Would You Rather

I think I’m hard-wired to make a game out of nearly everything.

If Jocelyn asks me to grab a new roll of paper towels, I will, but only if she yells, “180! Set! Hike!” and I’m able to hike them across the kitchen. Like, why would anyone just hand over something they can hike?

I’m also not interested in dropping something in the trash when I can just as easily juke around a bit before executing a banana peel jump shot.

When I’m waiting in the ice machine line at work, I peruse the vending options to the left and make myself choose the three items I’d live on for one month, if I had to. I thoughtfully scan and ponder, immediately ruling out anything sweet (I’d rather eat a sock than a honeybun.) It never fails; I always pick pretzels, beef jerky and anything with “Flamin’” in the name.

Or these. I'd exchange vows with Takis if I lived in Vermont.
Or these. I’d exchange vows with Takis if I lived in Vermont.

Sometimes on my commute home from work, when my mind is wandering, I’ll tell myself that triplets will be on my doorstep and I have to figure their names out NOW. I’m not giving any of you free-loaders my ideas—you can name your own triplets—but I will tell you that my three cuties would not all share the same first letter.

I’ve found that others aren’t always as eager to play my random games.

“So which Property Brother would you pick?”
“For what?”
“I don’t know. Just in general.”
“But why?”
“Because I need to know.”
“Well you have to tell me what for because obviously I’d pick one for my realtor and the other for my builder.”
“Not for that! I mean, like, if you were gonna play Twister with Baby Oil.”
“Oh—Probably Drew.”

There is really no wrong answer here.
There is really no wrong answer here.

I also like to spend time thinking about whether I’d rather be an Olympian or a professional athlete—and what my specialty would be. A quarterback? Pitcher? Wide receiver? Golfer? Tennis player? Would I want to do the uneven bars? Synchronized diving? I weigh out the pros and cons of each, considering travel schedule, chance for failure, injury rate, income and possible endorsements.

Side Note: I also consider uniforms, and because female Olympic swimmers have been saddled with unflattering suits (and unsightly swim caps), I’ve ruled out trying to medal in the 400 butterfly.

Allison Schmitt is awesome—this gear is not.
Allison Schmitt is awesome—this gear is not.

It’s disappointing to play with someone who just blurts out an unthoughtful answer.

“NFL quarterback for sure!”
“Really? Have you considered all the hours of film you’ll need to watch of other teams? Will it bother you to snug your hands up to that big’ol booty 100x a game? Are you prepared to take the blame for the failures of an entire multimillion dollar organization?”
“Oh. Ok then, I guess golf.”
“Yeah? Are you sure? Are you willing to endure a lifetime of shoulder and hip issues once you make your millions?”

Side Note: Actually, now that I think about, maybe I’m the one who is disappointing to play with.


My desire to play games goes back many years. I used to get my teammates—in high school and college—to pay me to eat concoctions at team meals. They could not believe what I’d ingest or how often they were swindled into handing over their money. They’d mix together Ketchup, sugar, salt, Dr. Pepper, ice cream and then dunk a half-eaten hamburger bun it in.

No problem. GULP. Pay up, Losers. I was very good at this game until about five years ago.

We had a big family dinner at our house, and one of the appetizers was shrimp cocktail. We arranged it on ice, in a circle, with a bowl of cocktail sauce in the center.

Everyone devoured the shrimp pretty early and then moved on to other foods. The night went on and right before everyone left, my dad said he’d give me $20 to take a big drink of the ice that had melted into water. I was like, “You’re going to PAY me to drink melted ice?”

I felt kinda bad for him, wondering why he was just wanting to give away money with no real pay-off for him. I chalked it up to him being less seasoned than I and just not knowing the scope of my capabilities—poor guy.

I moved the bowl of cocktail sauce, picked up the platter and tilted it to my mouth, still feeling sorry for my sweet dad who just didn’t get it.

I took a big swig and immediately started aggressively heave-gagging and fighting with all my might not to throw up the surprisingly warm and shockingly pungent FISH WATER. My eyes were running with tears and my dad—oh so victoriously—handed me $20.

I couldn’t eat shrimp until last year—and it’s still not a sure thing.

I thought my dad loved me.
I thought my dad loved me.

Most of my friends know that if we’re going to spend time together, there is going to be some game-playing. “Would You Rather” is a shoe-in because it can be big fun in its G-rated-niece-and-nephew-version or its X-rated-my-friends-are-perverted-perverts version.

“Hey Sweet Pea, would you rather have super lush, gorgeous hair, but it’s cobalt blue or two noses, but one is on your tummy?”

