Feb 25 2010

Game Poem 5: Everything You Do Is Stupid

Gather your players and have one of them set a timer for fifteen minutes. After the timer has started, another player should tell them how stupid it was to use the kind of timer they used. If they used a kitchen timer, tell them to join the twenty-first century and get something digital. If they used their iPhone, tell them that they’re being trendy, and complain about how Apple has locked down the app store and how they won’t ever let people use flash on their phones. Whatever they did, it was stupid, and you should let them know. The player who set the timer should acknowledge verbally that what they did was stupid, and totally agree with the person who told them that it was stupid to set the timer that way.

After the stupidity of setting the timer that way was been accepted, you may begin the game in earnest. The person who told the person who set the timer how stupid it was to set the timer that way should begin recounting their boring day, starting as early as possible. As soon as anyone gets the urge to tell them that something they did was stupid – and that urge should come easily, since everything you do is stupid – they should tell them exactly why what they did was stupid, and how they could have done it better, or why they shouldn’t have bothered doing it at all. You don’t need to go into great detail, but a general dismissal of the method of doing something (say, oh, I don’t know, brushing your teeth, just off the top of my head) or a statement of the pointlessness of doing it in the first place.

“God, that’s so stupid. You don’t have an electric toothbrush? What are you, some kind of hippie?”

“Really, you don’t use organic toothpaste? How stupid. You must really hate the planet.”

“It’s stupid to brush your teeth every day. People survived for thousands of years without brushing their teeth!”

After someone points out something stupid that the person talks about doing – and really, it could be anything, because everything you do is stupid – that person should start talking about their own day, starting off from about the same point. If the last person talked about brushing their teeth (“You’re just making the hygiene product companies rich, you know.”), the person who berated them for their stupidity might start talking about taking a shower (“It’s stupid to get up extra early to shower – I just take a bath at night.”) or eating breakfast (“You brew your own coffee? That’s so stupid! Starbucks, dude.”) or driving to work (“You still drive when gas costs this much? Man, it’s stupid not to ride a bike everywhere now.”).

When telling someone that something they did is stupid – and remember, *everything* you do is stupid – you may be as serious, crazy, well-founded or extreme as you wish. The only rule is to pick out something that is stupid, tell them that it was stupid, tell them why, and then start talking about your own stupid day. Also, be sure to point out that the thing that they did was stupid and how, and not tell them that they themselves are stupid, no matter how offended you may be at the stupidity of their actions. This is about pointing out the shortcomings of each others’ actions, not pointing out how dumb you think your friends are as people.

After the fifteen minutes is up, and the timer goes off, you may finish the last judgement of stupidity if you need to, or just stop immediately where you are. After you’re done speaking, let a moment or two pass. When the time is right, someone will say, “Wow, that game was stupid.” Then go do something else.