1. Whole or Broken?

    WITH THE HOLIDAY SEASON UPON US, you’re sure to attend a handful of parties and perhaps even host your own over the weeks to come. And while some party-goers are happy just getting bombed and hooking up, starting fist fights, or vomiting, or all three, there are always those looking for a little non-sexual, non-violent, non-regurgitorial diversion, God only knows why.

    It’s for these people I offer a fast-paced game guaranteed to liven up any get-together. Without further delay, on with the fun!

    Whole or Broken?
    The Loud, Frantic Game of Bluffs and Cookie Crumbs

    You Will Need:
    One package of oatmeal cookies
    A table
    Some guests

    The Gameplay:
    1. Have everyone who’s playing sit at the table.
    2. Okay now you give everyone an oatmeal cookie.
    3. Next everyone takes his or her oatmeal cookie and puts it under the table and either snaps it in half or doesn’t.
    4. Then everyone brings his or her oatmeal cookie back above the table, holding it carefully, and challenges those sitting nearby, “Whole or broken? Whole or broken?”
    5. Now it’s up to the others to decide whether the cookie they’re looking at is indeed whole, or has been broken but is being held together carefully to appear unbroken, all the while impatiently calling out to other guests to look at their cookies and make the same judgment.

    Ready for a few practice rounds? We’ll start with an easy one:

    Whole or broken? Whole or broken?!

    You got it – it’s broken.

    Okay, now try this one:

    Whole or broken? Whole or broken? Look look look! Whole or broken?

    It’s broken. No, I’m just kidding, it’s whole.  But you said broken so you lose!

    Okay, my turn! My turn! My turn again! Whole or broken, whole or broken?

    You said whole.  It’s…um…broken.

    Now, see, what I did there was I used a little strategy. You answered “whole” and you were right, but then just as I said it was broken, I gently snapped it right in front of you, but you thought I broke it under the table.

    It’s not really cheating if you don’t get caught, but you might want to practice a bit with some cookies at home before you try it at the party, especially after six shots of Jaeger and half a bottle of that disgusting Two-Buck Chuck.

    If as the host (or for you ladies, the “hostess”) you introduce Whole or Broken? when your party starts to lag, your guests will always look back on your little shindig with a certain amount of fondness, perhaps even contacting you in the days and weeks after to tell you so, and ask if you found their Android as well as to apologize for spewing Spaghettios on your white leather couch and trying to get your Boston Terrier to eat it before anyone noticed (and then embarrassingly denying that they actually were Spaghettios, but come on, we all saw it. Even an hour and a half in one’s stomach doesn’t change the telltale size and shape of the neat round spaghetti you can eat with a spoon).

    Now, to be perfectly honest with you, I haven’t played Whole or Broken? since snack time at nursery school in 1974, but I remember it being particularly compelling – a game that everyone enjoyed – so I can only presume it holds up today. Also, if you’re like me, and you are, your circle of friends isn’t exactly an Algonquin Round Table of wits so any of those twenty-five dollar “adult party games” with the wacky rhyming names and box art by Shag wannabes are going to be too intellectually taxing for your guests and they’re going to end up swallowing the pieces.

    At least with Whole or Broken?, your guests are less likely to choke.

    Posted by on December 1, 2011, 6:00 AM.

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