James Fehr
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Hi there! Follow my gaming exploits on Twitter (fehrmeister)
Why Did the Chicken? is a simple creative writing party game. It comes with a couple of dozen cards that feature unfinished riddles such as: 'What does a .... have in common with a ....?' The main component is a huge stack of cards that each has one 'thing' printed on them, such as a 'bowling ball', or a 'librarian'. Each player gets one turn randomly choosing a riddle and two 'things' to insert into the gaps in the riddle. So the riddle may turn into 'What does a librarian have in common with a bowling ball?' for example. Each other player can write as many humorous or witty answers to the riddle as they want to on small pieces of paper within a set amount of time. The player asking the riddle then gathers up everyone’s answers, mixes them up, and reads them aloud, Balderdash-style. That person then subjectively chooses which two of the answers strike him as the best, and each of those answers counts as one point to the person who wrote them. The game is normally played for as many rounds as there are people playing, so that each person gets a chance to ask one riddle.

I brought this out to play with my parents, a couple sisters, a brother, my wife, and our oldest daughter, who had been dying to play this with adults for a long time. It ended up being a pretty fun time with some unexpected creativity, wit, and a lot of laughs. The humor in it was helped by it being so late, and it was often the spoken delivery of the written answers to the riddles that was so hilarious. Obviously some of these wouldn’t strike anyone as especially funny unless they were in a giddy mood. Here are some samples of what was written in answer to several of the riddles:

1) What happened when a cartoon character turned into a minister?
- The preaching at First Baptist Church got a lot more animated.
- His congregation became known as 'The Sunday Funnies'.
- He always chose sermon texts about honeycomb, wore red ties, overate, and said 'Oh bother' when the congregation fell asleep during his sermons.
- His sermons jumped off the page and came to life.
- Each sermon ended with the preacher saying, 'That’s all folks!'

2) Why did the pig go to heaven while the grizzly bear went to hell?
- Because the bear was somehow responsible for world-widespread recession and depression, while the lowly pig saved its bacon in times of trouble and gave to those in need.
- The bear chose the wrong road. Let’s all take our hats off in silence. The pig was only a day old. Too young to choose his road.
- The pig had wings and flew straight up. The bear fell down the hill and just never stopped rolling.
- Because pigs can fly after all.

3) Why is a whale better than a tongue?
- Whales don’t mind eating food that doesn’t taste good.
- What’s the tongue without the whale?
- Whales don’t spread gossip.
- The whale cannot tell tales, but the tongue can tell a whale of a tale, which is dishonest. Naughty in fact.
- The whale is big. And as everybody knows...big is better.
- Our children in Sunday School would not have been as impressed with the story of 'Jonah and the Tongue'.

4) What happened when the clown went on a blind date with a tiger?
- They had a roaring fun time.
- The she clown had never been pursued so fast in her life.
- The clown ended up spending most of the evening in the washroom of the restaurant scared out of his mind.
- The tiger was unimpressed by the clown’s jokes, paid the dinner bill, and left early.
- The clown said, 'Hey I know you! Is the animal trainer from our circus playing match-maker again?'
- The tiger got mad and ate the clown. If he couldn’t have the date of his dreams he’d at least have a dinner...a funny dinner at that.

5) What’s the old saying about the jack o’ lantern and the crocodile?
- A jack o’ lantern’s smile may be scary, but there’s always a crocodile’s whose smile is scarier.
- Never light a jack o’ lantern when you can dial-a-croc.
- A crocodile’s smile may be more sincere than its tears, but it’s still not as bright as a jack o’ lantern’s. As they say, 'It’s the light in your eyes that makes a smile shine'.

6) What happened at the wedding of the judge and the doctor?
- The judge said, 'I’ll divorce you myself if you don’t keep me in stitches'.
- They got married. Surprise, surprise.
- The judge realized he had judged wrong and the doctor realized she had a lot to fix.
- The doctor received the sentence of life imprisonment with no chance of parole and the judge discovered he was going on life support for the rest of his life.
- The bridesmaids wore scrubs and the groomsmen wore wigs.

7) What’s the punch line to the old joke about the monkey and the sailboat?
- 'Why don’t you quit sailing through the trees?'
- Monkey see – monkey sail.
- 'Well you can sail on water' says the monkey, 'but I can sail through the air!'
- Because the monkey knew what the boat knew. They both always WOOD.
- That’s why you should never make a sail from banana peels.

8) What do a librarian and a bowling ball have in common?
- It’s difficult to predict where either of them is going to end up.
- They both have three holes in their faces.
- They are both seen often going on strikes.
- You wouldn’t want to meet one in an alley-way.
- They’re both heavier than they look.
- Both never change their hairstyles.
- They’re both typically very well-rounded.
- They both get their kicks from travelling down the aisles.

Well, OK, maybe the riddles weren’t that good, but it was very entertaining regardless. This is a great party game with the right people. I wouldn’t characterize anyone in my family as being the 'joke writer' type, or even the 'writer' type, but everyone got into it more than I thought they would, and now my daughter can’t wait to play it again.

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Bob McMurray
United States
La Grange
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I kind of liked this one:

- Our children in Sunday School would not have been as impressed with the story of 'Jonah and the Tongue'.

You're right though this game is hard to be consistently witty at. My family is a bit of a "creative writing" family with many sessions of 'Best Sellers' under our belt and this one is much more difficult. I think the juxtapositions aren't as inspiring as the designers thought they might be; not nearly so as the titles from 'Best Sellers' imho, ymmv.
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Ender Wiggins
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Some of these riddles are fantastic - what an entertaining read! We recently played this with a group of kids, and the results were less impressive - although we did have a great time and a lot of fun. But I don't think we could compete with the classy efforts seen here, you've come up with some very witty and well-crafted answers!

Kudos to you and your family for sharing these James! I think you've got some good creativity and humour in the gene pool there!
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