Monday, January 16, 2006

"Twenty" questions...

Everyone's familiar with the game 20 questions, right? Someone thinks of something, it can be a person, place, thing, or whatever, and the other person can ask 20 questions to guess what it is. The questions have to have yes or no answers. With people like my friend Patrick, you only get a certain amount of guesses: that is, you can ask questions like, Is it living? Is it a certain color? until you get to 20 questions, but you can't ask, Is it a duck? Is it a handbag? Is it a waterfall? more than maybe five times. Ideally, if after 20 yes or no descriptive questions, the guesser hasn't guessed the correct answer, the game is over and a new "thing" is thought of, and the game starts over.

Gina and I used to play this game ALL THE TIME. Looking back, I think it's how we got to know each other as adults. Our rules are a little different. You don't have a limit as to how many questions you can ask. We have played this game so much that exchanges like the following sometimes occur:

Is it a person?


Is it a place?


Is it language?

Um... no.

...wherein the guesser begins guessing what it is right away, trying to come up with the most obscure thing the other person could possibly be thinking of. How did this happen? It all started about 2 years ago at The Sidewalk Cafe in Venice over tuna salads when I came up with the ultimate game of 20 questions. It took Gina damn near 45 minutes and several clues to realize that thing I was thinking of was The Letter K. Unbeknownst to me, this particular round of this game has haunted Gina since then, and it is her lifelong quest to think of something that beats The Letter K.

Here is a list of some of the answers from last night:

Stripes (probably the best one of the night)
The Spirit of Christmas (which I guessed in an surprisingly short amout of time)
Orion (the constellation)
Oil Change
Tooth Decay

You might be thinking, well those are all fine and dandy, but still not better than The Letter K. And you know what?

You're right.

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