Saturday, 15 May 2010

How do you play spot the spot?

How do you play “Spot the spot”?

WHEN do you play Spot-the-Spot?

On a car journey of between three and five hours with a few people, and all you need is a pen (or pencil) and a bit of paper.

To start, everyone imagines things that might be seen on the journey (outside of your car but including the inside of other people’s) and a list is made. They can be easy e.g.- ‘blue car’, a little bit difficult e.g. –‘rhinoceros’ (on some trucks), or very difficult e.g.– ‘a person having difficulty opening an umbrella’ (someone in a door way trying to shake the water off was accepted after the road-sign depicting a workman shovelling stone was rejected)). The list can be as long as you like.

When you are ready – and you may need to read the list out as many times as there are collective brain cells to help everyone have a vague memory – someone shout’s Game On and you try to be the first person to spot the spot (something on the list). If you are the first and the others accept the fact you get a point.

If two or more people spot the spot, and vocally claim it, at EXACTLY the same moment they each/all get a point, and make a wish; there are no minus points.

The last time I played this game my daughter was very small and only noticed things immediately alongside the road- ‘emergency telephones’ were her speciality - but she has since matured into a worthy adversary. My wife was not with us to play this latest round but my children informed Charlotte – who was travelling with us and also turned out to be a future champion – that Krissie’s speciality is to spot things several minutes after someone else has already spotted it and been awarded the points. But she shouts enthusiastically each time.

When we drew into the first service station - the game is adjourned once the engine is switched off - I was trailing both Charlotte and Minnie by 3 points – a margin that is sometimes difficult to make up.

How do you win?

With the most points obviously, but there are some important tactics to consider.

When you are devising the list try to include specific things that you KNOW you will see and you know WHERE you will see it. For example, on a trip to Spain in the spring/summer “Skis” received a lot of derision when I added it to the list but gave me a certain point when we passed the signpost near Perpignan with the symbol of the skiers on it.

As images are accepted you need to specify “real blue sky” if you don’t want someone winning a point for spotting (through torrential rain) a poster on a bus stop depicting Caribbean beaches.

The position you occupy in the car can give advantages as well as disadvantages. Remember that the driver can rarely risk more than a quick look over his shoulder at things facing drivers on the other side of the road, but also often has first sight of something as you come around a corner.

Remember though that the under 20’s can read things at a greater distance than people like me so it might be better to avoid words.

Try not, like Loui to go “ooooooh” before you claim a point as it may alert your dad who is quicker thus to say the name and get the point.

Any disputes are resolved by unanimity.

Age doesn’t count.

Think laterally – I added ‘Rugby Ball’ to the list, knowing that we would drive past the Rugby museum. Unfortunately the list hadn’t been finished when we reached that point of the journey but Minnie spotted a miniature one hanging from someone’s rear-view-mirror.

There are NO bonus points.

Shapes in clouds are HIGHLY debatable.

When you arrive at a service station the game stops with the engine and restarts with the engine. It was considered to be cheating to leave a napkin on the counter, visible through the window, inscribed with a name that was on the list.

As was the empty container of ‘strawberry’ smoothie that I left on top of the waste bin in passing, image facing the car.
I thought it was worth a bonus point for effort.

There are NO bonus points.

Be specific as you want or don’t want when you add to the list – does a squashed cat at the side of the road count for a point against “cat” – it did.

If you are winning and someone asks how to spot a “factory that makes tiles” – be magnaminous.

And very important- don’t shout too suddenly and too loudly when the driver is overtaking a truck in the rain.

One final tip – “someone waving” is a certain point if you wave at a passenger in a car that is overtaking you, but remember women are more likely to respond than men.

If anyone is interested, or driving a long way, I can also explain how to play “WEB” and “You’re a Big Fat Pig”


Janet Bianchini said...

This game looks like a lot of fun! I think it could work on a motorbike. Will give it a go on our next longish journey, wherever that might be. Thanks!

btw love the picture of the poppy! I've been picking loads recently.They don't seem to last long in a vase.

Anne Hodgson said...

Great game! Lovely family! I can smell the gasoline!

This is timely. I'll be in a car (2 cars, in fact, possibly changing round) with my 4 older brothers for about 16 hours from Washington, DC to Drummond in June to bury our mother's ashes. And back 2 days later. 32 hours, minimum! The Hodgson Roadtrip will coop up very disparate people who are experts at getting under each other's skin, but we do all want to get back home to our families and friends in one piece.

Games might be part of the answer. Please keep them coming, Chris!

popps said...

Be careful on that motor bike - how would you keep score?

popps said...

Anne, Spot the Spot might not last a full 16 hours - with traffic jam our longest battle was 5 hours. By the way it’s not worth provoking a speed camera into action to get a point for “someone taking a photo”.

Janet Bianchini said...

We could shout out the items via the Intercom voice system and keep score using our good and honest memory? It might work?

popps said...

good and honest memory, hmphf - it was pretty cut throat here.

popps said...

good and honest memory, hmphf - it was pretty cut throat here.