Nerds Nerding Nerdly

A few weeks ago I invited some friends over for game night. No one wanted to play Trivial Pursuit, Cranium seemed trite and overdone, and the excitement over Electronic Cathphrase wore out soon enough. What to do?

Jamie Bono suggested Pictionary. Well, I offered, I have a clipboard, some paper, and a permanent marker. But what about the words, everyone said. And then I remembered the basket of writing prompts.

A year ago or so, a few friends (some of which were also at game night a year later) came over and we decided to do writing exercises (English department nerds are the best kind of nerd, in my opinion). So we wrote a bunch of words and phrases on slips of paper and put them in a basket. Slips of paper with “sanity” and “sexual” and “Mexican dare games” written in the scrawling hands of people used to grading student essays.

Well, these words came out for pictionary. And yes, it was the nerdiest nerdly nerd-nerd fest that “English Graduate Student Writing Prompt Pictionary” evokes. So, a faculty member in the English department, a chef, a chemist, an optical engineer, and a bunch of English graduate students played a strange drawing game (without any artistic skills between us, too).

Here are the fruits of labor.


“Sanity” by Adri. No one guessed it.


“Sexual” by Eric Fest. We played boys versus girls. The boys all got this.


Brad’s version of “Melodrama.” He writes “fail” because his team surely did.


Shelagh keeps it clean and puts the girls back on the board with “Eruption.”


Jamie Root doesn’t have to do much to get us to guess “pattern.” We know this shit.


For some reason, the boys are unable to guess Seth’s “Cruelty” here.


Amy over-explains “dissection,” lambasting the girl team for not grasping her pictorial interpretation.


We decided to put more words in the basket. This was, of course, a  mistake as I took the opportunity to put in the strange. Poor Seth had to contend with my phrase “serpent face.” Interestingly enough, the boys got it. I laughed about this for days.


Effective. Awesome. “Mouthwash” by Adri.


Eric was going for “pantaloon,” but instead drew guesses from Brad like “genocide pants.”


Shelagh keeps it simple with “fraternal.”


I think this was supposed to be “black hole,” but the evening turned a little hostile at this point.

I’m missing a couple for some reason. I’m going to go look for them (I distinctly remember Bono’s version of “hero,” which I’m hoping the scanner didn’t eat). They’ll be up here as soon as I get them.

[EDIT:  Here are the ones I missed. ]

“Mechanical” by Amy Lueck. I’m pretty sure no one got this.

Jamie Bono keeps it simple with “Hero” and people guess it immediately.

I’m not sure about this one. It’s been a while now (I write this edit much later), but I think someone got this. I think Jamie Bono had a perfect record.  [: end of EDIT]

In the meantime, enjoy the ridiculousness.