“Hey Dirty Bird, would you rather …”

Side Note: Ok, what I nearly wrote is not fit for upstanding citizens or a blogger whose mom teaches Sunday School.

Bonus Side Note: If we’re playing WYR and you answer “neither” to my question, you are dead to me.

My brother and I decided that people will do anything for the right amount of money. We, not very creatively, call this game “How Much.” The idea is that someone will hand you the exact amount of money you demand for a particular task or activity.

A couple of easy examples:

  • How much would it take for you to swim across that swamp at dusk?
  • How much would it take for you to get a tattoo on your shoulder—in comic sans font—that says, “Soaring On The Wings Of A Gluten-Free Diet?”

You can learn a WHOLE lot about people when playing this game—sometimes to the detriment of your once-high opinion of them.

Where you might demand $1,200 to reach into a garbage can and eat some tossed out french fries, your friend might wave it off like, “Oh please, I’d do it for twenty bucks—I’ve eaten stranger’s left-overs off a room service tray at the Hampton Inn.”

All I’m saying is, make sure your friendship is strong before you dive into “How Much.” You are likely to find people are much grosser—and way more sexually adventurous—than you once thought.


Often times, in bigger work meetings, I try to decide who I’d pick as my conjoined twin (if I had to). My first thought is usually, “Uh, none of them.” Then I remind myself that I have to play the game or lose two fingers. Next thing I know, I’m staring a hole through Jake and wondering if he’d be handy around the house.

After the meeting:

Lauren: You were looking at me funny, were you wanting me to bring up our issues with the new system?
Me: The system? Oh, no, I was just wondering if being attached at the neck would hurt our friendship.
Lauren: Huh?

Playing games alone isn’t as much fun as playing with a close co-worker.

Me: (quietly and discreetly) Who, from that whole row, would you kiss—if you had to?
Co-worker: Ugh, I don’t know—gross! I don’t want to kiss any of them!
Me: Of course you don’t—none of us do—but you have to.
Co-worker: So, the row that Gina’s on?
Me: Yep.
Co-worker: Ugh, really? Why … why them?!
Me: Because this PowerPoint has about 90 hours left, so GO.
Co-worker: Grrr, I guess Craig.
Me: CRAIG?! Why?!
Co-worker: I don’t know, he seems tender.
Me: Tender? Gross. You’re not a porcelain figurine!
Co-worker: I don’t know—I guess he has nice lips.
Me: Oh. My. Gosh. You’re in love with Craig!
Co-worker: Well it’s not like I planned it—it’s news to me, too!

Honestly, I can’t imagine not finding ways to make each day more fun. Life is too short to not use your turn-around jumper to get socks into the dirty clothes hamper … or see if you can shave five minutes off your morning routine. Why go through a day without asking someone, “Would you rather have a hearse for a car or a tree house for a home?” Just don’t ask suggestive questions about Judge Judy or Bill Clinton unless you’re really prepared to hear the answer. (Please trust me on this one.)

I’d love for you to join me on Facebook … it’s good for your health.

0 thoughts on “Would You Rather

  1. Anna, I laughed so hard I honestly almost choked on my Great Grains with cranberries this morning. What a great way to start the day. You’re just pure fun. Well, mostly pure. 🙂

    1. You choking on on your Great Grains is the best compliment I could get … providing you plowed through and rebounded OK. And SNORT to “mostly pure.” AWESOME! 🙂

  2. Great ideas Anna. You sound like a real competitor! I use thumb wrestling as a fall back to no games in sight. I imagine the fella Olympic swimmers have it all over the girls when it comes to suits in your mind. Another reason I hang out at the track and field events. Gotta like those suits…

      1. I am rarely serious. It was a dumb remark. I never really took notice of the women’s swim suits in the Olympics. I was thinking, like any suit in the Olympics, it is the person underneath and how they fill their suits out. But it seems like the men’s swim suits have a lot less material to them then the female swimmer you have pictured. The colorful and often skimpy women’s track and field outfits go the other direction than their swimmer counterparts. Thats all. A dumb comment to a very clever post

  3. Triplets on the doorstep you have to name immediately. That one did it. Hard. My house is so quiet right now, and laughed so loud that is sounded weird. Can I just tell you how badly I want to go have a beer with you? I am totally down for playing any of these games. Now excuse me, I need to go read that triplet line over again.

  4. Best twenty bucks I ever spent!
    W.Y.R. not divulge any more family secrets and stay in the will OR
    W.Y.R. keep spilling your guts and maybe get a Pulitzer Prize for “most confessions in a single blog”?
    You decide.
    By the way, you make me belly laugh!!!
    One more thing … that twenty bucks was blood money. I won it in a sudden death playoff with the guys at work on who could gross out a guy we called “Scuzzy Bob”. I’ll leave the details to your vivid imagination.

