Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Dreadful Relly Bingo*

The Holidays are bearing down fast and, for many of us, this will entail spending time with our families. Families: can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em - and believe me I've tried, but the little blighters will insist on running for the hills when they see me oiling the Purdey Sporter 12-bore.

Out of the goodness of my heart, I am taking time from my busy schedule** to post details of a game you can play whilst visiting your family.

Every family, however lovely and loving it might be, contains at least one Dreadful Relative. It is The Law. It was constituted in 1370 - along with the legally-enforced wearing of caps in order to boost the woollen trade - and has never been repealed. If you are without a Dreadful Relative, then keep it under your cap (which you don't have to wear, by the way, as that law was repealed - in 1390) because if The Government gets wind of it they'll assign you one.

(By this I mean they'll assign a Dreadful Relative, not a cap because I hope I've made it clear you don't actually have to wear one any more. Yes, I know I told you that you had to, but it was a joke. You know, something funny. All right, well, you didn't find it as funny as I did. Yes, yes, you've made that clear. Look, can we talk about this later? I'm in the middle of a blog. Don't slam the -.)

Where was I? O, yes. I had a wonderfully Dreadful Relative; Great Aunt Edie. She never improved with age - except in wickedness.

"New frock? Doesn't suit you. I didn't think you could gain any more weight but I was wrong. Girls who think they're clever seldom are."

Wasn't she dreadful? (I miss her so.)

The Rules of the Game

You will need a small square of paper and a pen. Yes, that is all! It's a marvel.

Divide your sheet of paper into squares and in each square write a favourite dictum of the Dreadful Relative. (I was going to write bon mot, but Dreadful Rellies are rarely bon.) Examples might include:
I see you're completely bald now.
Still doing that boring job?
I don't think you need another scone.
You've been a great disappointment to your father, you know.
Your uncle drank, too.
You're looking very tired. No, haggard. Definitely more haggard than tired.
It's a shame the children take after you in looks.

And so on. I expect you all have your own examples.

Now, this is where the game becomes challenging. You must set time and prize bands for each comment. Does your D.R. launch straight into the plain speaking or do they need time to warm up?

If the D.R. refers to your weight within the first ten minutes of the visit, then you may award yourself a bottle of Champagne. If it takes an hour for the D.R. to tell you you've got fatter, then you win a bottle of South African White (c. £5.00 mark). If it takes over two hours for the comment to be made, then you win a packet of Maynard's Wine Gums.

You set the time bands and decide on the prizes, according to personal taste.

You see, the absolute and utter GENIUS of Dreadful Relly Bingo is that you positively anticipate the cutting comments. In fact, you are willing the Dreadful Relative to be rude because you know that at home there are several bottles of Champagne, cheap white wine and stacks of wine gums nicely chilled (and stacked) in preparation for your triumphant, nay, victorious return.

* Dreadful Relly Bingo, from an original idea by Cro Page
** I've bought an iPhone and I'm downloading a map of the stars and a compass so I will always know where North is, even in places like Surrey where there are no hills to guide me. Has there ever been a flatter, duller county?


  1. This could catch on....big time!

  2. I wonder if I should flog it to Mattel? Or maybe it's more Waddington's thing?

    What would go on your DRB card, Martin?

  3. You do know, don't you, that you are very, very funny. I love your posts.

  4. Girls who think they're funny seldom are - as Great Aunt Edie would say. But I shall say Yah! Boo! Sucks! to GEA, because that's a lovely compliment to receive.

    So I thank you.

  5. I know exactly the relative you mean. She would say: Are you stilllllll dying your hair?, Getting a bit pudgy around the middle aren't we?, Boy you've got more wrinkles than last time I saw you. Mind you these are all thoughts that I've had myself so really she is just saying them outloud for me. So is she doing me a favour? Making me face my own demons. Is she really my angel in diguise?

  6. No, she's not an angel. She's a Dreadful Relative. The more dreadful the better for Dreadful Relly Bingo!

    So, let's think about your score card. Would she say something like:

    Botox is very cheap these days ...
    Your hair - not a colour often found in nature ...
    You don't wear make-up, do you Maggie? But you've never been much bothered about appearance, have you dear?

    Or, as you take a bit of the piece of cake she's FORCED you to accept: 'There's a lot of calories in cake. A LOT.' And then she stares at you pointedly.

    Now, what will be your prize for getting a Full House?

  7. My only Dreadfull Relly has left the planet, unfortunately. When her son wanted to have babies with me, she implored to my good sense to help convince him this was not a good idea. I would have had trouble rephrasing that into a DR statement, but maybe you could help.

    I keep going back to Dr FTSEs algebra question (still can't get it) and everytime I see your 'MOPTOP RUNS FOR COVER' I guffaw.

  8. oops...I got carried away with all those double-L words.

  9. @ Deborah - The Dreadful Relly would say something like "No need to perpetuate YOUR genes, dear."

    And did she ever say "You are so lucky to have met my boy"?

    Or, when she visited, did she bring her own iron (and power breaker attachment lest the 'working class electricity' in your area contaminate her domestic appliance) because she was saddened by the fact her son wasn't being 'well cared for'?

  10. I'd only have to decide how many blank squares to divide the page into and then tick off whichever inane phrase she decides to repeat over and over and over and over again til I have to sneak off and bang my head against the wall, weeping. Twenty variations on 'the garden's looking nice' ought to earn me double chocolate and champagne I reckon

  11. Invisible Woman - I agree.