Saturday, September 21, 2013

Hooray, it’s another story with barfing in it!

Taboo, in addition to being the vehement objection of a society to a forbidden behavior, is a word game that you probably have in your closet. Either one can be fun at parties, depending on the guest list.

In the version less likely to involve grave-robbing or ritual banishment, the object of Taboo is to get your teammates to guess the top word on a card by giving verbal hints. You have to do it without saying any of the other words on the card, though, which leads to sounding like you’ve recently discovered how to use a thesaurus.

One really sound way to succeed at this game is to own an older copy that has not taken into account the last fifteen years of pop culture and technological innovation.

Probably the most effective method, though, is just to have a lot of inside references and shared knowledge with your teammates. It doesn’t take a lot of rounds to figure out which couples, siblings, and roommates shouldn’t be allowed to play on the same team.

Shortly before we fine-tuned the separation rules, one of my friends pulled off an impressive play with her roommates that ended up derailing the game while the rest of us demanded to hear the full story.

It seems that she had recently experienced an unfortunate run-in with the kitchen hygiene hazards of communal living.

The roommates in question agreed that they had not harbored any plans for sponge-sniffing escapades, but it was thoughtful of her to take that risk so selflessly on their behalf.

Of course, success in Taboo is all about personal context. Depending on your lifestyle, that same clue could potentially work for at least half the deck.