    1. Hey Anonymous — I think you might be my dad. In fact, I’m pretty sure of it b/c you SWINDLED and HOODWINKED me! But being the saver that I am, I probably still have that $20 and if I do, I’m headed to Oz to buy you a HEART!

      Wow, that took a left turn pretty quick. I get to see you TONIGHT!!

  5. I MISS PLAYING OFFICE GAMES!! But you did just treat me to a wonderful trip down memory lane about all the gross situations or people I had to choose from. (Never Steve. Just, couldn’t do it.) And I do remember coming up with some hilarious and total cringe-worthy ones myself! LOL thanks:)

    1. You should hike paper towels to Mike next week sometime. I’d say napkins or tissues, but we all know y’all don’t have those 😉 Or when he asks you to toss him the remote, tell him to make a hoop with his arms and you’ll shoot it through. DO IT!

  6. I snort-laughed way too many times while reading this, so I won’t even try to list them all. The conjoined twin and Craig examples sent me over though! And the gifs and pics, perfect as always. I cannot.

    1. Just knowing you “cannot” is all I need to hear. Bang 🙂 Sometime soon I’ll need to share in a blog post what you just wrote me about Hubba Bubba b/c I FELL OUT!

    1. Ohhh, you’re really onto something here, Amy. I like this and cannot WAIT to give it a whirl. I’ve pretended I’m being critiqued … but it’s usually Guy Fieri up in there. I’ve never considered speed. Hmm. Thank you for this idea 😉

    1. You are WELCOME! I just wish people around me would finally get it through their heads that being adored by Beth Hoffman means I’m famous and should be treated accordingly. 😉 🙂

  7. I laughed so hard at this, and I needed a laugh! I do those exact same things constantly. Just when you think their isnt a worse would you rather question……there is:)! Great pos! I love to read your stuff!

  8. We need more Anna’s in the world. You always make smile.
    I ALWAYS play W.Y.R with my husband. (I always ask him the most off the wall questions too!! I’ll have to tell you in person. I don’t want people to know how screwed up I really am!!!) 🙂

  9. So, you wouldn’t mind being a sparkly leotard that would give you massive wedgies in front of millions? And honestly, do you wear underwear under the leotard or not? If you do, it could prevent the wedgie, but you may then show millions your underwear? And the uneven bars? I’d go for the floor exercise…or vault. But…would you really prefer that instead of being a swimmer? Even though the attire is hideous, you’re under the water for the majority of the time so no one cares or sees…and you can always take your hair out of the awful cap as soon as you’re done. I guess that doesn’t always help, though.

    Just more food for thought.

    One of my best friends from college and I used to play a game of, “would you be my friend if…” and we would think up crazy, crazy scenarios and decide if we would be friends with each other still. One simple question usually made for a night of laughter especially if we were road tripping it up.

      1. Nice … subtle! Sorry, got lost in the shuffle. I like your college game a lot. I ask that question so often of friends, just in regular, everyday conversation—who knew it could be a full on game? Love it 🙂

  10. OMG! I do this sort of thing all the time — admittedly I keep it to myself, though. It’s like solitaire for lunatics, lol! I won’t do it at work anymore OR with other people, here’s why:

    Many years ago, a co-worker and I decided that if we could get the “sponsorship”, if there was enough support for our crazy plan, we would eat tortellini out of a very gross co-worker’s ass. There was a groundswell of support — someone decided that they would hold the monies that were being collected — everything was moving along swimmingly. We had set a ridiculous price — because we figured we’d have to pay him to participate in our shenanigans. Management — those bastards, those killjoys — got wind of it and threatened to fire us if we didn’t cease and desist immediately. Luckily our treasurer had kept good records. Our disappointed co-workers were fully reimbursed, but the game had lost it’s appeal.

    Sad, but true. :(. LMAO just thinking about that childish, but delightful, time in my life!

    Great post! (P.S. I went 10 for 10 today tossing bottle caps into the trash bin — it’s not a personal best, but it was a slow shift, LOL!)

    1. I’m. Um. I’m stunned and a bit speechless and also silent shake laughing so hard that it feels like a good workout session was just had! What the!??!?!

  11. Gosh… I wish we worked together…. Like, seriously. If I tried any of these things I would just get a blank stare. I love how your brain works, you will probably outlive us all.

  12. Soaring on the wings of a gluten free diet! That’s too good. If I ever get a tattoo, I will have a conversation starter poolside. That’s payoff enough.