Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been A Member Of The Communist Party?

My children were recently introduced to the infamous camp game Truth Or Dare through a crappy Happy Meal-type toy (you press a button and either a (green) light goes off next to the word Truth or a (red) light goes off next to the word Dare; at least it doesn't make any noise). Normally these toys get tossed out as soon as the kids look the other way (though more often than not one or the other will catch me in the act and all of the sudden the little piece of plastic is my favorite toy--nooooooooo!), but Jonah's got this one stashed in his carseat and I keep forgetting to grab it when I take him out of the car.

The rules are straightforward enough: Truth and you answer a question truthfully, Dare and you perform a dare. Child's play really. By the time Hannah asked me what a dare is ("You just tell the other person to do something."), I had pretty much lost interest. But the children had not. Not at all. Thankfully, we haven't been in the car much the past few days--just back and forth to school--because it's been the same thing over and over, with little variation in the questions asked and the dares posed.

We've mostly heard about things we already know: favorite colors, names of our cats, best friends at school, trivia. And the dares have unfailingly taken the form "sing the alphabet song while patting your head/looking at the sunset/kicking the back of mom's seat/perform other random act". It's unclear to me where their continued enthusiasm for this game is coming from. What is clear though is that they are out of touch with the true spirit of the game, which is, of course, to embarrass your fellow players. And that's just fine with me.

Hannah: Jonah, what's two plus two? Tell the truth!
Jonah: Four! My turn! (presses button) It's dare! It's dare! Sing the alphabet song while you take off your shoes!

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