There’s this get-to-know you game I like to play. I invented it on a date once. It works great early on in the dating game. It also works great with groups of people, friends, and family.

I call it “Any Word.”

And the way it works is this. We go back and forth with each other, taking turns saying one random word. Could be anything from “purple,” to “kangaroo,” to “cracker,” to “glass,” to “odor.” You get the idea. You know what random means. Don’t ask me why I felt the need to give you examples of random.

Anyway, the other person then has to tell something about themselves that has to do with that word. It can be anything at all.

So, for example, if I was on a date, and we were sitting on the couch, and things were all awkward, and we had no idea how to talk to each other, and crickets were chirping, and hours were passing, and tension was building, and we both were about to start crying because of the clumsiness of it all, I might whip out this game, tell her to go first, and she’d say something like, “pencil.”

Did you pick-up how randomness works? I was confident that you got it a moment ago, but now I’m not sure, so I better explain.

When you pick a random word, you’re going to pick a word that is chosen without method or conscious decision.

Get it? Good.

So back to our awkward moment and the word “pencil.”

I would then tell her the amazing story of the time I was in seventh grade and I was sitting next to a pretty girl waiting for math class to start. I was tapping the desk with my pencil, showing off my mad drumming skills, when it slipped, stabbed me in the palm, and the tip broke off inside. I would then show her the spot in my hand where, to this day, the broken off pencil lead can still be seen.

Then, it would be my turn to choose a RANDOM word. You know, something like… I don’t know… “Sneeze.”

And she would then tell me the amazing story of the time that she sneezed so hard both of her eyes popped out. Or, you know, whatever story she had.

Then it would be my turn again. She would say something random like, “chairback.”

And I’d say, “like the back of a chair?”

And she’d say, “yeah.”

And I’d think, that’s dumb. But then I’d remember this amazing story that happened only weeks ago when I put my backpack (that was way too heavy) on my chairback, and when I scooted the chair out, it made the whole thing tip over backwards because it was so heavy, except I didn’t see it tip backwards so when I tried to sit down, I ended up on my butt in front of all the people in the restaurant. And I’d tell her that story.

And we’d laugh. And giggle. And become better friends.

And then I’d give her a random word like “loud.”

And she’d tell me the amazing story of the time when she was stuck on an airplane between no less than 32 screaming babies, and the crying got to be so loud that her ears exploded. Or, you know, whatever story she had.

And we’d laugh. And giggle. And become better friends. And start making out.

Scratch that last part. Sometimes my extremely innocent thoughts get away from me. Sorry about that.

Anyway, you get the idea.

It’s a fun game. Try it sometime.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. I’m going to give you all a random word, and I want you to tell me something about you that has to do with that word.

And the word is…

“Alarm.”

UPDATE 11/19: Had so much fun with the word alarm. Let’s do the word “bruise.”

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 1.4 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!