will be soon and it’s pretty cool. It’s made with a good dosing of hops from the Square Nail Hops Farm in Ferrisburgh. They made it specifically for Vermont. And, we’re in Vermont. We love it here.

 

And, if that’s not enough, you can sip on either a What is Enlightenment, an Edward or an Everett from Hill Farmstead right now and contemplate why you forgot to do the silent hokey pokey.

 

I like you people; you’re nice.

 

Cheers,

 

And That’s What it’s All About Taproom

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