Posted by: dougery | November 4, 2010


How I could have existed up until this point in my life without ever encountering the board game Balderdash is inexplicable. The game was practically tailor-made for my own personal social set. The arty, nerdy, form-follows-function architecture students at Syracuse. The arty, nerdy, indie-rock humanities kids at the University of Chicago. And the arty, nerdy, wordy bookselling people of the Seminary Co-op. Yet it took a move to the Berkshires and a quiet evening of take-out Thai and Magic Hat around a quaint little fire with a group of Lara’s coworkers to introduce me to the crack-cocaine of after-dinner entertainment.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Balderdash but if not, as succint an explanation as I can manage: There is a box of Trivial Pursuit-esque cards. Each card has a word, a person’s name, an acronym, a movie title and the beginning of an obscure law written on one side. Each category then has the coressonding ‘answer’ on the back, the word’s definition, the person’s claim to fame, what the acronym stands for, etc. Every turn one of the players becomes the arbiter who rolls a die and reads a category. The other players then try and complete the answer as best they can and hand it over to the arbiter. The arbiter then reads all of the submissions and the players must choose which is the actual answer. You get points for other players choosing your own submission or if you correctly guess the right answer. The trick is learning the game’s style and mimicking it. But really everybody wins because things get hilarious and fast.

I’m not usually one to laugh at my own handiwork, but at one point last night I thought up an answer which I humbly thought was comic genius. It is making me laugh right now, because I am at heart, a 5 year-old. The category was movie title (where the players must scribble down the film’s plot) and the clue was Acting on Impulse. My submission?

Suspended police officer Ron Acting has a torrid affair with local debutante Liz Impulse.

Eh? Eh? C’mon, that’s gold!



  1. I’m glad you liked it so much. This is perhaps my favourite party game. I’m actually currently writing a review of Balderdash myself which will be up on my blog soon.

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