July 18, 2012 in Things to do close to home
This week’s Backyard Badge goes to the Blindfold Game – one of the most disorienting and entertaining activities you’ll ever play. Thanks to the Van Osch family for submitting this week’s winner – your Backyard Badge of Awesome and free ebook are on their way!
I recently had the pleasure of joining the Van Osches in the Blindfold Game. Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Deprivation
Each participant got ready by stuffing in earplugs and then putting on headphones with music blaring from their iPod or phone. We were then blindfolded using toques (that’s a winter hat for you non-Canadian folk) pulled over our faces and scarves wrapped around our eyes. The result was an inability to hear anything going on around you or see a damn thing.
Step 2: Disorientation
After we were all satisfactorily deaf and blind, the seven of us participating were loaded into the back of a truck. Our driver then took us on a very confusing trip; driving in circles and zig-zagging while we flopped and bounced around in the back.
Step 3: Desparation
When we were all sufficiently disoriented (and nauseated), the truck came to a stop in the middle of some farmer’s field. Our handlers hauled us out of the back, spun us around in circles and left us to find our way to the hot tub next to the house.
Beyond knowing that I was somewhere in one of the back fields, I was completely lost. My blindfold was so thick that I couldn’t even see daylight through it, meaning I couldn’t locate the setting sun to help orient me. And as Tess Van Osch’s playlist of indie-hipster-girly-girl music blared in my ears, I couldn’t hear the sound of the highway which would have helped immensely.
I had no idea where I was. Mild desperation started to seep in.
Step 4: Deduction
The one thing I did remember was that the wind was blowing from the northwest. Armed with that knowledge, I was sure to keep the breeze on my left side so I could make my way roughly east toward the house. Otherwise I’d have probably walked into Lake Huron.
With only the vaguest sense of where “home” lay, I started walking, my arms outstretched in front of me. I paused often to feel the ground to see what I was walking on and to reorient myself with the breeze.
Spotters were set up to prevent us from wandering onto Highway 21 or from injuring ourselves in any sort of fatal way. Of course, that didn’t mean they stopped us from getting hurt at all. Where would be the fun in that?
For example, they certainly had no qualms about letting me walk into a barbwire fence. Feeling my way along it I soon after grabbed an electric fence. Fortunately it was turned off. I also ran face first into a tree and cracked my mouth on the back of a bench while bending down to feel the ground. That last one hurt the most but it also caused the most excitement because I finally knew for sure where I was on the property.
After a few more wrong turns and another couple run-ins with trees, I finally reached the hot tub and got to remove my blindfold. I was the fourth to arrive and just happy to have made it at all.
I got to watch the other three participants still trying to find their way. It was good to see I wasn’t the only one who had a hard time.
Mikey fell into the fish pond… Three times.
Ben wandered the furthest off track and seemed to spend the bulk of his time tangled up in painfully thorny rosebushes.
Mark seemed intent on going to the highway and had to be turned away a few times by the spotters. He eventually found his way but only after walking in a giant circle (twice) and trampling his grandmother’s tulips.
The Blindfold Game: Equal parts disorientation and exhilaration.
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