It’s such an absurdly simple concept that starts with a group of people and a grocery-sized brown paper bag. One at a time, you bend over and attempt to pick up the bag with your mouth. Only your mouth. If you fall over, you’re out. If you use your hands, you’re out. If any part of your body other than your feet touch the ground, you’re out.
Oh yeah, one more thing: At the end of each completed round, an inch of the bag is cut off. The longer the game goes, the smaller that bag becomes and the farther you have to bend over.
But first, let me back up a bit.
Last night was my family’s annual soup supper. I come from a pretty large extended family and, luckily, many of us live in relatively close proximity, which makes it easy to have such gatherings. Although, considering how packed the house was this evening, it’s crazy to think this was only a fraction of all of us.
Held at my parents’ house for the past few years, this evening of food and family is also a competition. All of the soups are voted on and a winner is named at the end of the evening. This year I rocked the Tortilla Soup from Appetite for Reduction and while I didn’t crack the top three, I got a peek at the scoring sheet and definitely had some votes. Bonus: I had the perfect amount of leftovers for dinner for the week. Win.
It was actually a soup supper and game night and a bunch of people brought board games and my mom found some of our old ones in the basement, including an ancient version of Clue that I totally brought back home with me. So the plan was to eat some soup and play some games.
Except, see, during dinner, some of my cousins started talking about this brown bag game they had played at New Years. The more they talked about it, the more the rest of us wanted to play. So, after dinner, nine of us grabbed a paper bag, a pair of scissors and headed into the open space of the living room.
It sounds easy, but it’s not. It requires balance and flexibility and mind over matter. With each round, as that bag got smaller and smaller, the challenge grew exponentially. Something as silly as jeans seemed to add another obstacle, as you can’t move as easily or fluidly in denim versus, say, sweatpants. But I did pretty decent, ending up somewhere in the middle overall. There was, seriously, only about an inch of bag left before I fell over. I know I can thank my twice-weekly yoga classes for how far I did manage to get.
Our laughter and holler got the attention of everyone else, so the entryway of the living room was soon full of spectators. The littler kids (that is, the generation after mine: my cousin’s kids) wanted to be like the big kids and watch the craziness as we attempted to pick up this paper bag with our mouths. Some, like my cousin Claudine‘s oldest, also enjoyed providing commentary, such as the title of this post. One of my other cousin’s kids would mimic each of us during our turns: try the pose we were trying and bend over, his little mouth open as if to bite an invisible bag. When we let him take a turn, he was clearly trying out all of the moves he had seen us doing and even came up with one of his own. And, of course, some of the young girls had way more flexibility than should be allowed.
After watching one of my cousins take an effortless turn, my aunt just stared at her and said “You’ll have no problems finding a husband with moves like that.”
Ah. There really is nothing quite like quality family time.
Love from the ashes,