Thursday, September 27, 2007

The John Barth Sailing Game!

Next time you're reading a John Barth novel, play "The John Barth Sailing Game!" Or, next time you're playing "The John Barth Sailing Game," why not go for a final sail up the Chesapeake? And next time you're sailing up the Chesapeake, why not read a novel by John Barth?

On with the game!
  • Every time you see a loblolly pine, keep sailing until you see the next loblolly pine.
  • If a character has multiple names that are used interchangeably, attempt to drown yourself with insufficient ballast.
  • Is there a "Baratarian" in the book? Shiver within your foul-weather gear.
  • If Edgar Allan Poe or Miguel de Cervantes are referenced, go back and brush up on your classics, otherwise you'll get lost.
  • Sail quietly past any plotlines involving the C.I.A.
  • When a pair of intelligent, literate, married adults enjoy a pun-filled confessional dialogue that is liberally sprinkled with explicit sex-talk, stop the boat and wash your hands.
  • When somebody goes sailing, sail on! Once upon a time / there was a boat trip that began / once upon a time...
  • Impotency? Twins? Thank your lucky stars.
  • Be simultaneously chivalrous and enlightened when Scheherazade drops by.
  • A character subverts the illusion of dialog by ending the reiteration of a previously-described idea with "et cetera"? Skip an estuary!
  • Hey, is that a message in a bottle off to starboard? You'd better stop, read it, and then LIVE it.
  • Don't eat the Maryland Beaten Biscuits.
  • If a sperm or an egg is anthropomorphized, decide whether you should head upstream or downstream. Then decide which fork to take.
  • Proceed directly to Fort McHenry whenever Francis Scott Key is mentioned.
  • Proceed directly to Key Island whenever Fort McHenry et cetera.
  • Keep your eyes peeled during the Night Sea Journey.
  • Is the key to the treasure actually the treasure? Have some adventures and find out!
If you decide to turn this into a drinking game, I take no responsibility for your pathetic drunkenness.

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