Sunday, August 14, 2011

Quelfian Quips

My family and I love to play board games.  Monopoly is a favorite among some of us, even though most of the time the game ends with everybody hating each other.  We also enjoy Apples to Apples, Wits and Wagers, and Scrabble.  But recently, we discovered a game that surpasses all others in terms of hilarity, humiliation, and outright lunacy.

It's called Quelf.

The object of the game is simple.  You roll the die, move your piece, draw a card from the deck that matches the color of the space you landed on, and do what the card says.  The fun comes from the fact that the cards tell you to do ridiculous things, such as:

Every time an opponent laughs, you must slap your knee and say "Waka, waka, waka."

Go fill a bowl with water.  Now, soak your left hand in the bowl until your next turn.

Every sentence you speak for the rest of the game must end with, " . . . hear me, for I have spoken!"

The last time my family played, Theresa's son Doug finished the game wearing a sweat sock as a necktie.  And also lipstick.

It's not really a game for people who are shy or self-conscious.

When we first brought Quelf home, we noticed the list of contents on the back of the box: 

440 cards in five different categories
1 awesome Quelf game board
1 pad of paper and player guide
1 die and 1 thirty-second timer
8 character game pieces
1 giant invisible harpoon - it's invisible for a reason, use it wisely.

That's right, a giant invisible harpoon.  My family being what it is, my dad immediately said, "You know Chris, you should write the company and tell them that our invisible harpoon was broken during shipping."

So of course, I did.  I looked up the company on-line (Wiggity Bang Games) and fired off an e-mail to company president Matt Rivaldi. 

Dear Mr. Rivaldi:

I recently purchased Quelf, and let me start by saying my family and I absolutely love it.  I can honestly say that prior to our Quelf experience, no one I know has ever worn a paper towel as a mask, simultaneously worn a sock for a necktie and pink lipstick (though my dear Uncle Charlie has been known to wear them separately), or pretended to be a singing prison guard.  So thanks for that.

Here's my problem.

On the box, it says that the game includes one invisible harpoon.  Now, we were able to locate the harpoon easily enough by lightly dusting baby powder over the game pieces.  It was at that point, however, that we noticed our harpoon was broken at one end.  This must've happened at some point during the shipping process.

If we could get a replacement harpoon, that would be wonderful.


We all had a good laugh, and didn't give our invisible harpoon situation another thought until a few weeks later when I received a response. 

Hi Chris,

Don't think we are ignoring your message.  Our CIHE's (Certified Invisible Harpoon Engineers) are looking into the problem.  These things are supposed to be indestructible . . . obviously they are not.  As soon as we get our report back, we'll let you know what we can do for you, but rest assured we'll make it right. 

Maybe it would help if you could take a picture of it to show our engineers.

Sincerely Wiggity,
Matthew Rivaldi
President, Wiggity Bang Games, LLC

"Take a picture of it," he says.  I want to work for this guy.

So I carefully placed the invisible harpoon (the shaft and the broken tip) on our dining room table and snapped a picture.

I attached the photo file to another email that read:

Dear Mr. Rivaldi,

Thank you for your prompt reply.  As you requested, I'm sending a photograph of our broken harpoon.  As you can clearly see, the business end is snapped right off.  I hope this will help your engineers devise a way to keep the invisible harpoons from breaking, as no one wants to play Quelf without them.

Looking forward to your response.

This whole invisible harpoon fiasco came to an end just the other day when I received a package via the United States Postal Service.  It was a tube about four feet long with a warning label: INVISIBLE HARPOON ENCLOSED.  BE CAREFUL WHEN OPENING MAILING TUBE.

I have to hand it to the Wiggity Bang people.  They are true to their word.

You can buy your own Quelf set at most department stores, and also through the Wiggity Bang website. 

Trust me, you'll have a blast.

But please.  Be careful with the invisible harpoon.


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dbs said...

This sounds amazing!

So. Cal. Gal said...

I love this company! lol! We have the game and before even playing, we began reading the cards. Just that had us rolling on the floor. The game can be hard to find in stores though.

Junk Drawer Kathy said...

This is just too awesome. Both because you wrote them and because they clearly have a sense of humor (already evident by the list on the box). I never heard of this game! Thanks for the introduction. I think I'm going to buy it and save for those dark, miserable days of winter. We used to get together to play cards and stuff with my sister and her neighbors. I think it's time to create a new tradition: "Quelf Night."

Lawrence said...

My wife and I bought this about a year ago and play it with our friends often.
I think my most wonderful moment came when I had to use a spatula as a septer for a entire game(as I got it on the first turn) and randomly knight people....and dogs. The dogs didn't seem to enjoy the knighting, they kept trying to pillage the leftovers.

Eva Gallant said...

That is funny!!!!

notactuallygod said...

It seems you met your match in that game of comic chicken you played with the prez. Sending the tube with that label; Checkmate!

notactuallygod said...

Wait a minute!

Isn't a quelf the sound a woman makes when air comes out of her... her... oh, forget it.

Andy said...

I am a happier man having read that.

lime said...

oh em gee! i MUST have this game. first of all it's absurd so our whole family will love it Second they actually corresponded with you on the matter in keeping with absurdity. they deserve my business! thanks for bringing this to my attention.

this has made my night.

Fred Miller said...

Do you have to say "Hear me for I have spoken" every time you fart, too, or only if it's audible. I may need that game.

Ayam berkokok said...


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Anonymous said...

I am a sort of quiet shy person so I don't know if I'd enjoy the game but just because they actually corresponded with you and sent you a whole Invisible Harpoon, I will buy one. I know I will enjoy watching others play! And, @notactuallygod - the word you are looking for is "queef". :-)

Katie in NJ

Suldog said...

Oh, man, I want to work in their PR department! Too much fun!

ReformingGeek said...

Um....Evil Twin works for them. She loves it. You might want to wash your hands after handling that tube.

Steve Bailey said...

That is freekin hilarious!!!!! I am officially going to get this game for my family reunion this weekend. Thanks!

nonamedufus said...

The game sounds like it'd be a riot to play.

Is the invisible harpoon essential to playing the game? Or can one substitute an invisible fence post? Just curious.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Buying this game. Loving this company. I'm so happy to hear they rectified the problem, that was a close call for you guys having to play without your invisible harpoon all that time! Whew!

Ruby Wildflower said...

Just curious... does the invisible harpoon work for snaring invisible husbands? Would be nice to get your thoughts.


Ashley said...

You're hilarious. I love that you actually wrote the game company. I love that they sent you a replacement invisible harpoon. I do hope that you'll take great care of the new one, but you didn't toss the old one into a landfill did you? I think you should sell it on Craigslist.

Mariann Simms said...

That beats my response from the Pillsbury Dough people. Awesome! :)

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