Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Big Sandwich

The Big Sandwich

Yet Another Drawing Game

Several months ago, I attended a home brew competition with some friends. Arriving at noon, the contestants among us dropped off their submissions, and we all sat down to wait for the results. It was then we learned that the winners wouldn't be announced for another 7 hours.

You might not be aware of it, but 7 hours is a long time. To put things in perspective, I could have seen 3 Cirque De Soleil shows in that time. Or, to put it another way, 1 Cirque de Lune show — those performances taking much longer due to weaker gravity. And, not to start a digressive rant here, but I have to say, the high-wire act completely lacks dramatic tension.

Anyway, as I mentioned, we had 7 hours to kill. And so, having a sketchbook at hand, we started to play a drawing game where each person takes a turn adding an ingredient to a sandwich, the results of which you see above. Not only did the game successfully help pass the time, but it also gave us important insight into which members of the group should never be allowed to prepare meals.

But, Kevin, How Do You Play?

Good question! The rules are simple, so simple that you apparently didn't realize that I already told you the rules. I'll repeat them for those of you who might be slow on the uptake, perhaps from attending too many Cirque De Lune shows in a poorly-sealed viewing capsule:

  1. The first person starts by drawing a piece of bread. Does it have to be bread? Yes. Otherwise it's not a sandwich, and you're just drawing a Big Pile Of Crap No One In Their Right Mind Would Eat. Though, if you do feel compelled, you may add a decorative toothpick on top. As you can see, our toothpick's decor is a jaunty little olive. I like to imagine it's a green olive. Do you have to? Yes, you do.
  2. The next person adds a layer of something below. Anything they want. The more delicious, the better.
  3. Keep adding layers until you run out of room. Or ink. Or patience. When you're finished, you draw the bottom slice of bread, and voilà — you have a Big Sandwich!

Pretty easy, eh? And if you're like us, and run out of room, you can always just continue on to the next page. As you can see, we used up about five, total. Also, we added a slice of bread every now and then throughout the sandwich to add stability — you'd be surprised how unstable a beehive makes a sandwich. Now... go forth and create Big Sandwiches of your own!

I will remain here, to protect mine from bears.

Hey, you specifically said this was another drawing game... there's others?

Oh right. There are! If you like drawing games, check out the Doodle Association Game, or My Team, Your Team (which inspired The Superest), Doodle-Offs, or even or the game where one person draws a shape and the other turns it into something.

Also, buried in Six-Penny Anthems II are rules and examples of 1000 Blank White Cards, which is the greatest drawing game ever, but you can also get the rules to it here.

Comments on this Article

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No! We're not prepared for this!


I would totally eat this sandwich providing Ernie's collar is served on the side. I'm fussy that way.

Mike Carp

One of the snakes is holding an ice cream cone and frowning. I suppose snakes need to swallow everything whole, and so for them ice cream would be nothing more than a giant headache.

Man, I'm learning so much from this sandwich!


While it may lack dramatic tension, the high wire on the moon does not lack actual tension, and isn't it the high wire itself you're really rooting for at the circus? So high! So... wiry.


Put this in a tortilla and maybe I'll give it a try.

Another very amusing drawing game is one we call THE PAPER GAME (and yes, you must yell this like a badger on a trampoline whenever anyone asks you what you're doing... this tends to attract only a certain kind of participant and terrify those you wouldn't want sitting next to you anyway; a weaning process, if you will... and you will, oh yes you will).

To play, supply each artist with a numbered stack of paper (8 or 10 is a good place to start, pi squared minus 8 less so), the top sheet (this would be page one) pre-supplied with an initial drawing task (i.e. two badgers on a trampoline). Everyone draws their best interpretation of their task on page 2, hiding the description page (page 1) on the bottom and passing the stack to the next victim. At this point everyone has drawings in front of them (on page 2). On page 3, the task is to describe in words what has been drawn, move THAT page to the bottom and then pass the stack.

And so on around the circle until all the pages are complete. No peeking. Ab-so-lutely none of that peeking shite. It ruins the game and can result in an itchy facial rash. Fair warning.

Drawing is really enough fun on it's own, but this game has a lovely denoument: Go back through each stack and see how it moved from "two badgers on a trampoline" to "farm animal orgy." Fun! One caveat is that everyone immediately recognizes these items: a shopping cart, an alien, a top hat and the sun... so we try to avoid combining those exact simultaneous elements or each piece of paper will read exactly the same. It's like crossing the streams. Don't cross the streams. Why? It would be bad.

And yes, this activity is actually almost as fun as this description. I mean, really... what's the worst that could happen..? Nobody likes the game, you end up with several more stacks of numbered paper than you wanted, and an asteroid crushes Ernie. See, no problem!

Finally, it actually IMPROVES the game if several members of the group draw poorly (or the describing/writing equivalent), as this lends to the natural misinterpretation "telephone" aspect of the game. I imagine alcohol might have the same effect, but have yet to game test that option.

Cliener von Cleanskin

As much fun as drawing a massive sandwich sounds, I much prefer the Not Waiting 7 Hours game.


Can I have the boobs on fire part? Pretty please?


Kirk - Understood. I won't eat a sandwich where they use Mega Bloks instead of Legos. I can taste the difference.

Mike - Well observed!

Jim - I never thought about it... but you're right. Also, when that guy balances on top of 13 chairs at once... I'm rooting for chair 8.

MrChristo - Yeah - that definitely sounds fun. It's similar to a game Cranium put out called "Scribblish" (not saying they invented it - I bet it's one of those games that gets co-opted). The best part is definitely going back and seeing the transmutation! But I like the way your game works better - no unnecessary rolling and such.

Cliener - I've tried that game a couple times, but it's too complicated for me, I think.

Tudorminator - They're all yours. Careful! That milk is boiling!


You should fill an entire sketch book with a sandwich. Then there should be one of those dumb Food Network Challenges that tries to make it.


Well, first they do a reality competition to see who the host will be. Then they do the show.


What?! No Berger cookies on the sandwich?! I can't see Kim eating that sandwich without them.


You've spotted the flaw!

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