the abominable tale of mr. snowman at the s+scool

December 24, 2006

So last night I went to the S+S with Miller, Kate, and Tammy. We decided to do a round of "Mr. Snowman", a game Mr. Ibis independently taught to both Miller and me. "Mr. Snowman" is a collaborative kind of game for 2 or more players, where half the people draw attacks (melting or otherwise) of the snowman that has been drawn, and the other half draw defenses to counter the various attacks. (At that point, the attacking team can try a new attack, or draw a counter to the counter, and so on and so forth.)

We made a 4-player variant, with Kate and I defending the attacks drawn by Tammy and Miller. Ideally this game is played at one of those restaurants with paper tablecloths and crayons, or at least paper placemats, but I suppose sticking with the napkin at hand made for some easier scanning.

This was the result of the first round:

I started by drawing the hapless Snowman. Miller quickly drew a basic bonfire underneath for insidious melting purposes. Kate countered with rain above to douse the flames.

At this point there was a fork... a bit later in the game, Miller drew an umbrella to let the flames continue their nefarious work, to which Kate had no choice but to draw a helpful dog on mailbox pushing a bucket of water to extinguish that damn bonfire. A bit later Miller invoked the "it's ok to make fun of your own culture" rule and drew a Filipino restaurant (top right) to turn the poor dog into lunch. Kate then drew a health inspector to close the restaurant and that was the end of that thread.

The other fork was Tammy upgrading the storm with thunder and lightning, there on the left. I deftly drew Benjamin Franklin to bring the fearsome electrical energies into his famous kite and key. I believe Miller than drew a large quantity of butter to lure Ol' Ben to an early coronary grave. Kate decided to fight butter with more fire to melt it. Miller thought this could be the perfect time to draw in some lobster, but Kate argued that it didn't seem like a single lobster would be that unhealthy of a food, and so this thread ended, and the Snowman lived on!

At some point Tammy drew a stick of dynamite (ignominiously jammed into the Snowman's side) with a trailing fuse wire and plunger box, and arrows showing the plunger being pressed. I ignored Miller's suggestion to merely redraw the arrows going the other way, and instead drew how the plunger was being operated by (a very, very poorly drawn version of) Wile E. Coyote. Mr. Snowman is a bit loose with temporal issues, so I felt ok showing both Wile E before pressing the plunger, and after, where he's a big exploded mess holding a sign saying "OUCH".

Tammy drew a very lovely dragon, slain by my less lovely St. George. She also drew an oncoming train. I drew a damsel in distress, tied to the rails, and then a hero to throw the switch that would divert the train. In a nod to the non-hetero-normative make up of our group, I decided the hero(ine) was actually Delila Do-Right, said Damsel's girlfriend. It may have been at this point that Tammy bemoaned about being seated right before me in the rotation, given my MAD THWARTING SKILLZ, though admittedly I seem to have more than my fair share of celebrities fighting for my cause.

When Tammy later drew a letter from the hospital informing Mr. Snowman that he had Cancer, I had to counter with an IV drip for chemotherapy, and would have made our survivor snowman bald, except that he was already. (There was some talk of drawing a phonecall indicating that the letter was a prank, but that seemed a little abstract to me.)

The other long thread was Tammy realizing that the poor beleaguered snowman was despondent, and suicidal, and firing a gun into his own head! I was able to draw the bottle of booze responsible for both this rash decision and for causing the snowman to miss. However, Miller pointed out that it wasn't a bottle of booze, but non-alcoholic swill of some sort, possibly O'Doules. Kate then drew the box of blanks that the gun had actually been loaded with. (I think, chronologically, this may have been when the cancer letter occurred, with the idea that the letter may have provoked the suicidal thoughts.) Later Miller drew a newspaper with a story telling of how those blanks were being recalled...for being live ammunition after all! Kate then drew a blowtorch to sever the snowman's gun arm entirely. The rest of the table thought this was a pyrrhic victory, but what the hell, it's just a snowman, and it shouldn't be that hard to find a replacement stick anyway.

But, alas, the endgame was nigh. Tammy drew a large firecracker going, as she said, "up his butt". My lack of attention proved sadly fatal, as I didn't look at what she had placed new on the page and, based on her comment, thought she was talking about the dynamite sticking into his side (with the Wile E. defense, I had been more focused on the plunger.) So my not-so-clever scissors snipping the fuse was for naught, and given how we had pretty much filled the napkin anyway, we decided that that was the end of poor Mr. Snowman. I have to believe that he's in a better place.

Anyway, I heartily recommend this game as a great accompaniment to nearly any restaurant meal.