By Loren Beachy Goshen News Columnist
---- — Pictionary. You play it?
I’ve always enjoyed the game — my lack of artistic skills notwithstanding. Calvin and his family take it to another level though. If we play with them, we holler, we shiver, we jump, we scream, we cheer and we groan.
Calvin’s Aunt Inez and her husband, Andrew, invited us to their home for supper this week along with the teachers at their school. These teachers are our chum, Mike, and his sidekick, Merlin.
Sister Emily drives me over with her personal steed, a flashy black-and-white mare named Candy. She does allow big brother to bridle Candy before we leave.
Emily guides Candy into Andrew’s circle driveway about a quarter hour after we were supposed to arrive. She ties her mare to the wooden hitching rail in the center of the circle while I put a blanket on the steed.
Entering the house, we remove our coats and greet those already there, which is, um, everybody else expected. Calvin’s parents are there, along with some other teachers and friends. Freeman Gingerich is present. I’m glad.
Freeman keeps us regaled throughout the evening with apt statements and dry humor. In one instance, he describes how he convinced a reluctant student to serve as umpire during a ball game. “Get your liver over here!” Freeman ordered. That, boys and girls, is an imperative sentence.
Inez serves us a tasty haystack supper and a dessert, which includes chocolate cake and ice cream. She requests a few songs and we’re happy to oblige.
Then we slip through the ropes and gather around the ring, I mean the table, where the Pictionary board is laid out. Mike, Calvin and I are on one squad, Freeman, Merlin and Mervin Borkholder form a team across from us and the three ladies, including Emily, round out the competition.
The good guys jump out to an early lead on the strength of such drawings as “wag,” “tidal wave” and “moccasin.”
The atmosphere, already intense with all these fierce competitors about, gets even more so on all-play drawings, where we all race not only the clock, but the other teams as well.
Mike draws “long jump.” He does a magnificent job of a quick sketch but Calvin and I don’t blurt out the words in time and another team gets it. I hop up and down in frustration.
We’re still rolling, though, and we land on the final square long before the other teams are close. Then our competition shifts gears and begins to pour it on. The girls especially, are making hay. They draw “motor.” While the artist is drawing this motor, the others guess “toilet” and “cupcake’ (snicker), but they still end up guessing correctly in time and winning the roll.
The other guys win “porthole” and make a run but eventually it is the girls that are breathing down our necks. They are about one good roll away from tying us when the all-play hits and Calvin is our artist for “beg.”
Simple word, right? But try drawing it so your partners can guess it in a minute flat.
Knowing the other teams will be trying their utmost to guess “beg” before we do, Calvin cleverly draws a dog, sitting on his hind legs with his forelegs up and dangling in the classic beg position. We guess it and obtain possession of the draw — which we need to be in position to win.
I draw next and get “war paint.” I feel confident with Calvin’s and Mike’s brains at my shoulders, but there are some sharp customers on the other sides of the table as well and they’ll be racing us.
Beep! goes the timer. I sketch a brother to the Indian I drew for the word, moccasin. “Indian,” my teammates say. Now I quickly add a few squiggles on his cheek and Calvin says those sweet words, “war paint.”
Thus, the palefaces are vanquished.
Loren Beachy is an auctioneer and elementary-school teacher. He can be contacted by writing to 14047 Ind. 4, Goshen, IN 46528 or by calling 642-1180.