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Posted: January 18th, 2005, by Simon Proffitt

One of the many cool things I got for Christmas was Zobmondo!! That Crazy “Would You Rather” Game (exclamation marks not mine. It amuses me to think that if you were to go into a games shop and ask for Zobmondo, or Zobmondo!!!!!, the assistant would stare blankly and tell you they’d never heard of it, and you’d have to repeat the word, changing your intonation slightly until you managed to vocalise the two exclamation marks, and then they’d say ‘Oh, Zobmondo!!, yes we’ve got loads of them on the shelf over there, in between Game of Life! and Pass The Pigs!!!!!!’).

Now, B., a friend of mine, has been asking Would You Rather questions for years, but they invariably involve the imbibing of bodily fluids. His latest one is ‘would you rather drink a pint of semen, a pint of pus or a pint of phlegm?’, and it’s made pretty clear in the framing of the question that ‘None’ is not an option. Usually there’ll be a clause that you have to choose one otherwise unspeakable things will be done to you and everyone that you’ve ever loved. It’s an interesting one for sure, but the decision’s pretty easy for me, seeing as two of those are generally the result of infection and one is healthy, protein-rich, life-giving juice. Ahem.

Anyway, the game is great fun, and is based on you having to predict which option your team-mates will choose. When 12 of us played over New Year, my team lost, basically over a disagreement about whether I’d rather eat 4 banana skins or a medium sized cardboard box. Here are some random sample questions:

Would you rather be the world’s tallest person, or the world’s shortest?

Would you rather chew the toenails off a dirty man’s foot or thoroughly lick his unshowered armpit?

Would you rather spend a long-haul flight next to a huge sumo wrestler or a screaming baby? (personally I’d rather spend the flight next to a huge silent baby)

Would you rather know exactly how but not when you’re going to die, or exactly when but not how?

Would you rather have one genius and one idiot for children, or two thoroughly average kids?

Would you rather have all ten of your fingers broken one by one, or the little finger on your non-dominant hand chopped clean off?

Would you rather be stuck in a lift with TV evangelists or circus clowns?

Would you rather walk ten miles with shoes one size too small, or with underwear three sizes too small?

There are hundreds of these, but we started making our own up, and B. developed a new technique – rather than ask about bodily fluids, he started asking about abstract concepts versus material objects and such like. These became ‘Which do you prefer?’, such that the one you don’t choose gets destroyed/prevented from existing. For instance:

Which do you prefer, tables or Scotland?

Which do you prefer, militancy or disappointment?

Which do you prefer, shoes or fruit?

Which do you prefer, grass or heat?

Which do you prefer, being lied to by a maternal grandparent or grazing your knee on gravel?

Which do you prefer, nitrogen or dogs?

It says on the game box ‘1 to 2 hours of fun’ – I think they’re being a bit cautious there. It’s now the 18th January, and we’re still at it.

Simon Proffitt

Simon was born near Clowne, Derbyshire and is now an honorary Welshman. In former guises he has created fake diamonds, developed ultra-high-capacity storage devices and been one half of slow-moving, ├╝ber-pretentious record label Fourier Transform. He now spends his evenings recording silence and banging kitchen utensils.


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