Any time we're in the car for a lengthier than usual amount of time, I make Sean play car games with me. Often these are geography games. But this time I conceded to play 20 Questions. It had been a while, and while playing, I thought how important careful question-selection is. You only have twenty tries. Make them count (ha). And, I also thought, maybe we each have our own style of playing? Like, maybe asking someone to play this game could be some kind of personality test.
Anyway, the game has never been my favorite, though I'm not sure why. But I was feeling crazy. I let Sean choose the first word and it could be anything, person, place, thing, solid, liquid gas, whatever. It went something like this:
JEN: Is it a person? (1)
JEN: Can I see it with my naked eye? (2)
JEN: Can i see it right NOW? (3)
JEN: Is it alive? (4)
JEN: Does it move around? (5)
JEN: Can I hold it in my hand? (6)
JEN: Is it...as big as a mountain? You know, 'ish? (7)
SEAN (thinking): As big as a mountain.
JEN: Yeah. What?
SEAN: As big as a mountain... well, it's big.
JEN: Yes.. but.. ok..? Is it as big as a mountain?
SEAN (being weird): No....it is not as big as a mountain.
JEN: Alright, weirdo. So sort of big. Do I like it? (8)
JEN: Is it fun? (9)
JEN: Can i touch it? (10)
JEN: is it particularly colorful? (11)
JEN: Can I get inside it? (12)
JEN: Can I climb it? (13)
JEN: Is it shiny? (14)
JEN: Is it physically appealing? (15)
JEN: Ok, it's big'ish, but not as big as a mountain. It's not colorful, but I like it. Can't climb it...
SEAN: It's not AS big as a mountain.
JEN: Ok, why is that one so weird??
Sean maintains weirdness in bated silence.
We went back and forth about that weird question. At some point, we had a pause where Sean explained further.
SEAN: It's not big AS a mountain.
SEAN: Like, it could be bigger...
After some minutes of dispute on this subject and the chosen wordage, the validity of his replies, etc, we moved on. I had 5 or so questions left and had nothing. So we made up a new rule that if the guesser is totally stumped, they could get a clue. So Sean gave me one.
SEAN: You can find it on a map.
JEN: Ok, I can find it on a map... on a map... (thinking, thinking)
JEN (staring at the road): Is it a road? (16)
(much time passes. We're at a bit of a stall.)
JEN (being very careful about this): I mean, all i can picture on a map is countries...
SEAN: Ahhh! interesting!!
JEN: Oh my goodness. Is it a country?? (17)
SEAN (all too delighted): It IS a country!
JEN: Is it... one I have any particular attachment to? (18)
JEN (getting extremely anxious with two questions left) : Is it in the western hemisphere? (19)
The air is tense.
JEN, (very desperate): AHHH my last one! Is it France?? Wait, NO, i'm an idiot--that's not in the--i take it back, I TAKE IT BACK!! Ummmmmm..... China?!? (20)
SEAN: AMAZING! It IS China!! WOW.
JEN: *panting heavily*
And that's it, folks. If that wasn't a nail-biter of a game of 20 Questions, I don't know what is.
Also, happy anniversary, favorite gaming friend. Too bad this wasn't our 20th. But I'll keep that in mind...