when in doubt, go with the weirdest

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i like to think i give pretty good advice. and like most useful counsel, it usually stems from first-hand experience.

and if you don’t believe me, maybe a recount of how i spent my saturday evening would provide evidentiary support? k, cool.

balderdash. this word can be described as one (or more) of the following: a) fun to say, b) senseless, stupid, or exaggerated talk or writing; nonsense (thank you, dictionary.com) or c) a board game by mattel.

and for me (and the five family members who accompanied me) for the highly anticipated first family game night of 2012 this past saturday, it was all about option c.

now for those unfamiliar with this game, allow me to give you a brief run-down of its premise. essentially “players make up phony answers, read them off along with the correct answer, and others vote on which answer is real.” there are five categories of which a player must either define, describe or complete: word (provide the definition), people (describe why this person is notable), movies (describe the plot to the provided movie title), initials (define the acronym) and laws (complete the remaining half of the given law). once a category is chosen by dice roll, players must compose their answers on strips of paper to be collected and read aloud by the round’s designated “dasher.” after all of the answers have been read, players must determine which of the responses is indeed correct. points are awarded based on whether or not anyone guesses the correct answer at all, if you are able to detect the correct answer, if your response closely resembles the actual answer or if your definition is so convincing, other players choose it to be the correct one.

confused? (that’s too bad, i thought i did a pretty good job at explaining it) but seriously folks, it’s easier than it sounds. you’re bound to get the hang of it after a couple of practice rounds and if not, well, this is where my advice comes in.

of the six players that engaged in our highly competitive balderdash match, only about half had actually played before. but after one round, the balderdash “virgins” quickly learned to employ my strategy:

“when in doubt, go with the weirdest.”

the more outlandish or “really?!”-inspiring, the more likely it’s the winner. and no where was this better revealed than with the round of which we were asked to define “alipile.” probably actually pronounced just as it looks -al-i-pile, but for fun, we chose to refer to it with a bit of itlalian flare -al-i-pee-lay. because when defining unfamiliar words, it is always important to provide alternative pronunciations, obviously. and while i can’t recall every one of the answers that were given from each of the game’s participants, i can tell you that they all paled in comparison to the correct definition. because, ladies and gentlemen, the true meaning of alipile is none other than, “a servant employed to remove unwanted armpit hair.”

now i’ve studied many an SAT vocabulary-adorned flashcard in my day, but no where in my hours of committing the english language’s finest components to my memory banks did my eyes ever gaze over such an outlandish word. which is why i was all the more thankful for this particular round of balderdash.

because now, when i need to impress someone with my knowledge of underrated professions in hygiene, i have an ace in my back pocket.

but more importantly, this particular word will forever represent more than just the title of a very unfortunate area of servantude. instead, it will equate to a bevy of belly laughs so strong, my abs will certainly thank me come swimsuit season, and well, the point of this post in the first place.

if you ever find yourself amidst a mean game of balderdash, remember this story. when in doubt, go with the weirdest. because sometimes the most random and off-the-wall explanation just might be the right one.

also, how exactly do you think an alipile removes said undesired armpit follicles?

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