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Furniture Identification

Power failures can come at any time. You don’t need an enormous storm with high winds – just maybe a squirrel with a taste for insulating wire, and you’re going to find out what life was like back in the 1800’s. That’s why we came up with some blackout games to pass the time. Let’s start with the one called Furniture Identification. F.I. is played in total darkness using primarily your shins or knees. 

Here’s how it’s scored: finding the bed frame or ottoman with your shin is worth one point, locating a chair by using your kneecap is worth two, a hip on a table corner or doorknob gets you three points, and anything with the head or shoulders is four – unless there’s bleeding. Then it’s five…  or 9 followed by 1 and 1.

There are also awards for vocalizing. For example: “ouch” Gets you no points – no real enthusiasm or creativity here. (Come on, you’re lucky you found the ottoman – let it go with that.) Meanwhile, a nice loud OW! gets you one point. DAMN! gets two points. And GOD DAMN IT! earns three. I mean, that’s a whole sentence.

At this point I’m going to start abbreviating to keep it polite. SOB! is worth 2 to 3 points. MF! FM! BM! EM! CL! and CS! all get 4. But GDMFCSSOB! means you just set a new record in Scrabble.

Best Frankenstein Game

Then there is the Best Frankenstein game. The B.F. is given to the person who is the most accomplished at walking around with their arms and hands extended straight out in front of them, hoping that their fingers find that open closet door before their nose does.

Wondering if your neighbors are having as much fun as you are? Looks like that rat bastard across the street has turned on his generator, as well as every damn light in his house. Did he ask us to come over for a cold one and a movie? No way.

Then there’s the fellow who lives next to us. He has an enormous fireplace, and he lives alone! You think he would ever invite us to sit in front of the hearth, basking in its warm glow with a cocoa and marshmallows in hand? Hell no! And that’s exactly why we never have either of them over to swim in our pool, play polo, or go on one of our Sunday fox hunts.

Flashlight Roulette & A Candle Hunt

But let’s look at the bright side:  a power failure gives you an opportunity to spend some quality time with your significant other. For example: you can play Flashlight Roulette. That’s where you each try all the flashlights in the house, hoping that one of them still has some power. Of course, as you try them, you’ll notice each one has enough corrosion on the batteries for a teeny snowball fight. This also guarantees that none of them will work.

Hmmm… You wonder if you have any candles, then you remember – Christmas candles! Of course. But how do you find them? Just look for the really long string of lights. Follow it all the way to the other end, up in the back of the attic, and you just might find the candles. Or maybe a pot of gold. Either way, the string of lights will help you find your way back to civilization.

Good for you Santa, you got the candles! Now it’s time to play the follow-up game: Where the Heck did I Put the Matches? Or perhaps:  Do we even Have Matches? Sure, you used to have them when you smoked, but that was 10 years ago. Or 30 years as you tell your doctor. Aha! There – under the sink behind the pipe, where you also keep a joint or two for special occasions.

Well now…  This feels like a special occasion.

Ok. You’ve got the candles. They are lit and so are you. The whole place is aglow in flickering romantic light. That special someone is reclining on the couch with a knowing smile as if to say, “This is going to be a night to remember.” Then, as you sit down on the couch – not before, not after, but exactly as your caboose hits the cushions – every light in the house comes on. Along with the radio, two TVs at full volume and the alarm system.

One Last Game

Assuming your power eventually gets restored, the next day brings with it the last game: Find All the Damn Clocks that Need to be Reset!

Notice: there is no time limit on these games, and there are never any points awarded. Now let’s get out there and really enjoy that next blackout!

About The Author

James Brownold

James Brownold

Jim Brownold started out in radio sales at WALL Middletown, NY. He quickly found they’d pay him the same to write funny commercials and do character voices. Then on to WRIF Detroit, and WPLJ in New York where he won numerous commercial awards. In 1986 he went freelance doing voiceovers and on-camera commercials. Jim has worked with various improv and comedy groups, and done stand-up at the Improvisation and Caroline’s among others. Recently he’s been teaching improv for Westchester Community Theater and Westchester Community College. As Senior Moments, Linda Hendrick and Jim sing at senior residences in Westchester and Connecticut.
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