It’s been raining here the last few days, so I’ve gotten to play a great New York game I’d forgotten about. It’s called “Up or Down”.
For those of you who haven’t been here, New York is a city with lots of people. Sometimes, large groups of these people are going in the same direction all at once. Most of the time though, they’re going in opposite directions.
When it rains, these people carry umbrellas. But since there’s no room for the people, there’s even less for the large spikey things they’re holding over their heads. And so we play “Up or Down”.
The goal of the game is to carefully coordinate your umbrella’s height with your peers to ensure parasol-eyeball interactions are kept to a minimum. The basic strategy involves anticipating whether those around you will raise their umbrella above yours, or instead try to duck below it.* Hence, “Up or Down”.
You must try to predict your opponent’s move and perform the opposite. This is achieved by a combination of cat-like reflexes and latent telepathy. You lose by getting poked in the eye by an umbrella spoke.
The really fun part is when somebody loses.
*I once saw someone try to perform a perpendicular motion with their parasol, moving it to a sort of medieval shield position. They and several people in their immediate vicinity lost almost instantly. This is why the up or down strategy is suggested for all but the most expert players.