tiger, person, fireworks

Here’s a pointedly pointless game I learned from Matt Weinstein, Emperor of Playfair, sought-after pro speaker, and friend of mine for, what, 35 years at least, you betcha. And, to make the story even better, I learned it along with maybe 120 other people during our on-stage interview, most marvelously moderated by AIN president Paul Jackson, himself, at the 2012 International conference of the Applied Improvisation Network.

It’s yet another variation of rock-scissors-paper, only not.

So, you find a partner. And you stand back to back. And you each decide:

  • do I want to be a Tiger and make a menacingly tigerish growl while showing my menacingly cruel invisible claws? Or
  • do I want to be Fireworks and point my index fingers up in the air like flare guns and make a big popping sound followed by a whistling firework-launching sound and a waving of fingers and arms like fireworks falling? Or
  • do I want to be a Person and look like a native New Yorker from Brooklyn and the Bronx even and offer to shake hands while saying “Hiya”?

As soon as you’ve both decided, you turn to face each other, and then, with significant simultaneity make your choices magnificently manifest.

And if you both choose the same thing, you win. If not, turn again, back-to-back. Remake-up your mind. Turn around when ready.

Play three times. Keep score if you want. Hug each other at the end, regardless.


  1. Chris Corrigan on October 2, 2012 at 11:44 am

    My favorite part at that conference was when a whisper campaign went around during the end of your keynote conversation with Matt and Paul and instead of applause we all gave you guys a fireworks sign.

    Yay for play.

    • Bernie DeKoven on October 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm

      O, you sly devils! The fun! The sheer fun!

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