Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Grover Family Game Night: Chicago Edition

So here's the deal: AWP is fun, but it has lots of flaws. There's a lot of pretension, a lot of backhanded complimenting, a lot of spotlight stealing. I've always wished it was a celebration of writing rather than some kind of seminar, a place to be encouraged and reinvigorated, to enjoy words and the writing of them, rather than a place to enjoy the idea that your own words will be appreciated if you shake enough hands.

I'm not dogging the institution or the people who do it right (the nice girl who talk to Z and I for an hour without even a mention of future favors,1 the guy I met last year in Iowa who still thinks to say hi [we didn't recognize each other at first: we had traded beards]), but the whole thing lends itself to suckiness.

So, in order to counter that just a bit, and in order to promote goodwill and friendship among my several social circles, and perhaps in hopes of there being a future tradition, I called an emergency Grover Family Game Night to be held in my hotel room Friday night. It was an Academic Octathlon with two Bonus Rounds, prizes to be awarded for top team and top solo player. Behold the fun:

Two reps from each team participated in each round of the Grover Family classic, Forest Whitaker. You could get bonus points by naming the year each movie was released.

Sarah looks beatific. (She left early, before discovering her team lost. Bad.)

Mike and Dave, determined to not look dumb.

Beware this tower of Madden power.

Joey is more than likely about to make a terrible pun, and Melissa hasn't figured that out yet.

Pat calls a foul as other contestants look on in...slight boredom.

The Joey Franklin Experience competes in the Creativity Round, each member in turn saying a word that starts with the last letter of the word before and that fits the category "Family Reunion."

Amy is either a ghost or a master of telepathy—Emily considers the options. (Joe, meanwhile, couldn't be any more handsome.)

Pat wins the Bonus Round and graciously shares his Jonas Brothers Valentine's candy.

Teams check their answers in the Geography Round against a map of Africa.

Mike announces the final scores (we only had time for 6 rounds).

The Winning Team: The Eminent Immethodical Disputants STARSHIP.

Dave, MVP and winner of the Solo Performance Prize (a copy of Best American Travel Writing signed by Charles Dickens), shows off the goods.

The Host with the Most (wearing a dapper Cliff Huxtable sweater).

I only wish more Grovers could've been there (three words: Add-on Dance Contest). Tomorrow I'll post the results of the Bonus Rounds—you won't believe it.

1The married girl who talked to us for an hour, I should say, so you know it was real. I mean, our literary clout is nothing compared to our good looks and charm, and she didn't have designs on either.


Drew said...

How'd you get Dickens to sign that thing?!

This is my first time to be the first comment!?

Don't you love using the interrogative/exclamatory combo?!

But which one goes first!?

Gillz said...

Madden looks like a god in his halo pic. I refuse to be deceived. I saw him run out of pop culture steam in Forest Whitaker. He isn't invincible.

Sarah Louise said...

Wait, I know that Melissa. I think I really like that Melissa. Melissa, who are you?

editorgirl said...

(I think) I'm glad Emily's team won--I'd fear for our lives if she lost.

Thanks for a fun night. The El ride home wasn't half as exciting (although I spent it reciting Christian Bale movies in my head. . . ).