“I never got to play it when I was small..”
“They played it and then all their clothes fell off, but it was too late. I'd seen it all”
Fruit sallad is a common game well known as an ice-breaker during long and dull meetings. It requires both mental and physical excersise. All you need is a group of overly enthusiastic yet shy people; and an equal number of chairs. Those easy-met prerequisites makes it one of the most widespread games played by people of all ages and ethnicities (except for Japanese people. They don't have chairs you know, they sit on the floor remember!?). It has even been considered by the Drunken Olympics commitee as a new event. The rules would be the same with the obvious difference that one would have to be drunk to play; thus introducing a new and interesting dimension to this game.
What you need:
- A group of people
- A theme with corresponding words
- An equal number of chairs (although technically one chair less than the number of people is enough but for the sake of simple minded people and to avoid long sentences without any punctuations which makes them a pain to read I'll just go with the term 'an equal number')
Form a circle with the chairs facing inwards and get everybody seated. One of them may then stand up and place himself in the centre of the circle. Remove his chair from the circle. Depending on the size of your group decide for a number of fruits (about a 5th of the number of participants is suitable) and label each person with a fruit. When the person in the middle calls out a fruit, all the people with the same fruit must change seats - including the one standing in the middle. He can also choose to call out 'Fruit Sallad' which means that everyone must change seats. The one standing without seat at the end of a round gets to be the caller and so forth. What makes this game so amazing is that it can be adapted to any subject such as drug or sexual education.
How to win
The notion of winning is unknown to this game and its players. Its a neverending game which explains its popularity in Fantasia. However, in a notion of fairplay and goodwill, all players are considered as winners from the moment they join the game. This makes for many hours of shouting and screaming while running and pushing random strangers for a chair which is not that comfortable to sit in anyway. Yay!
The games limits
As i mentioned earlier, despite its incredulous simplicity and popularity, it is not played by everyone for a number of reasons.
- Japanese people - oblivious to the concept that is the chair
- People in wheelchairs - althought adepts of the game they are considered by most as cheaters
- Jesus - he just never got the rules and kept duplicating the fruits.
- Fat people - there are simply no chairs strong enough
- Nobody - as I explained earlier you need a group to play. Nobody can't play alone.
A piece of History
Not that recently
It might not be known to everyone but it is no secret that this game has been around for a long time. It was most certainly played by your parents, and their parents and so on. Yes yours as well Jeff. It has been traced to the 12th century where Knights from Camelot played it in between songs. It is believed they played it for only one round where the caller would always call 'Fruit Sallad'. It is also said that the looser would be banished and allowed only a coconut and a swallow (an african one). Such rules ensured the harshness and toughness of the game where the knights would often fight to the death.
Nowadays the game does not invovle any killing (at least in the most commonly played versions) and is fairly peaceful. Something that has recently gained popularity is to play it where no game has been played before. In China people have tried it out at the swimming people although their breathtaking numbers make for a difficult game. In poor countries, it is more common to play it in cars or trains but then again the huge number of players makes for a long game. Altough the game no longer has any religious, economic, or any meaning at all whatsoever; it remains the 3rd most popular game played by kids after Your mamma jokes and Pokemons
An adaptive game
Similar versions of the game have already been spotted in countries all over the world. It is not uncommon for people to bend the rules or add some additional ones to improve the game or make it more suitable to its players.
In Sweden the game is known as "Früktsâlladslekän". It has been made more interesting by the use of longer words which even swedes find difficult to pronounciate such as
- fårullshandske - glove made out of wool
- smörgåsbordsbestick - cutlery at a smorgasbord
- knäckebrödspålägg - kind of food you can use to put on some kind of swedish bread
In France on the other hand it is know as "La baguette de fruit". In this case though it has not been modified into a more interesting game. In fact it doesnt make any sense at all and somehow includes french people, baguettes and mustard but they have removed any use of chairs.
One last group that stands out with its version are the people attending AA meetings. They have taken this game very seriously indeed as it is now the 13th step in their 12 step program. They play the game in pairs with their sponsors (aka drinking buddies) and instead of fruits they all get to be alcoholic beverages. They also state that the first step towards having fun is accepting your addiction to the game. If you can't accept that and say so, you'll never get sober so for gods sake play! PLAY!
In other contexts
What has gone unnoticed by most people is that Fruit Sallad also is a rare and exquisite food course. Not only does it contain fruits such as pumello, blood oranges and goose liver but it doesn't contain any sallad. Some people feel offended and lied to by that treacherous name. Kids on the other hand find it refreshing to get a plate excempt of any vegetables. Needless to say that this course was invented as a tribute to the game. Fruit sallads do come in all forms and colors with all kinds of fruits; and are appreciated by most if matched in weight with sugar.