Okay. Yes. It’s been a while and there are the holidays and other developments to catch up on. I’ll get to it, I promise. But meanwhile here’s a game.
When the family gets together, we like to play Mango. I have no idea why we call this game Mango, but that is what it’s called. We’ve played it with my side of the family for a while, and this year we tried it with Cute W’s family. This is a very easy, accessible game for all ages.
Each person in the group writes down the name of any real or fictional person that most of the group will recognize. For example, you might write down Frank Sinatra, Simone Biles, Kylo Ren, Katie, Hermione, or Jane Goodall. All the slips of paper with names gets tossed into the center and mixed up, and then one person (it can be a player or someone who isn’t playing but happens to be around) reads out all of the names twice. And only twice. Because part of the trick is to remember all of the names.
Player #1 (usually we go with the youngest or the winner from last time) asks something like, “Katie, are you Jane Goodall?” And if I am Jane Goodall, I confess that yes, I am, and then I am on Player #1’s team, and we whisper and confer, then ask someone else if they’re someone else. If I’m not Jane Goodall, I say no, and then I ask someone else if they’re Kylo Ren or whoever.
So there’s a bit of strategy in choosing which person you are in the first place. If everyone knows that you love a particular actress, you should not pick her as your person. If you don’t really follow football but you know the name of a popular quarterback, or if you’ve never read the Harry Potter books but you can conjure up Severus Snape, those are good choices. Or, of course, you can be tricky and pick the so-obviously-your-pick-that-it-couldn’t-be-your-pick strategy.
Anyway, play continues, and gradually multiple teams will grow. You have to pay attention so that you don’t ask the same question someone’s already asked, remember who all of your teammates are, and remember the names of all of the people who were named in the first place. You also have to confer quietly with your team while you’re speculating about who’s who so that you don’t accidentally give something away.
Eventually, there will be a single person whose identity hasn’t been guessed (although the teammates know it), and that person and their team wins.
Trust me. It is easy and fun.