A game-filled celebration of birthdays

One result of having drawmate with a birthday three days after mine is, the celebration gets stretched out. Friday we had a dinner in the dining hall that was in honor of my and Fei’s birthday.

Preparation started around 5 for the dinner scheduled to begin at 5:30. Fei brought a vase, some artificial flowers and a candle she had down to my room, where I had a pineapple, a bottle of wine and a couple of other candles to contribute.

While Jing, Fei and I were gathering all these things, we saw Chris Dai approaching. He came to my window and explained that he’d thought the dinner would begin at 5. We all went together to the dining hall to reserve one of the tables by the window…we pushed two tables together but since it was 5:40 by then and no one else had shown up we went down to only one again.

We waited a little longer, telling stories to pass the time, and then others began to show up–Huat Chye, Nicola, then Jia came back from playing tennis, Jim came back from playing basketball, Nancy came over from another table when we reminded her we were having our dinner celebration, we met David Opoku (a classmate of Fei’s) on the way into the dining hall. A couple other people accidentally joined our table during the course of the meal.

When the ten of us were around the table Fei suggested that we play a game, and the artificial flowers she’d brought would be the prize. I offered the pineapple as a prize as well. Huat Chye suggested “two truths and a lie” and we started playing this. The way it works is, a person tells three stories about themself, two of which should be true and one of which should be untrue. Then the audience tries to guess which is the lie.

Huat Chye’s first story was simply: “I’m eighteen.” His second story was about he and his parents traveling. His third story was involved his being a section leader for an introductory CS course. On the first day of section, he told us, he pretended to be a student, while a friend of his pretended to be the section leader, for the first part of the class.

Throughout the time Huat Chye was telling the third story Jim kept exclaiming that this was the lie, which indeed it was; although the story was true it had happened to another person and not to Huat Chye.

Subsequently Jim told three stories. The first two were about frat pledge pranks he’d witnessed; in a freshman humanities course he’d seen a guy, after coughing throughout lecture, run up onto the stage and begin vomiting. Then three guys rushed onto the stage crying “Johnny! Johnny! What’s wrong?” before commencing to eat his vomit. Jim thought they might have faked the vomiting. The second frat pledge prank he described was less colorful: Jim was in a math lecture when one of his fellow students started flicking the lights on and off, while four guys in the front row got up and started to perform the song “YMCA.” Jim’s third story was about his playing a team computer game (Warcraft or some such) and getting slapped by one of his friends for not helping the team win.

It was the second that was a lie, because in fact Jim never took that math course, though the incident had actually been witnessed by other people.

A few more people told stories but it didn’t turn into a real contest. Nancy had played the game before but did not want to tell her stories before this audience. She left just before we opened the wine.

Opening the wine was difficult, the cork-remover I’d gotten from the dining hall was not the corkscrew kind. Eventually we ended up just pushing the cork all the way through the neck and pouring that way.

After dinner, Jim suggested a game of frisbee. As it turned out, Jim, Jia, Fei, and Chris were on one team against Jing, Huat Chye, Nicola, and me. Fei’s team scored 3 points against us before we gave up the game.

A few people played on the basketball court a while, but then we all came to sit around in a circle on the grass and played “charades,” each person acting out a movie name given to them by the person on their right so that the rest of us could guess the name.

As it grew chilly we moved inside, and ended up playing a game called “Mafia.” One person serves as judge and distributes a playing card to each of the other people. The players look at their cards without showing anyone else. If a person gets a certain designated card they are “mafia,” if they get a certain other designated card they are “inspector.” Everyone closes their eyes. The judge tells the two mafia to open their eyes, and the mafia point to one person they want to “kill.”

Mafia close their eyes. The judge tells the inspector to open their eyes, and the inspector points to a person–if the person is mafia, the judge nods, if not, the judge shakes their head. Everyone opens their eyes, and those who remain “alive” choose a person to die. Then the cycle repeats. If civilians choose the mafia to die before all the “civilians” are dead, then civilians and inspector win. If the mafia are not chosen to die but survive to outnumber the civilians, then the mafia win.

After several rounds of “Mafia” Chris and Huat Chye went back to their respective dorms; Jing, Fei and I walked Nicola back to her car.  Later Jim, Jia and Fei went to Jammix dance. Ying and Huat Chye also went separately.

Jim, Jia and Fei went to Jammix dance. Ying and Huat Chye also went separately.